Eagles recap: Jalen Hurts, and company shine despite preseason loss to Jets

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 12: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) fires up the crowd during pre-season game between the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles on August 12, 2022 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Preseason football is finally here for The City of Brotherly Love and their beloved Philadelphia Eagles. In their first bit of preseason action, the Eagles faced the New York Jets at home.

While Philadelphia ultimately lost the game, that’s not the focus of preseason football. They may not have won the game itself, but they accomplished their true goal, as their starters dominated the game from the jump.

A Dominant Performance on Both Sides

Right from the jump, the Eagles made their presence known. Following an opening kickoff return to the 20 by Jason Huntley, Jalen Hurts and the offense took the field looking to answer their critics from training camp.

With no time to waste, Hurts hit Quez Watkins for a 28-yard pass to the right, setting the tone for the impressive drive to come.

Methodically the Eagles moved the ball down the field with a 12-yard dump to Miles Sanders, a 6-yard pass to tight end Jack Stoll, and another connection with Quez Watkins (4-yards).

A Lane Johnson false start looked like it was set to stall the drive, especially with a Jalen Hurts sack bringing up fourth down for Philadelphia. That is, it would have had Quincey Williams — brother of Jets star Quinnen Williams — with a blatantly late shot right to the head of the Eagles quarterback.

That play reignited the drive for Philadelphia, and Hurts would go on to finish the drive by putting up six not once but twice. After an eight-yard pass to Sanders, Jalen Hurts would rush the ball 12 yards into the endzone only to be called back by a soft holding call against Jordan Maialata. Hurts would not be denied however, throwing a strike to Dallas Goedert for the touchdown on the very next play.

It was a near-perfect drive for the offense, but the Eagle’s defense would not allow themselves to be shown up.

It took just five plays for the defense to play themselves off the field as newly acquired linebacker Kyzir White intercepted Jets start Zach Wilson, returning the pick for 27 yards. It was an impressive debut for the entire Eagles linebacking core, but Kyzir White and his coverage ability truly stood out despite only playing one drive.

The Best of the Rest

After the starters dominated for Philadelphia, things began to even out; however, there were plenty of individual stands outs on both sides of the ball.

With Jason Kelce missing the preseason due to a minor surgical procedure on his elbow, rookie Cam Jurgens stepped in and was a force to be reckoned with. The 2022 second-round pick was everywhere on the field and left few questions as to why Kelce trusted the young center as his replacement

Philadelphia’s other rookies, Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean, both out of Georgia, proved fans right in their excitement as the former drove back Jets as if he were playing against pee-wee players while Dean did well to tie up any loose ends.

Gardner Minshew looked much improved compared to his training camp appearances, and his connection with new Eagles receiver Zach Pascal — who proved his value despite a dropped touchdown — was crucial for the backup offense.

It was also a solid showing by corners Zech McPhearson and Tay Gowan, helping to relieve concerns about the Eagles’ depth at corner.

Up Next for the Eagles

Philadelphia will face their next preseason opponent on Sunday, August 21st, as they travel to Cleveland to face the Browns. Kickoff is at 1:00pm ET. Be sure to keep up with PSN for more Philadelphia Eagles coverage.