EAGLES CLINCH, AND ‘WE’RE NOT DONE YET,’ JALEN HURTS SAYS!

“The job isn’t done for us,” Eagles QB Jalen Hurts said. “It’s not done. We’re not done yet.”

By Max Harper

At the end of the season and at the end of the day, there is a truism in the NFL and in all sports:

Just win, baby!

That’s what the legendary Raiders owner Al Davis said 50 years ago.

And it is as true today as it was then.

Just ask Jalen Hurts, the Eagles second-year quarterback, who has been written off as a freak-show knock-off of Lamar Jackson or Michael Vick or some other athletic QB who also the ability to make plays with his legs as well as his arm

Hurts ran six times for 45 yards as the Eagles held on to beat WFT 20-16, their seventh win of their last nine since starting 2-5.

And they clinched an NFC wild-card spot hours later when Minnesota lost to Green Bay.

“We just bought in to who we are, bought in to what we could be and trusted in the grind in approaching every day the way we do,” Hurts said. “I couldn’t be more proud of this team.”

Hurts was 17 of 26 passing for 214 yards in leading the Eagles to a fourth consecutive victory.

“Jalen was awesome today,” coach Nick Sirianni said. “We all know he’s dealing with an ankle injury and fighting through it. He’s tough. This guy is so tough.”

Sirianni said Hurts told him to call whatever plays he wanted and he would make it work, and the second-year quarterback remained calm throughout a tense game.

The poise under pressure continued after the game when fans waiting for Hurts fell onto the field after a railing in the corner of FedEx Field gave way. Hurts helped some fans to their feet and expressed relief that most of those involved appeared to be OK.

“It’s crazy,” Hurts said. “It’s crazy stuff right there. That was a real dangerous situation.”

Philly (9-7) started slowly again, and its league-leading rushing attack was held to a season-low 3.4 yards per carry with Sanders out because of a broken left hand. Twelve days after racking up 238 yards on the ground against Washington (6-10), the Eagles had 119 yards rushing.

But the defense finally got to Taylor Heinicke, and the Eagles wore down a banged-up opponent, erasing a 16-7 deficit. Jake Elliott connected on field goals of 42 and 41 yards in the fourth quarter, and Rodney McLeod picked off Heinicke in the end zone with 24 seconds remaining to seal it.

“I wanted to just make sure I closed this game out the right way,” McLeod said. “It felt good to be able to finish a game, make a big catch.”

Rookie Jaret Patterson rushed for his second career TD for Washington, which was missing top running back Antonio Gibson, left guard Ereck Flowers and punter Tress Way because of COVID-19 protocols. Heinicke flashed some of his trademark elusiveness, evading pressure during a big fourth quarter, but threw an interception for the fifth consecutive game after leading Washington to the Philadelphia 20-yard line.

“That safety made a hell of a catch,” said Heinicke, who was 27 of 36 for 247 yards. “I think if (intended target John Bates) doesn’t trip, that’s a touchdown. It’s unfortunate.”

Ravaged by injuries and virus-related absences, Washington’s faint playoff hopes came to an end with a home loss that felt more like Lincoln Financial Field because of all the Eagles fans in attendance. It’s the team’s fourth consecutive loss after winning the previous four games.

“Hopefully we’re developing character,” coach Ron Rivera said. “The important thing is how we finish. We have one more game to go. We go from there.”

Sirianni went for it on fourth and goal twice, leading to two touchdowns from Boston Scott, who got the bulk of the carries in Sanders’ absence. The Eagles celebrated another victory, but Hurts was not ready to reflect on the team’s journey.

“The job isn’t done for us,” he said. “It’s not done. We’re not done yet.”

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