EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)Jalen Hurts stepped back as the pocket began closing around him and launched a pass over the middle that sealed the game.
But for the New York Jets instead of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Hurts’ throw intended for Dallas Goedert was intercepted by Tony Adams and returned 45 yards to the Eagles 8 before Breece Hall ran it in for what turned out to be the winning score in New York’s 20-14 victory Sunday.
“I had an opportunity and I didn’t do my job on the play,” said Hurts, who matched a career worst with three interceptions. “I don’t think I made the correct read on it. It happens and it’s an opportunity for us to learn from it.”
The loss was the first of the season for the Eagles (5-1), who were the NFL’s lone undefeated team after San Francisco lost to Cleveland earlier in the day. It was also Philadelphia’s first defeat against the Jets after winning the first 12 meetings.
Four turnovers, including a lost fumble by D’Andre Swift, can flip even the most seemingly lopsided of matchups.
“We have to look at everything and fix everything,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said. “Sometimes after bad losses, there is a great time for growth. That’s what our mission will be: to grow from this.”
Sirianni said he didn’t need to say much when he entered the locker room after the game. The players – and coaches – knew they had blown it.
“You look at this game,” Hurts said, “you have so many missed opportunities and really so many mistakes as if you’re kind of giving it away.”
The Eagles got the ball back after Hall’s touchdown with 1:46 left, but couldn’t do anything against a Jets defense that stymied them all game.
Hurts threw two incomplete passes before connecting with DeVonta Smith for a 2-yard gain. Facing fourth-and-8 from the Eagles 27, Hurts launched a deep pass for Smith but it was knocked away by Jordan Whitehead and ended Philadelphia’s chances.
“Whenever the game is within reach, mistakes are magnified,” said center Jason Kelce, who set the franchise record with his 145th consecutive regular-season start. “We’ve been disciplined and handled things well down the stretch. We didn’t necessarily do that and it ended up hurting us today.”
Philadelphia’s defense came up big several times against Zach Wilson and the Jets’ offense, which was able to turn New York’s first three takeaways into only three points.
Then came the disastrous final turnover by Hurts with the game on the line.
“I’m going to have to see that play again and see if there was something that flushed him out of the pocket,” Sirianni said. “He had to hold it for a tick longer. It looked like they played some kind of cover-4. We had a completion on that play earlier in the drive.
“I know Jalen is going to want that play back. I thought that was pretty much the only turnover that was on him.”
The first was an interception by Quinnen Williams in the second quarter after Hurts’ pass to Goedert was deflected by Jermaine Johnson and into the Jets defensive tackle’s hands. New York failed to score after the takeaway.
Swift had a 4-yard catch late in the first half when he had the ball knocked out of his arms by C.J. Mosley and recovered by Quincy Williams. The Jets got a 35-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 14-6.
With Philadelphia leading 14-12, Bryce Hall picked off Hurts early in the fourth quarter on another pass defensed by Johnson. The Jets went three-and-out on their next series – and the Eagles had a chance to widen the margin, but Jake Elliott missed a 37-yard field goal attempt.
That opened the door for New York to complete the comeback.
The Eagles will try to bounce back next Sunday night at home against Miami, which is also 5-1 and has scored 31 or more points in four of the victories.
“Something happened that kind of stalled drives,” Kelce said, “but we’ve got to, just everybody, look in the mirror and try to get better for next week.”
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