The Philadelphia Eagles took care of business on Monday Night Football, dispatching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 25-11 to advance to 3-0 on the young NFL season. It was the Eagles' most complete victory to date, despite several elements working against them.
Most notable of those elements was a sickness making its way through the Eagles locker room.
"We had a lot of guys on the team [sick] this week," Jason Kelce told ESPN. "It's kind of maybe that time of year right now."
Among the infected parties was QB Jalen Hurts, who fought through flu-like symptoms to deliver 23-of-37 passes for 277 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. It wasn't Hurts' best outing by any stretch, but he delivered several clutch dimes and set the offense up for success against a stingy Bucs defense.
He had a little help getting motivated before the game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant coach gave Jalen Hurts motivation for Philadelphia Eagles' Monday night victory
As Tim McManus of ESPN writes, the Eagles' trip to Tampa held extra meaning for Hurts. His last visit ended in a 31-15 defeat to Tom Brady and the Bucs in the 2021 playoffs. It was a tough loss, made tougher by the memory of a Tampa assistant saying "this guy can't read [the defense]" on a hot mic.
Safe to say Hurts used that as a pick-me-up.
"It's a feeling I haven't forgot. And things have gone very well ever since."
The Eagles finished last season on the doorstep of history, taking a lead into the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl before Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs stormed back from behind. Hurts was in the MVP race all year, emerging as a genuine superstar at the helm of Philadelphia's dynamic offense.
What makes Hurts special is his poise. His confidence never wanes. He doesn't get rattled on the big stage. He is a product of his circumstances, having overcome significant adversity to win both in college and in the NFL. His former Bama teammate down in Miami, Tua Tagovailoa, could probably speak to the grace with which Hurts approaches the game. He's always prepared and innately selfless, and that has made him a natural leader in the Eagles locker room.
Philadelphia will look to carry this momentum into a Week 4 home game against the Washington Commanders. The schedule over the next few weeks is lined up favorably for the Eagles, who have to be the favorites to win the NFC East. Hurts' star presence is a big reason why. The Eagles have weapons across the board, but Hurts is the man who ties it all together.