Philadelphia Eagles News

Morning Roundup: DeVonta Smith takes the next step

Microsoft Teams DeVonta Smith 1920 110721

Microsoft Teams Top Connection

Wide receiver DeVonta Smith was not going to be denied in the fourth quarter. As quarterback Jalen Hurts eluded pressure to get the ball to the rookie, Smith did the rest, racing past cornerback Chris Harris and reaching the ball into the end zone for a touchdown to make it 24-24.

Humble and hungry, DeVonta Smith grows as a receiver

The chemistry between quarterback Jalen Hurts and rookie wide receiver DeVonta Smith sparkled on the field during Sunday's game against the Chargers. Smith recorded his second career 100-yard receiving game after having five catches for 116 yards and a touchdown. The humble rookie knows there is still plenty of room to grow as a receiver.

"There were some things I feel like I could have done better," Smith said. "I just continue to attack every day and I'll watch this film get better from it."

In the second quarter, Hurts connected with Smith for a 27-yard gain which led to a 4-yard touchdown run by running back Jordan Howard. The duo did it again in the third quarter with back-to-back plays that moved the chains. The first pass was for 23 yards then the next went for 19 yards, leading to a 1-yard touchdown run by Kenneth Gainwell. Hurts says the more you're practicing with each other, the connection is going to continue to grow.

"As an offense, that's what you practice for, day in and day out. Just be with each other to get better," Hurts said. "The more that you do it, the more you attack it every day, the offense gets better, and the team gets better."

"I'm just going out there and doing my job. When you go out there and you execute, the ball will find who it's supposed to find," Smith said.

The 6-foot, 170-pound receiver recorded his second touchdown this season in the fourth quarter as Hurts found Smith for a 28-yard pass. The rookie extended his arm with the ball over the goal line to get the touchdown and tie the game at 24-24.

"Every time I get the ball in my hands, my intentions are to score. So, I was there and then I got in," he said.

– Jillian Oddo

Jalen Hurts shines in the fourth quarter – again

Down 24-17 with 11:32 in the game on Sunday, quarterback Jalen Hurts was outstanding in the clutch with both his arm and his legs.

He completed all four of his pass attempts for 45 yards, including an amazing throw to wide receiver DeVonta Smith for a 28-yard touchdown. He gained 15 yards on a pair of scrambles to convert two third downs on the drive. On the first third down, Hurts ran to the right side and dove for the first-down marker, flipped over the tackle attempt from linebacker Drue Tranquill, and kept the drive going.

"That play where he jumped over top and did the flip, I think if we had won that game that would be a play they showed over Philly for a long time," Head Coach Nick Sirianni said. "He just was really composed in a tight situation. That's what you want out of your quarterbacks. That's what I've seen out of good quarterbacks in my past."

Hurts has been very good in the fourth quarter of games all season long. He's thrown for five touchdowns with no interceptions. According to Pro Football Focus, Hurts has made nine "big-time throws" in the final 15 minutes this season, tied with Tampa Bay's Tom Brady for the most in the NFL. The Eagles are fourth in the league, averaging 9.2 points per fourth quarter this season.

"Sometimes I forget how young dude is just because of how he has taken control of the team, taken control of the offense," running back Boston Scott said. "Tremendous amount of respect for him. He's an eraser and what I mean by that is that when things aren't right, he makes them right. So utmost respect for that guy and what he's been able to do week in and week out. He's a warrior. He's a winner."

– Chris McPherson

Look at the best photos from Sunday's game against the Chargers.

Young linebackers grow in defense

T.J. Edwards and Davion Taylor combined for 20 tackles, with Edwards leading the way. Taylor added a tackle for loss. The duo played the most snaps of the linebacker unit, as Edwards played all but two snaps on defense.

As Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon has learned about his personnel in the first half of the season, Edwards and Taylor have grown and capitalized on their expanded roles.

"I see myself getting better and better every week. The game, even today from the first half to the second half, slowed down for me," Taylor said. "I feel like I'm getting better and better and it's allowing me to make more plays, so when I come out next week I'll be a little bit better and in the weeks to come too."

Taylor is a highly athletic linebacker who is putting it together on the field. Sunday's eight tackles and 49 snaps were both career highs. Taylor has played 30+ snaps in four straight games.

Edwards complements Taylor with a downhill presence that can rock a ballcarrier. He earned NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors for his blocked punt against Carolina. He's started on defense in the four games since, registering a career-high 13 tackles against Detroit and another 12 on Sunday.

Of course, both players would prefer to come out with the win instead of suffering a tough loss.

"I thought we were in position at times, and it comes down to the details of things," Edwards said. "I thought all of the guys gave so much effort and put so much into it. To fall short, it hurts for sure."

– Chris McPherson

Eagles show growth despite tough loss

At some point in the not-so-distant future, the Philadelphia Eagles are going to look back at games like the one they had on Sunday and they're going to have a different point of view. Then, they're going to know how to come out on the right side of close games like the 27-24 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. The little plays that went the Chargers' way on Sunday? The Eagles will take heed of these tough moments and learn from them because that's how it works in the NFL: You live and you learn and if you keep fighting and keep improving, close losses turn into close wins in a short period of time.

"We are really close. We all need to continue to focus up, keep grinding, keep trusting the process, and just execute better out there," said safety Marcus Epps, echoing the message from Head Coach Nick Sirianni to the players after the game.

It was really close on Sunday. And the Eagles kept grinding, led by a gutty and spectacular performance from quarterback Jalen Hurts and an offense that matched touchdowns with the Chargers, who brought with them one of the best offenses in the NFL paced by rising young quarterback Justin Herbert, who was everything the Eagles expected him to be against an Eagles defense that made two sensational fourth-down stops – one at the goal line in the first quarter and another in the second quarter in Philadelphia territory – but ultimately couldn't overcome Herbert with a secondary that lost nickel cornerback Avonte Maddox in the first half and then lost cornerback Darius Slay late in the third quarter for the remainder of the game.

Read all of Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro's postgame column here.

Related Content

Advertising