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Morning Roundup: 'I still see light at the end of the tunnel'

Jalen Hurts
Jalen Hurts

Before you dive into today's Morning Roundup, presented by DraftKings, don't forget to check out the following:

• Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro's 10 takeaways from Monday night

• Owen Boyle's live in-game updates and recap

• Road to Victory has the latest standings and playoff scenarios.

'It's on me': Jalen Hurts takes accountability after loss

Following Monday night's loss against the Seahawks, quarterback Jalen Hurts was not focused on the illness he was battling.

"All of that is irrelevant at this point," Hurts said. "We didn't play good enough; I didn't play good enough."

Hurts came into the game questionable and flew separately from the rest of the team due to an illness that had him under the weather over the weekend. He missed Saturday's practice and was downgraded to questionable on Sunday.

The quarterback completed 17 of his 31 passes for 143 yards and two interceptions. Hurts had a passer rating of 40.1, the third lowest of his four-year career.

"You can point the finger at whatever," Hurts said. "I like the opportunity to go out there and execute regardless of what the circumstances are, and I didn't do a good job with that; I didn't lead good enough."

Philadelphia entered the fourth quarter of Monday's game in rainy Seattle with a 17-10 lead. The Eagles were 30-0 with a seven-or-more-point lead with Hurts at quarterback in the fourth quarter.

What went wrong?

Two crucial interceptions, the 11th and 12th of Hurts' season, prevented the offense from putting the game away and, ultimately, sealed the game.

"We had multiple opportunities in the game to open it up and we didn't; I didn't do that," Hurts said.

His first interception came with 8:15 remaining. Hurts went deep for wide receiver Quez Watkins, but Seahawks safety Julian Love won the one-on-one aerial duel, making an impressive interception.

His second pick sealed the comeback win for the Seahawks. With 13 seconds left and the Eagles closing in on Jake Elliott's field goal range, Hurts aired one out to A.J. Brown deep down the near, right sideline. A flying Love came in to take the ball away, just getting both feet in bounds for his second interception of the night.

"I mean, we just have to be better. I have to be better," Hurts said. "Minimizing mistakes, the penalties, the mental errors, just playing team football. It starts from me leading that. We've lost games because I couldn't be better. That'll change everything, and I accept that."

As the leader of this team, Hurts knows how tough this three-game losing streak has been, but he believes in himself and the group of players he goes to battle with every week.

"It all starts with me, the quarterback," Hurts said. "It is a challenge that I am embracing, and I have embraced. As tough as these times are, I still see light at the end of the tunnel. We still have the opportunity to do something special, we just have to clean a lot of things up to do what we want to do." – Written by Owen Boyle

Nick Sirianni: 'I did what I thought I needed to do in the best interest of this football team'

The Eagles announced on Sunday that Senior Defensive Assistant Matt Patricia was going to call the defensive plays from the sideline and that Defensive Coordinator Sean Desai would move up to the coaching booth to offer his perspective from above.

"I did what I thought I needed to do in the best interest of the football team," Head Coach Nick Sirianni said after the game Monday night. "We made some adjustments there. Didn't feel like we were playing and coaching well enough on defense, so I made an adjustment. It was my decision and that's what I did."

Sirianni added that Patricia has the final say regarding the defense.

"It's a collaborative effort on defense. Obviously the final decisions are made by Matt right now. As disappointed as Sean was, I think he handled himself like a true pro. We know Sean is still helpful to this football team. He has a bright mind and he can help," Sirianni said.

"As I listened in on defense today, they were communicating back and forth similar to the way Matt and Sean communicated with the roles reversed. Just made an adjustment. I understand there will be scrutiny on it, but I feel like anything I can do in my position to help the team succeed, I'm going to try to do. So that's, again, where we are with that." 

The Eagles must now regroup for the final three regular-season games, starting on Christmas at home against the Giants.

"You get up and you fix your stuff. We're going to go through the process like we do at all times. You know, win or lose, you go through the same process every single time," Sirianni said. "You're not always in control of some of the things that happen in a game, and sometimes not even the wins and losses, but you are in control of the process and what you go through. We have to have the right answers as coaches to put the guys in position to succeed, and then we have to go out and execute. But it starts with us as coaches to put them in positions to succeed."

Fletcher Cox: 'We have to stay together'

Fletcher Cox and Jason Kelce are two of the longest-tenured veterans on the team, with a combined 25 seasons of experience in the NFL, all with the Eagles. The two captains have weathered storms in the past. Head Coach Nick Sirianni said after the game that "we still have our goals ahead of us." It's up to the veterans, like Cox and Kelce, to help right the ship.

"I think the biggest thing is we have to focus on us. We have to stay together," Cox said. "It's been a rough three weeks for this team. All good teams, they face a little adversity no matter how good you are. Right now, I feel like we're still a really good team, and we're facing a lot of adversity. So I think the biggest thing for us is, 'So what, now what,' right?

"It was one of them games where I felt like we should have finished as a defense. I want to be on the field in those situations and close the game out for our team. But apparently, they made a couple of plays. They get paid, too. I think we're running out of chances right now. I think we've got a couple of games left. Obviously, we're already in the playoffs, but we're looking at the bigger picture. I think now we've got to focus on being a better team on the road."

Kelce added that part of keeping the team together will be "blocking a lot of the outside stuff."

"Obviously, your job as a veteran is to continue to just push and work and get guys focused on preparing and getting better and blocking out a lot of the outside stuff," he said. "We had our opportunities today. This one's tough. It's a very tough game to lose. A lot of implications involved in it. So a frustrating day to say the least. But all you can do is move forward and play the next one."

James Bradberry: 'I have to play better'

The Eagles held quarterback Drew Lock, who started for the injured Geno Smith, to 116 passing yards until the final two minutes of the game. On the game-winning drive, Lock threw for 92 yards with passes of 18 yards, 34 yards, and a 29-yard touchdown to rookie wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

"I have to play better," said cornerback James Bradberry, who was in coverage on Smith-Njigba on the scoring play. I was just playing the sticks. We (were) in man (coverage)."

Bradberry said it was "very frustrating" for the defense to play well as an overall unit and then allow the go-ahead score with just 28 seconds remaining in the game. Lock threw for just 208 yards and the touchdown, completing 22 of 33 pass attempts. Seattle's trio of talented receivers in DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Smith-Njigba was contained until the game was on the line.

"We did pretty good," Bradberry said. "I just didn't play well today."

Week 15 of the 2023 NFL season ends with the first flexed Monday Night Football game in history! Check out Jalen Hurts in action, despite his questionable status, as the Eagles look to maintain their hold on first place in the NFC East against a Seattle Seahawks team trying to keep their playoff hopes afloat.

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