There is not yet a decision as to who will play quarterback for the Eagles on Sunday when the New Orleans Saints come to town, but both Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts talked about the situation in the aftermath of the team's 30-16 loss to Green Bay on Sunday at Lambeau Field.
Wentz started Sunday's game and played five offensive drives, generating a field goal on the team's first possession that took 15 plays and gained 41 yards and ended with a 52-yard Jake Elliott field goal. Wentz completed 6 of 15 passes for 79 yards and also contributed 18 rushing yards on three carries. He was sacked four times as the offense managed just 10 first downs with Wentz at quarterback.
Hurts entered the game for the offense's final possession of the third quarter and played all the way through the fourth quarter, a total of four drives that generated seven first downs and a touchdown pass to wide receiver Greg Ward on a fourth-and-18 play. On the scoring strike, Hurts rolled right and threw a perfect pass to Ward in the end zone to complete the 32-yard scoring strike.
"It was great," Hurts said of his first NFL touchdown pass. "On the bright side of things, I'm not going to be a Debbie Downer now. It was a blessing. It was a great feeling. It's a great feeling to throw a touchdown pass to one of my good friends, Greg Ward. It was fun. It was fun."
Said Wentz: "I don't like where we're at this season record-wise (3-8-1). I know I can play better and we can all be better moving forward. We gotta clean some things up."
Head Coach Doug Pederson made the call, telling Hurts he would play the final series of the third quarter. At that time, that was the only thought. Hurts completed a 34-yard pass to Jalen Reagor on his first pass but then the drive stalled and Philadelphia punted. After Green Bay scored a touchdown to increase its lead to 23-3, Hurts returned for his second series and heated up. He ran right for 10 yards and on the next play gained 13 yards running left. Hurts converted a third-and-4 play with a 20-yard completion to tight end Zach Ertz to move the ball to the Green Bay 24-yard line and then did some real work to complete the drive. An Alshon Jeffery pass interference penalty moved the ball to the 32-yard line and set up the fourth-and-18 play, which Hurts executed perfectly.
The Eagles' defense held and then Green Bay punted to Jalen Reagor, who returned the punt 73 yards down the sideline for a touchdown. Jake Elliott missed the PAT and the score was 23-16. The defense held again and Hurts had a chance to tie the game with a touchdown drive. After gaining one first down, the offense stalled and Cameron Johnston came on to punt. Green Bay took possession at its 20-yard line and two plays later Aaron Jones raced 77 yards for a touchdown for the final score.
Hurts was intercepted after that and finished the game completing 5 of 12 passes for 109 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also ran five times for 29 yards.
"Like every game, I was just trying to stay attentive to what was going on," Hurts said. "Staying alert for all the different adjustments we were making throughout the game. My number was called and it was an opportunity to go in there. Obviously, we came up short, but we have a great opportunity this week moving forward. We're going to be working really hard to twist this thing around."
When asked if he thinks he should start against the Saints, Hurts said, "I'm trying to do what I can do for this team. I think it's as simple as that. Working hard every day, putting my best foot forward, and taking somebody with me. I'm trying to lead and just get this thing in the right direction. So, anything that can help this team."
Wentz was asked the same thing and he responded.
"That's not for me (to decide)," he said. "I know what I'm capable of (doing). I know I can play better. I never have doubted myself or lost my confidence in my abilities. Like I said, a lot of these things are outside of my control."