Philadelphia — Jalen Harts rolled right, sidestepped and stuttered to the 5-yard line, where the defender was wrapped up in pursuit with another. Injured, he bent his body, lowered his head, dragged two defenders with him and made an adrenaline-fuelled 26-yard touchdown run to break open the game.
Maybe, or so the Eagles hope, there are many more games like this to come.
Hurts had 301 total yards in the first half of his young career, finishing with three total touchdowns in Philadelphia’s 24-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night.
“Big-time performance on a big-time stage,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said.
Trying to prove he can play like the best franchise QBs in the NFL, Hurts looked unstoppable from the opening drive.
He hit five receivers on 5-for-5 passing — highlighted by a 19-yard strike to AJ Brown — and capped himself with a 3-yard scoring run. In the opener against Detroit, Harts failed to complete a pass on five attempts and the Eagles turned the ball over on the first drive of the game.
Turn the ball down?
This seems to be a rumor against the Vikings. TD was all about the 24-year-old throwing, running, pressing his will with all his tools on a Vikings defense he couldn’t solve in his 21st career start. He finished with 333 yards passing and a touchdown, and 57 yards and two scores on the ground.
“Another great performance. He threw unbelievable balls. He made a lot of plays,” Eagles center Jason Kelce said. “It was a very good and well-rounded game for him.”
On the first play of the second quarter, the Hearts connected with a wide open Quez Watkins for a 53-yard TD and a 14-0 lead.
“It always comes with time and as time goes on you get more comfortable with what you’re doing,” Harts said.
Darius Slay, who intervened twice against the hapless sons of Kirk’s cousin; They called each of the Eagles’ trio of talented receivers Batman.
Brown, who had five catches for 69 yards, was a “swollen” Batman; Devonta Smith was the “skinny” Batman who was 7 for 80 yards; And Watkins was the “fast” batman who had the burners for an easy score (and 69 total receiving yards).
Why are they all Batman?
“No, Robbins, we don’t have any side touches,” Slay said.
He scored a 26-yard TD with 1:58 left in the half and Jake Elliott still had time for a 38-yarder to give the Eagles a 24-7 halftime lead.
“I don’t care how we score as long as we put points on the board,” Harts said.
In a Week 2 full of improbable comebacks, perhaps it wasn’t wise to count out the Vikings.
But Cousins and wide receiver Justin Jefferson — passed on by the Eagles in the 2020 draft — haven’t gotten anything tangible against the Eagles and offensive defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. The scoreboard soon flashed “Big Play Slay” as Slay had his second interception of the game in the fourth quarter.
“I felt at times, I added, like we pressed a little bit,” Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said.
Injuries had 50 yards rushing and 251 yards passing in the first half. Cousins finished the game 27-for-46 for 221 yards and three interceptions. His only TD was on a 2-yard pass to Irv Smith in the second quarter. Jefferson had six catches for 48 yards on the week after receiving 184 yards and two TDs in the win against Green Bay.
Slay said of Jefferson: “I don’t take any match lightly, but he’s one of the best in the world. I’m one of the best in the world. I’m looking forward to the match.
Bryce Harper (wearing an Eagles hat), James Harden (who dunked the ball after the first interception) and Bradley Cooper (wearing an Allen Iverson T-shirt) were among the packed and singing crowd. Home of the Eagles Opening.
An Instagram photo of Harden holding the ball with his left hand was posted in the memorial. The Philadelphia 76ers star took selfies with fans before leaving late in the game.
Harden waited in the tunnel for Slay to automate the football. Harden, good-naturedly, tells Slay that he should have more interceptions.
“He was shocked when I gave it to him,” Slay said.
A familiar ring
Dick Vermeil received his Hall of Fame ring at halftime. In his third season in Philadelphia, the great coach led the Eagles to their first playoff appearance in 18 years. In the year In the 1980 season, he led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl appearance, losing to the Oakland Raiders 27-10.
Vikings safety Harrison Smith was evaluated for a concussion.
Vikings: Return home Sunday to play the Lions.
Eagles: Begin a comeback tour Sunday when they travel to play the Washington Chiefs and former QB Carson Wentz. The Eagles will return home on Sunday, Oct. 2 and play the Jacksonville Jaguars, led by coach Doug Pederson. Wentz and Pederson were instrumental in helping the Eagles win the Super Bowl after the 2017 season.
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