Turnovers again snatched defeat from victory for the 2023 Eagles.
Again Eagles franchise quarterback Jalen Hurts was behind turning the ball over, leading to a last-second 20-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field in front of 68,758 mostly partisan fans. It was the Eagles (10-4) third loss in a row.
The positive was Hurts rushed 13 times for 82 yards and two touchdowns. The team rushed 38 times for 178 yards.
D’Andre Swift rushed 18 times for 74 yards.
The bad news was Hurts was 17 of 31 for 143 yards…no touchdown passes.
Hurts threw two brutal interceptions that one could make the argument handed the win to the Seahawks.
The Eagles depleted secondary had held wide receiver DK Metcalf to one catch for eight yards well into the third quarter.
But after the Eagles – leading 17-13 – squandered two drives in the fourth quarter…the first was with after moving the ball from their own 25-yard line to the Seahawks 45-yard line with 8:15 left in the fourth quarter, Hurts lofted a bomb intended for Quez Watkins only to see it in the hands of Seahawks strong safety Julian Love.
It appeared Love may have committed pass interference on Watkins, but the play stood.
The Eagles forced the Seahawks to go three-and-out. But the Birds were also unable to move the balls, and were forced to punt from midfield.
Eagles punter Brandon Mann did his job and put the ball on Seattle’s eight-yard line with just 1:52 left in the fourth quarter.
Seattle quarterback Drew Lock – who started for the injured Geno Smith – drove the Seahawks 92 yards on ten plays – three were completions to Metcalf for a total of 58-yards…the third catch was for 34 yards with James Bradberry and Sidney Brown draped all over him.
The winning throw was a needle-threading 29-yard miracle to Jaxon Smith-Njigba with 33 seconds on the clock.
The Eagles defense could not get a stop when they needed it the most.
There was hope when Hurts ran for 20 yards on second down from the 25-yard line with 13 ticks on the clock left. The Eagles needed just 13 yards to get to within Jake Elliott’s range.
But again, Hurts went for it all, throwing a deep pass to A.J. Brown that was picked off on a brilliant catch by Love.
Lock finished 22 of 33 for 208 years and the TD pass. He was sacked twice and did not throw an interception.
Metcalf finished with five catches for 78 yards.
Kenneth Walker III rushed 19 times for 86 yards and a touchdown to lead Seattle.
The Eagle must sweep their remaining games to claim the NFC East title for the second year in a row.
After the game, Hurts talked about accountability.
“There is a reality of it, everybody has a role in it,” Hurts said at his postgame press conference. “And it starts with me. We have to pick ourselves out if this. You practice the same way, you're getting the same results.
“We have to make internal change and how we attack things. We come to work every day…starts with the little things, how committed we are to doing what we're doing?
“And it all starts with me, the quarterback. And so you know, it's a challenge that I'm embracing. I have embraced…as tough as these times are, I still see light at the end of the tunnel.
“It's just a matter of believing. It hurts, it hurts bad. It hurts bad, just knowing the opportunities we had out there. How do we how do we attack the future? How do we atack what's in front of us? We still have an opportunity to do something special.
“Gotta clean a lot of things up though, to do what we want to do.”
The Birds are running out of games. *
Email Al Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org