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All the Pieces were in Place for a Win, Except for Jalen Hurts

The Eagles QB played poorly with three picks, though a chance to pull out a victory late was sabotaged by mistakes from teammates
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Eagles’ running game was once again unstoppable on its way to another 200-yard game, their third straight. This time, it went for 208.

The defense gave up one touchdown and two field goals. Thirteen points on the road. A winning effort all the way around.

All the elements were in place for a third straight win.

Except for Jalen Hurts.

He threw a career-high three interceptions in a 13-7 loss to the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, including two in the red zone. He completed just 45 percent of his throws. Had just 129 yards passing. Oh, and his passer rating was a skimpy 17.5.

That is not just a bad day at the office, but a horrific one.

It is exactly what the Giants wanted to do - make Hurts beat them with his arm.

"He's very talented, but we wanted to make him beat us throwing," said safety Julian Love.

Hurts wasn't able to do that.

The quarterback led, or misled, an offense that scored seven points. In the modern NFL, where all the rules are tilted toward the offense.

The last time the Eagles scored fewer than seven points was on Dec. 31, 2017, when they lost to the Cowboys 6-0. That was a meaningless game when the Eagles had already secured the No. 1 seed in the NFC and didn't play their starters.

You have to go back to Nov. 18, 2018, when they last scored as few as seven points, doing so in a 48-7 drubbing to the New Orleans Saints. Before that, it was 2013 in back-to-back losses to the Cowboys, 17-3, and Giants, 15-7.

RELATED: Eagles Offense Fizzles in 13-7 loss to Giants

“It’s never going to be A, B, C, or D, if you turn it over three times,” said head coach Nick Sirianni. “Obviously, he didn’t play good enough. And we didn’t coach good enough. It’s all of us. It’s never just one guy. 

"We’re going to look through that tape, and we’re going to have to make corrections through that tape, but when you turn the ball over three times – there are different things at play there – but not a winning performance.”

It was a performance that will have the anti-Hurts crowd baying until next week when the Eagles return to Sunday’s house of horrors, MetLife Stadium to play the New York Jets.

The Giants gave up chunks of yards on the ground, yes, but when Hurts needed to put the team over the hump, he simply could not.

“I know a game like this, everybody’s going to try to take accountability for the things they did not do, and that’s the mentality we have as a team, good, bad or indifferent, everybody is going to hold themselves accountable for the things they did and things they didn’t do,” said Hurts. “I know as quarterback of this team, that’s who I am. I put this team in a bad situation in the first half. Put is in a very bad situation. Very close to digging ourselves out of it, but it wasn’t enough.”

Hurts’ first pick came from the 20-yard with about one minute to play in the first quarter and the Eagles already trailing 3-0.

His second was a dagger, coming at the end of the first half when he should have just thrown the ball away and let Jake Elliott kick a field goal with just a few ticks left on the second-quarter clock to even the game at 3-3.

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"I know he’s trying to make a play, but we’ve just got to put it out of harm’s way right there and go,” said Sirianni.

Hurts’ third pick was a late, underthrown ball down the sideline to Jalen Reagor, who appeared open.

That’s the thing about judging Hurts in this loss, a most disappointing one if ever there was one this season, because he did put them in a position to win. Twice.

The first time, he completed a 10-yard throw to Reagor and, after a three-yard run by Boston Scott, an 8-yard completion to DeVonta Smith.

Then Scott fumbled with 1:34 to play.

“That was a critical mistake at a critical moment in the game,” said Scott. “I take that. I take that right to the chin.”

The Eagles’ defense got the ball right back to the offense after Scott’s fumble, taking over at their own 41 with 1:11 left.

The second chance Hurts had, he made two nice throws. Jalen Reagor dropped them both.

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DeVonta Smith appeared open on one of the throws but Hurts never saw him, and Smith wasn't very happy about it, tossing his helmet once he reached the sideline. He wasn't targeted at all on the final two drives.

Reagor’s first drop came on a throw from the 38 down the left sideline. Reagor had a step on Aaron Robinson. The ball hit Reagor in the hands in a perfect spot.

Reagor’s second drop came on fourth-and-10 from the 27 with 25 seconds left. The ball went through his hands near the goal line. Both were catches that need to be made by an NFL receiver.

Reagor, who hadn’t talked to reporters in more than a month, came out to talk to them after the game and took ownership.

All well and good, but those drops cost the Eagles a chance to pull out a win when their quarterback was struggling throughout most of the game.

Something else to consider is Sirianni’s game-planning.

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Reagor was targeted seven times, which were as many times as their two top receiving threats, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert combined were targeted.

None of those targets came in the red zone.

“I think this is a situation we’ve been in before, where offensively we failed to get things going early,” said Hurts. “You see we have success when we do that at a high level, but (Sunday) I put us in a bad situation. I put us in a bad situation with those turnovers I had in the first half, especially going in with the opportunity to get points before halftime.

“None of those are good by any means. It’s something we’ll have to overcome and we will. I never question this team’s fight, I never question this team's want-to and effort. It was simply one of those days”

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.