PHILADELPHIA – Trying to exorcise some South Philly demons just a week after Halloween, the Eagles were haunted by Justin Herbert.
The Los Angeles Chargers quarterback became yet another quarterback to play like a Hall of Famer against the Eagles, following in the footsteps of four previous passers this season by completing more than 80 percent of his throws.
The Eagles defense once again had no answers and the result was yet another home defeat, this one a 27-24 loss at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday. They are now 0-4 at home this year, the latest they have been winless in front of the home crowd this late in the season was 2013 when their first home win came on Nov. 18.
Now 3-6, the Eagles won’t get a chance for a home win until Nov. 21 when the New Orleans Saints visit. Next up is a road trip to Denver to play a Broncos team that stunned the Dallas Cowboys, 30-16, in Dallas on Sunday.
"We have a lot of growing to do still," said head coach Nick Sirianni. "The formula is not easy. The formula of getting better is not easy, but we know what it is. It's going to work every single day.
"We can go on a run, but what I told the guys is there is no eight - we don't come in this next week and get all eight wins right there if that's how many games we have left. You have to go 1-0 each week.
"The only way to do that is to grow every single day and to go to work like they went to work last week. So, I do see growth in this football team. I think we all see that. But we have to keep growing. There are no moral victories in this league, right? A loss is a loss is a loss is a loss. That one hurt, and we have to get back and get better from this."
The Chargers’ winning margin came with two seconds left on a 29-yard field goal from Dustin Hopkins.
Herbert was 32-for-37 for 356 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for an 8-yard score with 11:32 to play that gave the visitors a 24-17 lead.
That’s a completion percentage of 84.2 percent.
The Eagles defenders said Herbert got the ball out quickly, and yes, he did most of the time. Still, aren't there any adjustments a defense can make to get him out of rhythm?
"For us, we have to keep rushing, and hopefully one time, he gives us a chance and we just make the play," said DT Javon Hargrave.
Asked if there should have been more blitzes, Hargrave said: "I ain’t the defensive coordinator, so I don’t (decide) things like that. I just play what I play."
The other quarterbacks to achieve that 80-plus rate were Dak Prescott, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, and Derek Carr.
The Eagles defense never even caught a whiff of Herbert, who was hit once all game and that was by Steve Nelson, who was flagged for hitting the QB too low.
The Eagles evened the score at 24-24 on a 28-yard touchdown throw from Jalen Hurts to DeVonta Smith with 6:07 to play.
It was Smith’s first TD catch since the season opener against Atlanta. He ended the game with five receptions for 116 yards, his second time over 100 yards receiving this season.
The Eagles never got the ball back after Smith's score as the Chargers went 64 yards in 15 plays, using 6:05, before kicking the game-winning field goal.
"It hurts to see another team go out there and it not be in your hands at the end of the game to go out there and win it," said Hurts. "That’s why you play the game, that’s why you play this position – to have it in your hands to go win it in the end.
"We put ourselves in a good situation, a good position, to obviously go tie and continue to keep it in the game. Ultimately, in the end, we didn’t get the ball back and didn’t get an opportunity to go out there and score."
On the winning drive, L.A. converted a fourth-and-one from the Eagles' 28 rather than try a 45-yard field goal with 1:45 to play.
"They kept them in the third and one, fourth and one," said Sirianni. "Obviously, you want to be able to get the stop. I thought they did a good job not jumping offsides. Chargers, I thought they might kick the field goal after they went the no-brainer, but they didn't. Hats off to them, they executed."
It proved to be the correct decision as Herbert found just enough daylight on a sneak to gain the necessary one yard. The Eagles were out of timeous at that point.
The Eagles ran the ball well again, collecting 176 yards on the ground against the Chargers’ porous run defense.
“It is pretty fun, I am not going to lie," said left tackle Jordan Mailata. "It is pretty fun. When you can get the ball moving like that, it just gives you more confidence to keep giving your all for the guy next to you.
"Especially our running backs, when you see how they run, they just put their head down and run, it makes you want to keep blocking for them and keep getting the yardage. It gives us that team cohesiveness. You earn each other’s love and respect and just play for one another.”
Jordan Howard had 17 carries for 71 yards. He scored his second touchdown in two games and 37th of his career to tie the score at 7-7 in the second quarter.
Jalen Hurts had 62 yards on 10 runs, Boston Scott added 40 on 10, and rookie Kenny Gainwell scored his third rushing TD of the season.
Hurts was 11-for-17 passing for 162 yards.
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.