For the first time in more than a month, Jalen Hurts took off.
It wasn’t all willy-nilly, off-script scrambling. Hurts ran 16 times, and many of those dashes were by design.
Head coach Nick Sirianni admitted as much on Monday.
“It definitely was more designed runs than in the past,” he said. “Again, we always trying to do what you think is best to put yourself in a position. Some of their defensive line techniques, you know, obviously you're always trying to put them in the best possible position you can.
“You look at the way they're playing, their defensive line techniques, you look at the way they're playing their coverage techniques, you look at the way they're playing their coverages, all these different things and you try to put them in the best position.
“The plays we were calling (Sunday) we felt going into the game were going to be successful.”
So, Hurts ran – a quarterback draw here, an RPO tuck-and-run there.
The Colts could never really figure it out.
Lining up Boston Scott in the backfield next to the quarterback on Hurts’ wide-open 7-yard TD run was an added stroke of genius. It was a look that confused the Colts.
“They were scheming it up very well,” said Indy LB Zaire Franklin. “Usually, they run a quarterback draw out of the empty. We scouted them and against us they use the back as a lead blocker and swinging (Jason) Kelce as well for two lead blockers.
“It’s tough because against Houston, he did the jump pass. … Really, just a good call by them.”
Hurts collected 86 yards with his 16 runs.
It was his most rushing attempts since the 16 he had against the Jaguars in Week 4.
The 86 yards were his second-most this season behind the 90 he put up in the season opener against the Lions.
Asked afterward if he felt like he had to take a bit more with his legs, he said: “No, I didn't. I was just playing the game. I don't really get into how I have to win it or whatever. I just try to go out there and read and react. Really try and make it as simple as I possibly can.
Hurts no longer needs his legs to beat teams.
That much is clear. He has become the consummate dual threat.
The most recent evidence of that was against the Colts, with the comeback beginning on a 22-yard throw for a TD to cut Indy’s lead to 13-10 then completing the comeback with his fourth-and-two run for a first down followed by his 7-yard run for the win.
Last season, Hurts had 16 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing scores. He threw nine interceptions.
This year, he has 15 passing TDs and eight rushing scores. He has three interceptions.
“I think he’s taken a step that can win in the postseason,” said former Carolina head coach Matt Ruhle on CBS Sports Network on Monday night. “He’s a dual threat that can expose you.”
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Fan Nation Eagles Today and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglesmaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.