For the first time in over a month, Jalen Hurts took off.
It wasn’t all messy, off script. Hurts ran 16 times, and many of those scripts were by design.
Head coach Nick Sirianni admitted as much Monday.
“It was definitely more designed racing than in the past,” he said. “Again, we always try to do what you think is best to put you in a position. Some of their defensive line techniques, you know, obviously you’re always trying to put them in the best position possible.
“You look at the way they play, their defensive line techniques, you look at the way they play their coverage techniques, you look at the way they play their coverage, all these different things and you try to put them in the best position.
“The plays that we were calling (Sunday) we felt going into the game were going to be successful.”
So, Hurts ran: a quarterback tie here, a tuck-and-run RPO there.
The Colts could never really understand it.
Fielding 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 planning it very well,” Indy LB Zaire Franklin said. “Usually they run a quarterback draw from the void. We scout them and against us they use the back as a lead blocker and pivot (Jason) Kelce as two lead blockers as well.
“It’s difficult because against Houston he made the jumper. … Really, just a good call from them.”
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Hurts had 86 yards with his 16 rushes.
They were his fastest 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 had in the season opener against the Lions.
Asked afterwards if he felt like he had to hold on with his legs a bit longer, he said: “No, I didn’t. He was just playing the game. I don’t really understand how I have to win it or whatever. I just try to go out there, read and react. I really try to make it as simple as possible.
Hurts no longer needs his legs to beat teams.
That’s clear. He has become the consummate double threat.
The most recent evidence of that came against the Colts, with the comeback beginning with a 22-yard TD throw that cut Indy’s lead to 13-10 and then completing the comeback with his fourth run and two for a straight first down. of his 7-yard run for the win.
Last season, Hurts had 16 touchdown passes and 10 rushing scores. He threw nine interceptions.
This year, he has 15 passing touchdowns and eight rushing scores. He has three interceptions.
“I think he’s taken a step that he can win in the postseason,” former Carolina head coach Matt Ruhle said Monday night on CBS Sports Network. “It’s a double threat that can expose you.”
Ed Kracz is the editor 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 either www.eaglesmaven.com and follow him on Twitter: @kracze.