PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni compared Jalen Hurts to Michael Jordan when asked about the emotional lift he provided the team in a 38-7 rout of the New York Giants in Sunday night’s NFC divisional playoff game. Saturday.
“I know this is high praise, but it’s like having him out there — I shouldn’t even go there — it’s like having Michael Jordan out there,” he said. “He’s your leader. He’s your guy.
“I hope that’s the most respect I can pay him, comparing his ability to be on the field to a Michael Jordan type. This guy brings this calmness to the whole team. He plays great football . He’s as tough as they come. . In my opinion, nobody has played any better football than him this year.”
Injured threw two touchdowns and ran for another despite playing through the SC component with a sprained shoulder, an injury suffered against the Chicago Bears on December 18 that sidelined him for two games.
According to the Fox broadcast, Hurts said before Saturday’s contest that he is “nowhere near 100 percent,” adding that he also came down with an illness late in the week.
“Pretty good,” Hurts said when asked how he felt physically during the game.
The Eagles largely stayed away from touchdown runs when Hurts returned from injury in the regular-season finale against New York, but they managed to dial up six touchdown runs in the first half alone Saturday. according to ESPN Stats & Information. The offense came back to its explosive ways, and Philadelphia racked up 268 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
The team’s attitude was set during the week, tight end Dallas Goedert said, when Hurts addressed the players during a team meeting, telling them, “I’m not hungry, I’m hungry for this s—.”
“With everyone in the locker room, he sets the tone for it and we follow along. Whatever he says goes. He’s the leader of this place,” Goedert said. “He was in it so we all follow suit.”
After dropping two of their last three games to finish the regular season, the Eagles are back up and rolling just in time for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game. They will face the winner of the divisional round game between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers.
Speaking of this Eagles team, Hurts said we have “a special kind of togetherness, and I don’t think it’s something I’ve experienced a lot like this — certainly at the NFL level.”
“We’re not just hungry for it, we’re hungry for growth, getting better and learning from our mistakes. I think that’s a beautiful thing and that was a little motivation as a team. We wanted to come out and our try to play ball.”