Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith Shine in the Mile High
The Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith connection is beginning to blossom into everything Philadelphia Eagles fans were hoping for when they grabbed the 2020 Heisman trophy winner with the tenth overall pick in this years NFL draft.
The Eagles quarterback completed 16-of-23 passes for 178 yards with two touchdowns, both to DeVonta Smith. He also added 14 carries for 53 yards. Smith finished the game with four receptions for 66 yards and the two touchdowns, becoming the first Eagles rookie with multiple receiving scores in a game since Jordan Matthews in 2014. His first touchdown came with 3:16 to go in the first quarter when he went up and caught the ball in the end zone despite excellent coverage from his former Alabama teammate Patrick Surtain II.
"It's just Jalen trusting me like I trust him," Smith said. "He gave me a chance to make the catch. That's all you can ask for. I went up and got it."
Hurts and Smith then connected from five yards out to give Philadelphia a 17-10 lead heading into halftime. When targeting Smith over the last two games, Hurts has completed 9-of-12 passes for 182 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions and a passer rating of 156.2. The former Alabama wide receiver has more yards through 10 games than any Eagles receiver since Jeremy Maclin in 2014.
As the Eagles have transitioned into a more balanced attack on offense, Hurts has been able to grow as a passer. In his last three contests, Hurts has completed 66.7% of his passes for 443 yards, three touchdowns and a passer rating of 102.6. Philadelphia fans have seen a vast improvement in accuracy, decision-making and overall feel for the field from the 23-year-old quarterback during that span. Hurts also joined Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson, & Robert Griffin III as the only quarterbacks with 2,000+ passing yards, 500+ rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns in a team’s first 10 games.
“It doesn’t happen overnight," Hurts said. "And it seems like we’re finding that groove … We just want to go out there and be consistent at whatever it is, attacking the defense, whether we’re throwing it 40 times or running it 40 times."
The Philadelphia Eagles will return home next Sunday to face the New Orleans Saints.