The Eagles’ Jalen Hurts’ low quarterback performance

Jalen Harts didn’t have to carry the team on his back. He didn’t have to throw for 300 yards or run for 100. He didn’t have to be Superman.

He just had to be himself. And he did that flawlessly.

In a minor quarterback performance, Hurts threw just 24 passes and ran for just 34 passing for 154 yards.

It didn’t do a ton. But he did exactly what he needed to do for the Eagles to record an easy 38-7 victory over the Giants at the Link Saturday night in the NFC conference semifinals.

The damage was completely on the attack as the team commander. There is a certain beauty in not trying to do too much and just doing what you have to do. And Hearts did that brilliantly.

“He looked like the old Jalen to me,” Miles Sanders said. “I’m not going to lie. Just proud of him. He demands everyone’s best, and we only do it for him because he gives us our best.”

The last time an Eagles quarterback threw a few passes since 1960 was Ron Jaworski, who went 12-for-23 in a wild-card win over the Vets.

It’s been 15 years since an NFL team scored 38 points in a playoff game and had 24 or fewer passing attempts. The Packers beat the Seahawks 42-20 in 2008, when Brett Favre was 18-for-23 and Ryan Grant rushed for over 200 yards.

During this time, Sanders, Kenny Gainswell, Boston Scott and Hurts combined for 268 rushing yards. This prevented Hurts, who only threw 7 passes in the second half, from creating pressure.

A formula is thrown every year to make a lead and run to keep it. The Eagles just crossed over against a pass-rushing Giants defense early Saturday night.

But Hearts was brilliant when he had to be. He was 7-for-7 on TD passes to Dallas Goedert and Devonta Smith in the first quarter, and the Eagles came pretty close.

“I think it was important for us to come out and start fast,” Hurts said. “As a football team, we just came out and played with a lot of energy. We prepared well during the week, and you always talk about challenging everyone to play their best football.

“I don’t really put a limit on myself and I don’t put a limit on what this team can do, so there’s always a lot for us to achieve. To go out there and play the way we did tonight, I’m proud of this team, I’m proud of this team, and I’m proud of the preparation we’ve put in to get to where we are. A lot to be thankful for. Something happened, but it was earned this week. I’m happy to get another chance to play again for something big.”

This is the Jalen injury we saw five weeks ago before he hurt his shoulder against the Bears. MVP candidate from September to mid-December.

He may not be 100 percent, but he sure looks 100 percent.

“Having him out there is like — I know that’s a huge compliment, but having him out there is like being — I don’t even have to go out there — it’s like Michael Jordan out there,” Nick Siriani said. “He’s your leader. He’s your man.

“This guy leads. He brings this calmness to the whole team. He plays great football. He’s as tough as they come.

“For me, no one has played better football than him this year.”

His 112.2 passer rating was the 4th-highest in Eagles postseason history, surpassing Rodney Pitt’s 143.3 in a 58-37 wild-card win over the Lions in 1995 at Vt. Nick Foles’ 141.4 in the 2017 NFC Championship Game win over the Vikings. 127.3 with Linc and Tommy Thompson beat the Steelers in the 1947 semifinals at Forbes Field.

He’s the youngest Eagles quarterback to reach the NFC Championship Game — nine months shy of Donovan McNabb in 2001 — and will become the eighth QB to take a team to the Super Bowl by beating the 49ers or Cowboys on Sunday. His 25th birthday.

A year ago, Hurts had a nightmare in their first playoff appearance in Tampa.

That was one of the worst postseason performances in Eagles history. This was one of the best.

“I think not just that game, but the whole of last season and the experiences I’ve had in the last 15 games,” he said. “I think those were all very important. There’s a lot to learn from here. I just wanted to come out here and play good football. Knowing what it’s like and finding a way to do that.”

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