Jalen Hurts: Eagles Will Be 'Back' After Loss to Bucs; 'This Game Doesn't Define Us'

Erin WalshJanuary 16, 2022

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) leaves the field with guard Jack Anderson (76) and outside linebacker Patrick Johnson (48) after the team lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during an NFL wild-card football game Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
AP Photo/Jason Behnken

Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-15 on Sunday in the NFC Wild Card Round at Raymond James Stadium, but the quarterback knows his squad will be back and better in 2022.

"This game doesn't define us. We'll be back," Hurts told reporters after the loss. "This feeling will simmer in our hearts."

John Clark @JClarkNBCS

“I hate this feeling. This doesn’t define us. We are hungry”<br><br>“I tell myself, ‘You’re a first year starter. I’m hungry’”<br><br>“It is an uphill climb for the Philadelphia Eagles”<br><br>-Jalen Hurts <a href="https://t.co/F78og5039i">pic.twitter.com/F78og5039i</a>

The Eagles were outplayed across the board Saturday. The Buccaneers defense held Hurts to just 258 yards and one touchdown passing, in addition to 39 yards on the ground. In addition, the first-year starter tossed two interceptions in the loss.

Philadelphia had been lauded for its rushing offense throughout the 2021 campaign, having entered the postseason averaging 159.7 yards per game on the ground, which ranked first in the NFL. However, the Eagles were held to just 95 yards and one rushing touchdown against the Bucs.

The Birds hadn't been held to under 100 rushing yards in a game since a Week 5 win over the Carolina Panthers.

The Philadelphia defense also could've been better, as it allowed Tom Brady and Co. to rack up 349 total yards. The Eagles also did not force a turnover, while they gave up three.

Despite the playoff loss, the Eagles have a lot to look forward to. They made progress in 2021, finishing the regular season with a 9-8 record after going 4-11-1 last season.

Philadelphia should also be pleased with the progress Hurts has made. The 23-year-old took over as the Eagles' starter as a rookie last season, replacing Carson Wentz, who was eventually traded to the Indianapolis Colts.

And while there are questions about whether Hurts can be the team's franchise quarterback, he has at least done enough to begin the 2022 season as Philly's starter. He finished the regular season having completed 61.3 percent of his passes for 3,144 yards, 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions, in addition to rushing for 784 yards and 10 scores.

After Saturday's loss, even Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni acknowledged the progress Hurts made this year, saying he feels good about the quarterback position moving forward.

"I feel really good with what we have in place here at the quarterback position. He had a great year. I'm really pleased with how he came along this year," Sirianni told reporters.