The Philadelphia Eagles offense sputtered en route to a 20-10 home loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
The Eagles turned to backup Gardner Minshew to call signals with starting quarterback and NFL MVP candidate Jalen Hurts out for the second straight week because of a sprained right shoulder.
Simply put, this was a day to forget for Minshew. The fourth-year pro completed just 18 of 32 passes for 274 yards, one touchdown and one backbreaking interception returned for a touchdown. He was also sacked six times.
With New Orleans up 13-10 with 5:27 left, Minshew tossed a pick to Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who strolled in for a touchdown for a 19-10 edge.
The Eagles were unable to cross midfield in response, and the Saints ran out the clock when they got the ball back.
It was a rough day for Minshew, who overthrew pass-catchers and generally did not have a good command of the offense.
The Eagles went three-and-out on their first four drives and didn't get a first down until there were 12 seconds remaining in the first half. Philadelphia only had 61 first-half yards
The second half was certainly better, with Minshew notably finding A.J. Brown for a 78-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 13-9.
But the Eagles' final four drives ended with a punt, the aforementioned pick-six and a pair of turnover on downs.
Philadelphia clearly misses Hurts, who led the Eagles to a 13-1 record before suffering a sprained right shoulder that has kept him out for two weeks. Hurts has 35 total touchdowns (22 passing, 13 receiving) in addition to 3,472 passing yards and 747 rushing yards.
Without Hurts, the Eagles have lost two straight at the Dallas Cowboys (40-34) and now at home to a 7-9 Saints team.
Minshew has certainly seen better days since entering the league with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019 out of Washington State. He entered Sunday with a 63.0 percent completion rate and 43 passing touchdowns to just 14 interceptions.
This week ultimately ended up being a rough outing, however, and it served as a reminder of how valuable Hurts is to the team.
Jeff Mans @Jeff_Mans
They should give Jalen Hurts TWO <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFL?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFL</a> MVP's for carrying this <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Eagles?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Eagles</a> team all year. I don't know if they win the NFL South with Gardner Minshew at QB.
Philadelphia closes the regular season against the New York Giants next week. A win will clinch the NFC's No. 1 seed and home-field advantage until the Super Bowl.
Like the rest of the Week 18 slate, the day and time has not been set as of yet.