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In the moment, Eagles’ QB Jalen Hurts enjoying current success

Jalen Hurts checked his cell phone before being seated for his weekly media availability at the NovaCare Complex Thursday.

Too early for a text from LeBron James, whom he met Monday watching the Los Angeles Lakers get beat by the Sixers at Wells Fargo Center. Probably something from his dad, who watched him rally the Eagles from a double-digit deficit in the second half to an overtime win over Buffalo Sunday. Hurts kept it to himself.

Guarded in his responses as Hurts is, he’s willing to share how much he cherishes guiding the Eagles to a 10-1 record this season, a 27-2 (.931) mark in his last 29 regular season starts and rallying the Birds to victory the last eight times they’ve trailed by double digits. It just doesn’t look like it.

“I don’t want to get too far ahead,” Hurts said. “Just truly try and be in the moment. Embrace the moment and enjoy the moment. I’m sorry if you don’t think I find enjoyment in these moments because I do. You have different things that go on in the game. Different things that you have to be able to handle and approach appropriately. You just never want to really get too high or too low. That’s just how I’ve always approached it. And just continue to keep your focus on the main thing.”

Hurts is coming off one of the craziest wins of his four-year career. He was awful in the first half against the Bills, lugging a 7.0 passer rating into the intermission. He was near perfect in the second half with a 140.3 rating that included a scrambling, game-tying 29-yard bomb over veteran safety Micah Hyde to Olamide Zaccheaus, who had just six receptions the previous 10 games.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw for 337 yards and two TDs, rushed for 81 yards and two scores and yet still was beaten by Hurts, who produced three TD passes and two rushing scores, including the winner in overtime.

Mind boggling. The same with the turnover tables that virtually defy explanation.

With 14 turnovers, including 10 interceptions and four fumbles, Hurts is fourth in a league topped by Josh Dobbs (17 giveaways), Allen (16) and Sam Howell (15). Not the company you want to keep.

While turnover ratio is a time-tested decider of games, the Eagles own the league’s best record with a minus-2 turnover ratio.

“At the end of the day, the stats I’m really looking at are the turnover differential and the explosive play differential,” Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said. “If you do a good job on those, the better you do in those, probably goes and correlates to the point differential. So, we really focus on those two statistics. We need to make a jump on the turnovers, so we’re working to do that. Our players are working to do that.”

That empirical turnover evidence is partly why the Eagles are 3-point underdogs at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday despite having a better record than the San Francisco 49ers (8-3). The Niners are plus-11 in turnover ratio and have created 21 takeaways, both figures second in the league.

Niners quarterback Brock Purdy leads the league with a 112.3 passer rating, including 19 TDs and just six interceptions.

Hurts has thrown 18 touchdown passes and rushed for 11, the latter tied for second in the NFL with Christian McCaffrey, who leads the league with 939 rushing yards.

Rest assured that veteran Niners defensive coordinator Steve Wilks is losing sleep this week figuring out how best to contain Hurts despite an abundance of defensive stars, including Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, Chase Young and former Eagle Javon Hargrave. It takes a village, right?

“They’re a really, really, really, really, really good defense,” Hurts said. “They have great players on that D-line. Very elite players. So, we have to be ready for that challenge. It’s a great team. It’s a great defense.”

The 49ers are an opportunistic defense with 15 interceptions, Warner with a team-leading three, and six fumble recoveries.

Hurts will deal with that throughout the week. Right now he has some off-field memories to appreciate.

“I’ve never been able to see LeBron play, never met him,” Hurts said. “He’s a great player. He’s so transcendent. On the court, off the court, he’s changed the game in so many different ways. I thought it would be cool to come see him. I had an opportunity to meet him and he shook my dad’s hand, too. It’s just all love and respect for him.

“There’s just appreciation there. Everybody has different walks, and everybody has different avenues that they go down to achieve their goals and chase their dreams. There’s a lot of people that look up to him and that’s something to appreciate. Just meeting him and feeling that mutual respect and being able to talk to him he’s very down to earth and definitely a competitor about his business. So, much respect.”

Source: Berkshire mont

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