Analyzing Jalen Hurts’ Bounce-Back Ability Following Tough Defeats

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A look at how Jalen Hurts rebounds after bad losses originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

How will Jalen Hurts respond to one of his more disappointing games in an Eagles uniform?

The same way he always responds.

“When you deal with sports, there’s going to be disappointment, and we try to prevent that as much as possible,” offensive coordinator Brian Johnson said.

“Obviously, we didn’t do a good enough job this past Sunday, and that was very, very evident and very clear, but the only goal now is to fix it and move on. And you truly have to have that mindset and that requires that mental toughness to correct obvious mistakes, move forward with enthusiasm and intention that you have another opportunity to go out there and get it right.”

Hurts threw three interceptions Sunday against the Jets in the Eagles’ first loss of the year, although only the final one was really his fault. He was victimized by four drops, one each by Dallas Goedert, DeVonta Smith, Kenny Gainwell and A.J. Brown. That was the most drops by Eagles receivers since the win over the Packers last November.

How does he go about bouncing back?

“It’s a matter of staying true to the process and just continue to press forward,” Hurts said Wednesday. “Just having a mentality of giving your best truly every day, knowing that every day is earned, not given.

“Throughout my whole career, it’s built upon different experiences, and experience is the biggest teacher. So whether it was experience last week, two weeks ago, or two years ago, or whatever it was, it’s just always learning and growing to be a better player and person.”

Since Week 6 in 2021 – so exactly a two-year span – Hurts is 4-1 the week after a loss with a 66 percent completion percentage, 201 yards per game with six TDs, two INTs and a 101.2 passer rating.

His only back-to-back loss since early in his first year as a starter came in October 2021, when the Eagles lost to the Raiders in Las Vegas after losing to Tampa, but Hurts did throw for 236 yards with two TDs and no interceptions that day against the Raiders.

“He is just very steady in his mental makeup,” Nick Sirianni said. “Focusing on the next play, the next play, the next game and getting better and constantly trying to get better.

“I think when you go through adversity, it’s common to think about what’s going to happen in the future. That’s in football. That’s in life. You’re focused on, ‘We’re going through a really hard time, ‘What if, what if, what if, what if, what if?’ And I think the mindset that Jalen has is to be locked in right where he is in the moment and handling the things that he can control.

“I think that’s why you see a steadiness in him of who he is as a person and who he is as a player. I’ve noticed that about him from the moment I’ve been around him and I think that’s why has he thrived after going through a difficult time, because of who he is as a player, who he is as a person, what his work ethic is, his mindset of being locked in, his mindset of not being denied.”

The Eagles, 5-1 and still sharing the best record in the NFL, look to rebound Sunday night on national TV against the 5-1 Dolphins, who have the No. 1 offense in the NFL but are 20th in overall defense, 17th in pass defense, 20th in run defense, 26th in red zone and 26th in points allowed.

They’ve faced only one winning team – the Bills – and allowed 48 points.

This will be Hurts’ 12th national TV prime-time start, and he’s 7-4 overall but 7-1 in his last eight with 12 TDs and six INTs.

“There’s no question in my mind of how everybody is going to respond,” Johnson said. “I think we have a building full of fierce competitors, and when you lose a football game, it sucks. The amount of work and effort that you put in to prepare throughout the week, and ultimately when it does not go your way, it’s very disappointing. It’s very disappointing.

“It’s very healthy to drag yourself through the mud in these situations and really take a deep look within. I think the first thing is everybody is like, ‘OK, what could I have done better?’ And I think that’s a very, very natural reaction. I think that’s the correct reaction. I know everybody in this building feels like there was something that they could have done to prevent that outcome.”

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