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Eagles defeat Saints 24-21 in Jalen Hurts’ first NFL start

The rookie quarterback played well against the NFL’s best defense in a huge Week 14 upset.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) carries the ball as New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Demario Davis (56) and safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (22) defend in the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

It was not easy but the Philadelphia Eagles pulled off a 24-21 victory over the New Orleans Saints in rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts’ first NFL start. With the victory, the Eagles have snapped the Saints’ nine-game winning streak. Hurts started in place of Carson Wentz, who he replaced in the second half of last week’s game against the Green Bay Packers.

The dual-threat quarterback out of Oklahoma made plays with both his legs and arm, which brought a new element to the Eagles’ offense. Hurts completed 17-of-30 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown. His lone touchdown pass went to veteran wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.

Additionally, Hurts recorded 106 rushing yards on 17 carries, which were a part of a massive 247 rushing yard performance by a lackluster Eagles’ rushing offense. Second-year running back Miles Sanders was the game’s leading rusher with 115 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns.

While there were a lot of positives from the rookie, he did have a fumble late in the fourth quarter, which gave the Saints new life. The Saints took advantage of that as quarterback Taysom Hill found Jared Cook in the back of the end zone for a late touchdown.

Hill was 28-of-38 with 291 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Just like Hurts, Hill played a factor in the Saints’ running game with 50 yards on the ground. Superstar running back Alvin Kamara had the other touchdown for New Orleans earlier in the second half.

The Eagles improve to 4-8-1 with the win and are right in the thick of the NFC East race behind 6-7 Washington and the 5-8 Giants. The Saints drop to 10-3 and while they remain atop the NFC South, they lose their grasp on the No. 1 seed for the time being.