Jalen Hurts’ brilliant Super Bowl effort falls short
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Whether it was through the air or on the ground, Jalen Hurts dominated the Super Bowl offensively for the Philadelphia Eagles.
It just wasn't enough to outduel Patrick Mahomes.
Hurts delivered a record performance on football's biggest stage, throwing for 304 yards and a touchdown, running for 70 yards and three scores and adding a game-tying 2-point conversion.
But Hurts could only watch from the sideline as Mahomes drove the Chiefs to the go-ahead field goal with 8 seconds remaining for a 38-35 victory on Sunday.
“It’s tough,” Hurts said. “We worked really hard to have this opportunity and to come up short it's tough. There’s always a lot to learn from, to have an opportunity to reflect on some of the things we didn’t do and could have done. There is a lot to learn from tonight.”
Despite ending up with the loss, Hurts put together one of the most prolific games in Super Bowl history, but became the first QB ever to lose the big game while leading his team to at least 35 points.
He set the record for most yards rushing ever by a quarterback in a Super Bowl, he tied Terrell Davis' record for most TD runs by any player, tied James White's mark with 20 points scored and joined Hall of Famers Steve Young and Joe Montana as the only players ever to account for at least 370 yards and four TDs (rushing and passing) in a Super Bowl.
“Jalen played the best game I’ve seen him play and in the two years we’ve been together," coach Nick Sirianni said. “He was outstanding. I really thought he was in complete control and he did things with his legs in the run game, he did things with his arm in the pass game, made some unbelievable throws, unbelievable reads. I thought he played outstanding.”
But the breakthrough season that ended with Hurts as the runner-up to Mahomes in the MVP voting also led him to be runner-up in the Super Bowl as Hurts became the first player to lose a Super Bowl despite accounting for four touchdowns.
Hurts started the game fast and never slowed down — but couldn't get a chance to win it at the end thanks to a defensive holding call against James Bradberry that gave the Chiefs a first down in field-goal range and helped them run out almost the entire clock.
Hurts had one last chance and his desperation pass fell way short and he waked off the field in dejection.
It was a crushing way to end a brilliant performance.
“Jalen played a hell of a game,” center Jason Kelce said. “On ground through the air. He made obviously some huge throws. Both offenses came ready to go. It was kind of one of those things where probably whoever had the ball last was going to be in a good situation. We knew if we gave it back with five minutes (remaining), you’re hoping somebody makes a play. But that’s a tough task. Patrick Mahomes is MVP for a reason.”
Hurts scored on one of his patented sneaks on the opening drive, delivered a 45-yard scoring strike to A.J. Brown on the first play of the second quarter, added a 4-yard run late in the second quarter and then engineered a signature drive in the fourth quarter.
He connected on a 45-yard pass to DeVonta Smith and then capped off the drive with a 2-yard run. He then ran it in himself for the game-tying 2-point conversion but was mostly a spectator after that.
“That was a special performance that I don’t want to get lost because of the loss they had,” Mahomes said.
About the only thing Hurts didn't do right came when he fumbled while switching hands holding the ball, leading to a 36-yard fumble return TD for Nick Bolton in the first half.
“I touch the ball every play so obviously you want to protect it,” Hurts said. “It hurt us. You never know what play it will be, but it hurt us.”
But that one mistake did little to slow down Hurts, who converted a 28-yard run on a fourth-down keeper on the next drive to set up his second TD run of the game from 4 yards.