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HomesportsJalen Hurts, Eagles fend off Commanders in OT to stay undefeated

Jalen Hurts, Eagles fend off Commanders in OT to stay undefeated

Jalen Hurts threw for 319 yards and two touchdowns, and Jake Elliott kicked a 54-yard field goal in overtime to lift the Philadelphia Eagles to a 34-31 win over the Washington Commanders on Sunday for their second straight 4-0 start.

Elliott also kicked field goals of 41, 47 and 36 yards before booming the winner that sent the crowd into a frenzy.

And kept the Eagles unbeaten.

Not before a little-late game drama put the Eagles on the brink of being upset at home by the Commanders (2-2) for the second straight season.

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Hurts hit A.J. Brown for a 28-yard touchdown with 1:28 left in regulation for a 31-24 lead. Instead of killing the clock and trying for a winning field goal, the Eagles left enough time for Sam Howell to lead Washington to the tying score.

Brown was flagged for taunting on his TD, giving the Commanders a boost. Washington started on the Eagles 36 and tied it when Howell hit Jahan Dotson for a 10-yard touchdown as time expired.

Coach Ron Rivera went for the extra point and the tie on the road, a call that sent them knotted 31-all into OT.

The Commanders did nothing with the ball in OT. Hurts then converted a fourth-down sneak that pushed the Eagles to Washington’s 48-yard line and helped set up the winner.

Sparked by Brown’s nine catches for 175 yards and two touchdowns, the NFC champion Eagles are 4-0 in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1992-1993. A year ago, the Eagles’ 8-0 start was spoiled by a home loss to Washington.

The Commanders tried it again and led 17-13 in the third and tied it 24-24 in the fourth.

Hurts came as close as he has all season to the type of dynamic games that punctuated last season’s run to the Super Bowl. He sure knew how to connect with Brown.

Hurts and Brown are well past a brief spat on the sidelines during the home opener and are instead hooking up for game-changing scores. Hurts hit Brown in stride and the speedy receiver cut across the field and scored a go-ahead 59-yard TD in the third. The Eagles converted the 2-point conversion for a 21-13 lead.

Jalen Hurts throws

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) looks to throw during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, in Philadelphia.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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Brown wore bright green cleats a week ago for one series against Tampa Bay before he changed to the standard footware to avoid getting fined by the league. He bucked the fashion rules again and wore highlight pink cleats — Brown says the flashy colors make it easier for his young daughter to spot him on the field — and then had Philly’s biggest highlight of the game.

After the Commanders rallied — Brian Robinson Jr.’s 15-yard score made it 24-all — the Eagles responded and Brown hauled in a score that sent the crowd into a frenzy.

Howell was 29 of 41 for 290 yards.

A week after Howell threw four interceptions and was sacked nine times, he went 13 of 17 for 161 yards in the first half behind an offensive line that gave him plenty of time to throw and take a 17-10 lead into the break.

Yes, the Commanders used ball control — they had the ball for 17 minutes in the first half — to get a 1-yard TD run from Curtis Samuel and Terry McLaurin’s fumble recovery in the end zone for a 14-7 lead.

But the Eagles did their best to give away the game. They were penalized six times in the half and two were especially critical. On the game’s opening drive, linebacker Zach Cunningham was whistled for a holding penalty on third-and-11. Washington got new life and Samuel scored.

The Eagles also lined up in ” tush push ” formation at midfield on fourth down, only to have a likely first down thrown out on a holding penalty. The Eagles punted.

D’Andre Swift, who entered second in the NFL in rushing, had a 5-yard score that made it 14-7. Washington’s Joey Slye and Elliott each followed with field goals.

Elliott opened the second half with a 47-yarder that cut it to 17-13.

INJURIES

Commanders: DB Jartavius Martin suffered a thumb injury.

Eagles: RG Cam Jurgens suffered a foot injury.

SACK TIME

Eagles linebacker Nicholas Morrow had three sacks after he had four total over his first 81 NFL games.

UP NEXT

Commanders: Host the Chicago Bears on Thursday.

Eagles: Play Sunday at the Los Angeles Rams.

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