A.J. Brown: Fiery Jalen Hurts 'woke up' to lift Eagles to win

PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles receiver A.J. Brown and other teammates noticed a more fiery Jalen Hurts in Sunday's 34-31 overtime win against the Commanders, which also marked Hurts' best performance of the season.

"What did I see out of him? That fire. He kind of woke up a little bit," said Brown, one of Hurts' closest friends. "It gave everybody a boost. Most of the time, no matter if the game is on the line, he throws a great ball, he's going to be mellow. But that fire showed today and that desire."

Hurts went 25-of-37 for 319 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, breathing life into a passing game that ranked 23rd heading into the week (198.7 yards per game).

He had a pair of touchdown passes that traveled 25-plus yards in the air, both of which went to Brown, who finished with nine catches for 175 yards.

Hurts was whistled for intentional grounding in overtime but responded with a 9-yard completion to DeVonta Smith that set up Jake Elliott's game-winning 54-yard field goal.

"He's always ready to go but especially after the game he was really amped," said tight end Grant Calcaterra, "because I think what was really good about this win is we were able to lean on different areas: Jake making that kick, guys making plays. It was just really good to see how good of a team we have. He was real fired up."

Hurts is now 21-1 in his past 22 regular-season starts. He became the sixth quarterback in the Super Bowl era to win at least 21 games over a 22-start span, joining Patrick Mahomes (2019-2021), Tom Brady (multiple times), Peyton Manning (2008-2009), Joe Montana (1989-1993) and Jim McMahon (1984-1987).

"I think it was his best game this year," said coach Nick Sirianni. "I thought he was clutch."

The Eagles trailed 17-10 at the half thanks in part to a number of untimely penalties that extended Washington drives or halted their own. Left tackle Jordan Mailata said that poor play "lit a fire" under Hurts and center Jason Kelce, who proceeded to rally the team.

"I'm glad I'm with them because they brought me out of a dark first half and it was inspiring," Mailata said. "Even on the field saying, 'Screw whatever happened. What matters is right here, right now and we need to go out here and execute.'"

The Eagles improved to 4-0, with a trip to take on the Los Angeles Rams up next.

"My whole career has kind of been a roller coaster in terms of being in different and unique and unprecedented moments, which you may call pressure," Hurts said, in describing why he was animated. "But that's what I was born in. It's a unique feeling being in those situations because you work so hard, and you prepare so hard, and you go through so much to put yourself in the position to where you're comfortable in those moments.

"I think a win like this does so much for the spirit of a team."