Hurts Powers Eagles To Best Record In NFL As Mayfield, Murray Drop Again

Jalen Hurts has led the Eagles to a 10-1 record this season while Baker Mayfield's Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kyler Murray's Cardinals continue to stack losses.

Monday, November 27th 2023, 10:14 am

By: Drake Johnson, Associated Press


The trio of former Sooners quarterbacks in the National Football League took the field again on Sunday.

Jalen Hurts rallied Philadelphia over the Buffalo Bills in a thrilling overtime game that saw Hurts scramble 12 yards for the game-winning touchdown.

The MVP frontrunner had five total touchdowns, three passing and two rushing, with 200 yards and an early interception. Philly is now 10-1 with a two-week stretch against San Francisco and Dallas that will likely determine home-field advantage for the playoffs.

Baker Mayfield's Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, the team's sixth defeat in its last seven games following a 3-1 start.

Mayfield is set for an MRI after returning from an early ankle injury in the game. He was 20/30 with 199 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Another former Sooners quarterback, Kyler Murray, played his third game of the season for the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday following his return from an ACL injury last December.

The downtrodden Cardinals team fell to division-rival Los Angeles 37-14 and Murray threw for 256 yards and a touchdown.

Jalen Hurts Runs For Winning TD In Overtime, Eagles Rally Past Josh Allen, Bills 37-34

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jalen Hurts walked off the Linc field with his arms extended in celebration as the Eagles crowd — which had booed the team off the field at halftime — went wild in appreciation for one more comeback, one more series of stupefying plays their franchise QB has made routine.

Consider one in the fourth quarter, when Hurts rolled to his left and almost seemed out of options. He stopped, spotted Olamide Zaccheaus through a crowd of defenders and threw a pass on the money for a go-ahead score.

Or even the winner, a designed run from a QB who played through a bruised knee this season and yet still dashed virtually untouched for a TD — oh, only his fifth scoring play of the game.

“He made a lot of really clutch plays in that second half,” Philadelphia coach Nick Sirianni said. “Then the big one, obviously, at the end.”

Obviously, yes. It was Hurts, after all. He zipped into the end zone from 12 yards out with 2:37 left in overtime, and the Eagles beat the Buffalo Bills 37-34 on a cold, rainy Sunday.

Hurts threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more, outdueling Buffalo’s Josh Allen while rallying the Eagles from a 17-7 halftime deficit for the second straight game.

“You know he’s clutch,” Sirianni said. “He’s been clutch for us, clutch for this city and clutch for this team for the last three years now. He just kept going, put his head down and worked.”

Hurts needed some help, though. Philadelphia’s Jake Elliott tied the game with a 59-yard field goal in swirling wind with 20 seconds remaining.

Jake Elliott vs. Bills - Nov. 26, 2023Image Provided By: Associated Press

“Given the conditions, that was probably the toughest one I had to hit,” Elliott said.

The Bills (6-6) still had 20 seconds left and a chance to at least try a desperation heave or a quick play to set up a field goal try. Coach Sean McDermott instead elected to have Allen take a knee.

After the Bills went ahead with a field goal on the first possession of OT, Hurts scooted for the score that made the Eagles the only 10-1 team in the NFL.

He hit DeVonta Smith for 17- and 11-yard receptions in OT, and D’Andre Swift had a 16-yard run to help set up the walk-off TD.

“As far as the standard I’d like to play, enough is never enough,” Hurts said.

The Eagles trailed by 10 at the half, 10 in the third quarter and by three points late in regulation and early in OT.

“We found a way at the end and made it happen,” Hurts said.

Allen threw for 339 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 81 yards and two scores for the Bills, who are in danger of missing the playoffs after winning the AFC East the past three years. But he was intercepted in the fourth quarter by James Bradbury, setting up Hurts’ 29-yard TD pass to Zaccheaus for a 28-24 Philly lead.

Allen used a 15-yard scramble and a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty on the first drive of OT to put the Bills in position for the win. Tyler Bass — who had missed two field goals — nailed the go-ahead kick from 40 yards with 5:52 left in the extra period.

Hurts finished 18 of 31 for 200 yards with an interception in a matchup of two of the NFL’s most dynamic QBs. He also rushed 14 times for 65 yards.

Hurts played a miserable first half, throwing for 33 yards while the Eagles had 99 yards overall.

“It couldn’t have been much worse of a first half,” Sirianni said. “That was an offensive explosion in the second half. It had to be.”

The MVP candidate rallied his team, just as he did a week earlier at Kansas City. Hurts connected with A.J. Brown from 3 yards and Smith from 10 yards to get Philly back into the game.

“The difference is, I think it’s the mindset,” Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham said. “It’s not like, ‘Oh, Jalen threw a pick.’ We don’t feel that. Whatever it is, don’t complain about it, go do something about it.”

Given a short field after Allen’s pick, the Eagles faced third-and-15. Hurts rolled left and connected with Zaccheaus, who used two hands and hugged the ball against his chest as he fell toward the back of the end zone.

“We kind of locked eyes a little bit,” Zaccheaus said. “When I scrambled, I could kind of see him looking toward where I should be running.”

Smith finished with seven catches for 106 yards, and Swift ran for 80 yards on 14 carries. Gabe Davis had six receptions for 105 yards and a TD for Buffalo.

The Bills finished with 505 total yards and 13 third-down conversions.

“They’re defending NFC champs for a reason,” Allen said. “They made plays tonight and they made enough to win the game.”

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL

Baker Mayfield Returns From Ankle Injury, But Can't Rally Bucs In 27-20 Loss At Indy

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Quarterback Baker Mayfield came out swinging on Tampa Bay’s first series Sunday.

A right ankle injury changed everything.

After seeing the Buccaneers squander a rare chance for an opening possession touchdown, Mayfield valiantly returned. He missed only two offensive snaps before trotting back on to the field, trying to rally the Bucs from an early 14-point deficit despite looking neither as efficient nor effective following the injury.

And Mayfield already knows that might not change for at least a few more days.

“Ankle stuff’s really not fun,” he said after a 27-20 loss at Indianapolis. “Really not sure what exactly happened, I’ll have to see the film. Didn’t feel very good, but just had (trainer) Bobby (Slater) and the team tape me up again as much as they possibly could. But it will be pretty sore tomorrow.”

Mayfield was hurt when the Bucs (4-7) called a quarterback keeper on first-and-goal from the Colts 1-yard line. When players stood up, the sore Mayfield stayed down apparently unaware Colts defensive tackle DeForest Buckner’s knee looked as if it drove Mayfield’s leg awkwardly toward the turf.

It didn’t take long for things to go awry.

Offensive lineman Aaron Stinnie was called for a false start even before Kyle Trask officially took his first snap. When play resumed, Rachaad White was stopped for 2-yard gain and then Chris Godwin couldn’t get both feet inbounds on what would have been a TD catch.

Instead, the Bucs settled for a field goal and a 3-0 lead — and that was just the start.

When Mayfield returned, he was picked off on his second throw by linebacker Ronnie Harrison Jr. Indy needed four plays to convert the turnover into the first of Jonathan Taylor’s two TD runs, grabbing a 10-3 lead late in the first quarter.

Baker Mayfield vs. Indianapolis - Nov. 26, 2023Image Provided By: Associated Press

Mayfield, who completed seven of his first nine throws for 62 yards, finished the game going 20 of 30 with 199 yards, two touchdowns, the interception and he lost a fumble with 89 seconds left to seal the Colts’ victory. The ankle injury also prevented him from eluding the Colts’ constant pressure, resulting in a season-high six sacks allowed by an offensive line that had given up just 20 all season.

“We’re trying to get a win,” Bucs coach Todd Bowles said after enduring his sixth loss in seven games and his fourth straight on the road. “We’re not worried about anything else. We’re trying to get a win. As crazy as it may sound, we’re one game out of first place, but the way we’re playing, it’s got to be turned around. It feels like we’re 10 games out, and we’re one game out, but we’ve got to play better.”

Mike Evans provided his typically steady hand with six catches for 70 yards and two scores as did White, who rushed 15 times for 100 yards.

The breakdowns came elsewhere.

Tampa Bay’s usually stingy run defense had allowed only four TD runs in the first 10 games, gave up three Sunday along with 155 yards on the ground and 5.7 yards per carry.

And though Mayfield fought through the pain, it was pretty clear he wasn’t 100%.

“At first, it didn’t feel very good and then it kind of eased up as the game went on, but we’ll see what happens,” he said.

The questions now are what will the two-time defending NFC South champs do and will their hurting quarterback be ready to go next weekend against Carolina?

“He finished the game,” Bowles said. “I’ll have to wait until he gets checked out and see how bad it is once he puts it up. That’s going to be the telltale sign.”

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL

Murray, Cardinals Losing Grasp On Their Season With 37-14 Loss To Rams

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Kyler Murray spent time on the sideline working on his grip after throwing a couple of errant first-half passes.

It didn’t seem to help, and with a woeful performance at home, the Arizona Cardinals may be seeing coach Jonathan Gannon’s first season at the helm slip through their clutches.

Murray had his worst game since returning from a torn ACL and the rest of Cardinals were equally ineffective in an ugly 37-14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday — their eighth loss in nine games.

“When you get beat like that, nothing was good enough,” Gannon said.

The Cardinals (2-10) had a built-in excuse to start Gannon’s first season with Murray still recovering from a torn ACL suffered last December. Josh Dobbs had some good moments in Murray’s place, but was mostly ineffective before being traded to Minnesota on Oct. 31.

Murrays’ return the following week sparked optimism in the desert and the two-time Pro Bowler was superb in his 2023 debut, leading the Cardinals on a game-winning drive in the closing minutes of a 25-23 victory over Atlanta.

Murray again looked like his old self last week against Houston, hurting the Texans with his feet and arm, but couldn’t make the plays when he needed to late in a 21-16 loss.

The Rams (5-6) have been Arizona’s nemesis in recent years, yet it looked as if the Cardinals might stand their ground with an opening scoring drive capped by Murray’s 2-yard TD run.

They spent the rest of the game stumbling and bumbling their way to a 13th loss in the past 15 games against the Rams.

“It wasn’t good football,” said Murray, 1-8 against the Rams in his career. “We didn’t execute and they got the better of us. There’s pretty much nothing left to say.”

Kyler Murray vs. Los Angeles Rams - Nov. 27, 2023Image Provided By: Associated Press

Los Angeles dominated both sides of the ball, outgaining Arizona 457-292. Matthew Stafford was an efficient 25 for 33 for 229 yards and four touchdowns. The Rams ran for 228 yards at 6.9 yards per carry.

Murray threw for 256 yards and a touchdown on 27 of 45 passing, but most of it came with the game already out of reach. His TD run was his only rushing attempt of the game.

Forced to play catch-up, the Cardinals had 73 yards rushing on 15 carries.

“We didn’t match their level of effort and enthusiasm throughout the game and that falls solely on me,” Gannon said. “When you get beat like that, we’ve got to give a good hard look at how we set up the week because that wasn’t competitive in my mind.”

It might not have been so bad had the Cardinals been able to get out of their own way.

Matt Prater’s 57-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the first half following Jalen Thompson’s interception of Stafford was erased by an illegal formation penalty and a 10-second runoff.

The Cardinals were successful on a fake punt at their 28 in the third quarter, only to commit a series of penalties that put them in a third-and-37 before punting.

Prater also badly missed another 56-yard field goal in the third quarter.

“We’re just not executing,” said Cardinals receiver Marquise Brown, who had six catches for 88 yards. “We’ve all got to be on the same page. It’s a game of inches, so you’ve got to execute.”

The Cardinals didn’t and now they’re running out of time to grab some positive momentum.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL

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