Jalen Hurts passes Michael Vick, Eagles rumble past Washington to bolster playoff hopes

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for 296 yards and rushed for 38 yards and two touchdowns. Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts went 23 days between starts, and initially, it showed. But he got things revved as Tuesday's game against the Washington Football Team went along, powering Philadelphia's ground game to new heights in a 27-17 win that boosts the Eagles' playoff chances.

With a pair of rushing touchdowns, Hurts set a new franchise record for most single-season rush touchdowns by a quarterback with 10, passing Michael Vick (2010).

Running back Miles Sanders set a new career rushing mark with 131 yards, as the Eagles became the first team to rush for 175-plus yards in seven consecutive games since the 1985 Chicago Bears.

Philadelphia (7-7) moves into a virtual tie with the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints for the final NFC wild-card spot. According to ESPN's Football Power Index, the Eagles' playoff chances increased to 46% with a win. A loss would have dropped those odds to 12%.

“I know we’re at .500 for the first time this year. It’s a big deal, but I know the job isn't done -- nowhere near from done,” Hurts said. “We know what we want to accomplish. I said it to the guys: We just have to have that mentality of not being denied.”

With three games to go in Year 1 under coach Nick Sirianni, the Eagles' postseason hopes are very much alive and well.

QB breakdown: Hurts ended 20-of-26 passing for 296 yards with a touchdown and an interception while rushing eight times for 38 yards with a pair of scores. He turned the ball over twice early. The first -- a dropped pass by tight end Dallas Goedert that caromed off his ankle and into the hands of Landon Collins -- was not his fault. The second -- a lost fumble deep in Washington territory -- was. But Hurts found his footing after that and made a number of plays with his legs and arm, including a 19-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Greg Ward midway through the fourth quarter to put the game away.

The cameras caught an animated coach Nick Sirianni yelling in the direction of Hurts on the sideline following his second turnover.

“Jalen’s dad coached him hard. My dad coached me hard. I think Jalen responds to tough coaching. He likes tough coaching. I wasn’t going to back down on him. I thought he was careless with the football and I let him know that. We’re just honest with each other,” Sirianni said. “He played a great football game today -- one of the best games I’ve seen him play. What an unbelievable job by him of flushing [the early turnovers] and moving on.”

Hurts made his first start since suffering a high ankle sprain against the New York Giants on Nov. 28. His absence was extended when this game was moved from Sunday to Tuesday due to a COVID-19 outbreak with Washington. Hurts didn't look quite 100 percent, but he moved well enough to be effective.

Promising trend: Tuesday's performance marked the fifth time the Eagles have rushed for at least 200 yards in a game. That ties 2013 for their most in a season in the Super Bowl era and also breaks a tie with the Colts for most by any team this season, per ESPN Stats & Information data.

Quick turnaround: Some Eagles players and staff members were fuming over the league's decision to move this game to Tuesday. It compresses their schedule, as they have to turn around and play the Giants on Sunday on four days' rest, before heading to the D.C. area for a rematch against Washington on Jan. 2. Three games in 12 days is not ideal, but Philadelphia will have to find a way to make it work.