2022 NFL season, Week 2: What We Learned from Bills’ big win over Titans on Monday

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FULL BOX SCORE

  1. Jalen Hurts has officially arrived. Those who felt unsure about the 2022 Eagles’ outlook because of Hurts can now rest easy. The third-year quarterback put together perhaps the greatest half of his career (definitely in terms of passing), letting it rip all over Lincoln Financial Field to the tune of 17-of-20 passing for 251 yards and one touchdown in the first two quarters. Hurts wasn’t just an excellent passer, though, rushing for 50 yards and two touchdowns (one was absolutely Herculean) on seven first-half attempts. Hurts cooled off in the second half, throwing for less than 100 yards in the final two quarters, but it didn’t matter much. He put on a show worthy of the Monday night stage, and these Eagles rolled to 2-0 thanks in large part to his performance.
  2. Prime time Kirk Cousins strikes again. Cousins’ Monday night record fell to 2-10 in his career, and he earned this loss. Cousins finished with a passing line of 27 of 46 for 221 yards, one touchdown — a pass in the flat to Irv Smith Jr. — and three interceptions. His passer rating of 51.1 effectively explained his night in Philadelphia, which was fraught with risky throws and frequent pressure (Philadelphia registered 16 pressures as a team for a rate of 33.3%). Cousins wilted under the bright lights of Monday night, and his trusty target, Justin Jefferson, was frustrated by Philadelphia’s defense and Cousins’ mistakes. By the end of the night, it was clear the Vikings had had enough of the Eagles, who wiped out the positive momentum built by a Week 1 win over the Packers. Minnesota will regroup entering Week 3 after Philadelphia knocked it down a peg or two, and hope Cousins can get himself back on track with a long season still ahead.
  3. Big Play Slay lives up to the hype. The Eagles built this team to win now, and Darius Slay is leading the way. Slay recorded two interceptions and suffocated Jefferson throughout the night, matching up with the star receiver 17 times and seeing five targets in such situations. He allowed just one Jefferson reception and intercepted Cousins twice as the nearest defender. The Eagles put 24 points on the board in the first half and didn’t need any more in the final two quarters thanks to Slay, who shut down two Vikings drives with his takeaways and even presented one of them as a gift to Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden. That’s how you celebrate a dominant defensive showing.

Next Gen Stat of the game: Jalen Hurts completed 8 of 11 passes of 10-plus air yards for 173 yards and one touchdown Monday night.

NFL Research: Jalen Hurts became the third player with 300-plus passing yards, 50-plus rushing yards and multiple rushing touchdowns in a Monday Night Football game in NFL history, joining Cam Newton (2012) and Michael Vick (2010).


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Nick Shook

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