A.J. Brown burns former team twice as Eagles rout Titans
PHILADELPHIA − The Eagles continued to have their Paul Revere ride type of season.
One week after beating the Packers by land, the Eagles buried the Tennessee Titans by air.
Jalen Hurts threw for 380 yards and 3 touchdowns, two of them going to A.J. Brown, who burned his former teammates from 40 and 29 yards out, leading the Eagles to an easy 35-10 win over the Titans on Sunday.
In all, the Eagles (11-1) had 386 yards passing as Hurts fell seven yards shy of his career high after completing 29 of 39 passes. This came one week after the Eagles rushed for 363 yards in the 40-33 win over the Green Bay Packers.
The Eagles became the first team since the Raiders, then based in Los Angeles, to get at least 350 yards rushing and passing in successive games.
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It couldn’t have gone much better for Hurts’ MVP chances, or if Brown was really seeking revenge against his former team after the acrimonious trade last spring, when Brown expressed his frustration over not getting a new contract.
Hurts and most of the starters sat out most of the fourth quarter.
And Brown had to get his first touchdown catch twice, each time from 40 yards out. The first one, down the right sideline, was overruled after a replay review that showed Brown’s second foot landed out of bounds.
No worry, Hurts went right back to Brown on the next play, this time to the other side. Brown was wide open after his defender fell. Brown saved his best for later, when he pulled in a 29-yard TD pass in the third quarter by grabbing the ball off the shoulder of his Titans’ defender.
But really, the Eagles’ entire wide receiving corps enjoyed success against Tennessee, which came into the game with the 31st ranked pass defense.
Brown finished with 119 yards receiving, and DeVonta Smith, who opened the scoring with a 34-yard TD on the opening drive, had 102 yards. They became the first Eagles receiving duo to each top 100 yards receiving in a game since Nelson Agholor (116) and Zach Ertz (110) did it in a Dec. 2018 game against Houston.
Hurts orchestrated all of it. He had 268 yards passing in the first half, when the Eagles took a 21-10 lead. He hadn’t surpassed 200 yards passing in any of the previous three games, mainly because the Eagles were so successful running the ball.
But the Titans came into the game ranked 31st in pass defense while they were third against the run. So the Eagles took to the pass attack early, then kept it going.
After Smith’s opening drive TD, the Titans answered with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to rookie Treylon Burks, the player the Titans used with the Eagles’ first-round pick when Tennessee traded Brown to the Eagles last April.
But Burks suffered a concussion on the play and did not return.
Then Brown’s TD with 13:55 left in the first half put the Eagles back in front by a touchdown. Hurts ran the ball in from the Titans’ 2 to make it 21-10 with 51 seconds left in the half. That play was set up when Brown was the beneficiary of a pass interference call. The penalty was worth 24 yards down to Tennessee’s 6.
The Eagles kept it going in the second half. Their first drive took just 1 minute, 18 seconds and it consisted of just four plays, all passes by Hurts. He completed all four of them, capping the drive with the 29-yard to Brown.
The next scoring drive took a season-high 9 minutes, 51 seconds. The Eagles originally settled for a field goal, but Tennessee was flagged for offsides, setting up a 4th-and-1 from the Titans’ 4. The Eagles went for the first down and got it on Hurts’ sneak.
Then Miles Sanders scored from 2 yards out with 11:27 remaining.
The Eagles’ defense did the rest. They held Titans star running back Derrick Henry to 30 yards on 11 carries. And they sacked Tannehill 6 times, led by Josh Sweat with 2.
The Eagles came into the game with an outside chance to clinch a playoff spot. They need a win, plus a Giants win over Washington, a Seahawks loss to the Rams, and a 49ers loss to the Dolphins.
Contact Martin Frank at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.