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Sputtering Eagles offense still searching for answers

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts invoked the infamous “24-hour rule” Sunday at the conclusion of a news conference that followed a 33-22 loss to the Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. The one that bars him from sulking about the defeat for more than 24 hours.

“It’s only a loss if you don’t learn from it,” Hurts said. “You’ve got to learn from it.”

The Eagles have plenty to learn after their offense sputtered Sunday, save for the opening drive — during which they marched 67 yards in eight plays — and the fourth quarter when they trailed 30-7. Hurts lamented the lackluster performance, noting that Philadelphia lacks consistency to excel on offense.

He was pressured and flustered by a defensive front that has recorded multiple sacks in each game this season, and he simply wasn’t accurate enough under duress. He finished 18 of 34 for 236 yards and two scores. But the Eagles punted or turned the ball over on five consecutive possessions, excluding a kneel-down before halftime.

“I believe in myself to go out there and execute, and that’s something I’m not doing a good enough job of, clearly,” the second-year quarterback said after his 11th NFL start. “We’re putting ourselves in positions to do things. Just kind of missing it off. That’s something we have to be better at.”

Hurts couldn’t explain why Philadelphia’s offense sputtered. It was effective and efficient on the opening drive, blending runs and passes before capping the drive with a 13-yard touchdown catch by running back Kenneth Gainwell.

But the ensuing drive ended with a first down and a punt. And the next drive ended with two first downs and a punt. Starting running back Miles Sanders left the game with an ankle injury after carrying five times for 25 yards on the first drive. Gainwell fumbled with 1:38 to play in the first half, allowing the Raiders to score three points and utilize 1:32 of game time.

A false start neutered one drive, and a face-mask penalty stymied another one. A botched snap ended another one near the goal line, albeit late in the third quarter in the face of the 30-7 deficit

“We knew what they were going to do defensively, and we started off the game with a great drive,” said Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert, who had a team-high 70 receiving yards. “We’ve just got to be able to convert and keep drives going later on. … Little things set us back.”

All the while, the Raiders scored on five consecutive possessions — showcasing the kind of timing, cohesion and chemistry the Eagles have lacked during their 2-5 start.

Philadelphia coach Nick Sirianni maintained that he has confidence in Hurts and an offensive scheme that has been far too ineffective this season.

“It just wasn’t good enough execution. Wasn’t good enough play calling,” Sirianni said. “We just weren’t good enough, and that starts with me. Everything is always going to start with me.”

Contact reporter Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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