Jalen Hurts. That is all. For the second week in a row, the Oklahoma product looked excellent. Hurts, who replaced Carson Wentz during the second half of the week 13 game against Green Bay, has been nothing short of electric in his first two starts with the Eagles. His electricity didn’t just help him succeed, though–the entire Eagles offense got a spark from Hurts’ inclusion into the starting lineup.
We’ve seen two and a half games of Jalen Hurts, and so far, there isn’t much negative to talk about. Hurts started slow in the week 15 matchup against Arizona but quickly turned it up to 100. Ahead, we’ll discuss why Jalen Hurts was so outstanding and what makes him this week’s Offensive Player of the Week.
Eagles Put a Hurting on the Cardinals
Ah, you can never get enough wordplay out of Jalen’s last name. Anyways, Jalen Hurts, as said before, was fantastic. The rookie signal-caller looked prepared for the spotlight, completing 24 of 44 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns. So much for those who said the lights would be too bright. Hurts has looked much more poised as a passer than many expected, showing excellent timing and accuracy as well as sharp decision making and an ability to scramble when the play breaks down. He’s even managed to make Alshon look reliable, which is a significant accomplishment based on the past two seasons.
On the other side of the coin, Hurts’ running ability has been fun to watch. It was no secret that Hurts could run coming out of Oklahoma, but no one expected the ability to transition to the NFL so well. In his first start vs. New Orleans, Hurts ran for over 100 yards and put his dual-threat ability on full display. This time around, Hurt’s wasn’t as quick to take off as the week before. However, when he did run, he made the most of it, rushing for 63 yards and one of the season’s hardest-fought touchdowns. Hurts’ ability to run has made him dangerous and gives Philly a new dimension on the ball’s offensive side.
Battle of the Birds Goes to AZ
Unfortunately, despite Hurts’ great performance, the Eagles couldn’t escape the desert with a win. It was a back-and-forth contest, but in the end, Arizona’s talent was too much for a depleted Eagles’ roster to handle. Kyler Murray and the red hot Cardinals continued to look great, handing the Eagles a loss and bringing the birds record to 4-9-1.
This loss puts the Eagles in sole possession of last place in the NFC East. Although there’s still an outside shot, it would take a near miracle for the Eagles to scrape out a playoff birth. However, these last two games have shown that the Eagles can compete. Against two top-flight opponents, Philadelphia left 1-1 and was one big play away from going undefeated in the span. Times aren’t great in Philly right now, but the future doesn’t look as bleak as it did three weeks ago. Speaking of the future…
Looking Towards the Future with Hurts at the Helm
I’ve been a long-time proponent of Carson Wentz being the franchise quarterback. I know a large chunk of Eagles fans have been as well. The truth is that, despite his poor play, the Eagles paid Wentz $128 million over four seasons to be their quarterback. However, today made me, and I’m sure many others, a Jalen Hurts fan.
This is not to say that Wentz isn’t an incredibly gifted football player because to say that would be wrong, but Wentz doesn’t seem to work in Philadelphia. He played three straight seasons of great football, but recency bias is a powerful influencer. Now, with Wentz seemingly out of confidence and Hurts playing at an incredibly high level, it may be Wentz’s time to go.
On Sunday morning, it was reported that Wentz is unhappy with the current situation in Philadelphia and doesn’t want to be a backup. That may be the final nail in the coffin. Whether or not you’re one of those who thinks Wentz is the guy in Philadelphia, there may not be much of an option left. What was a controversy a week ago looks all but settled now. Hurts seems to be the future in Philadelphia, while Carson Wentz may look for a change in scenery to revitalize his career.