Can Jalen Hurts be the Eagles’ franchise QB?
Is Jalen Hurts the Eagles “franchise quarterback?”
I know that question is annoying and has been asked a million times all over social media, the radio, and national television, but it’s also the most important one that the Eagles are trying to answer this season. After 12 games so far in 2021, and 16 games in total for Jalen Hurts behind center, many are still divided on the young Eagles’ quarterback. Over the last few weeks, Jalen Hurts started to win more people over, but there’s a loud minority still questioning him. Last week against the Giants certainly didn’t help the cause.
Just when things were trending upwards for Jalen Hurts, he had his worst game as a pro, throwing three interceptions and only completing 45% of his passes against the New York Giants. Hurts was one of the main reasons the Eagles lost, primarily due to decision-making turnovers, and simple mistakes that could have easily been avoided.
It’s safe to say a large portion of the Eagles fanbase is sour on Hurts after that loss, a complete 180 after his great play the previous 3-4 weeks. The craziest thing about all of this is the fact that a report came out prior to the game that the Eagles were getting more and more comfortable with Hurts being the long term answer at quarterback.
While many are upset, it’s safe to say this is just one poor outlier and isn’t a perfect judgement of who Jalen Hurts can be for Philadelphia. Unfortunately, in the Philly market that showing is something that gets over-exaggerated and overshadows all the good he has done. That doesn’t mean you should dismiss the performance altogether, New York did a great job of exposing the significant weakness Hurts has in the passing game.
With that said, Jalen Hurts still had the Eagles in a position to win the game when it came down to it. Hurts led the Eagles in rushing with 77 yards, averaging 9.6 yards per carry. For some reason many are holding this skillset against him, despite being the best rushing quarterback in the league this year.
Hurts is currently the 11th ranked rusher in the NFL, ranking second amongst all quarterbacks, trailing Lamar Jackson by 12 yards. Jackson had a very similar skillset as Hurts coming into the league alongside similar question marks about his throwing abilities. The Ravens decided to stick with him and it turned out well, with Lamar Jackson winning MVP in 2019.
Jalen Hurts’ skill in the rushing game was a big reason why the Eagles were able to win three out of their last four games before Sunday’s loss. If Jalen Reagor is able to catch one of the two well-placed passes from Hurts, we are having a different discussion today.
in 16 starts, Hurts has 29 total touchdowns, 4,321 total yards, and 11 interceptions. Even with all of the passing issues, that is an impressive total from a young quarterback who struggles heavily. Jalen Hurts brings just about everything else you would want in a quarterback, like his leadership and ability to rally the team no matter the situation.
The Philadelphia Eagles will have to make that decision once this season plays out. Whether the team makes the playoffs or not, Hurts will have 5 more games to prove himself.
Mandatory Credit; USA Today Sports