NFL analyst predicts Eagles are ‘just a quarterback away’ from making the playoffs
Most Philadelphia Eagles supporters breathed a sigh of relief when Carson Wentz was ultimately moved this offseason, allowing Jalen Hurts to take over as the team’s primary quarterback. The continuing quarterback dispute in Philadelphia was taxing – everyone was eager to move ahead with a single, unambiguous starter.
Fast forward to January 16, 2022, and the Eagles are back where they started.
Jalen Hurts’ postseason debut was a disaster.
Michael Reaves/Getty Images/Jalen Hurts
Their schedule wasn’t the most difficult, and the most of their victories were lackluster. Regardless, the Eagles were a playoff club this season. The Eagles at least given themselves an opportunity to make some noise against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by taking advantage of the new seven-team system.
Hurts, of course, was at the heart of the Eagles’ playoff hopes. Despite being chosen a Pro Bowl alternate, there was still a lot of back-and-forth throughout the regular season over his arm strength. Would he be able to go toe-to-toe with Brady on a large platform with his arm talent?
The short and simple answer to that query was no. Hurts’ postseason debut in Tampa Bay was a complete disaster. He threw two interceptions, completed 53.5 percent of his passes, and ended with a passer rating of 60.0. He didn’t even have 100 passing yards before halftime, therefore his ultimate passing yard total of 258 yards is deceiving. Hurts produces the most of his work at waste time.
Granted, the Eagles’ defense provided little opposition to Brady and the Buccaneers’ offense, and WR Jalen Reagor made several crucial special-teams blunders. Hurts, on the other hand, didn’t score until the fourth quarter, and it’s the quarterback’s duty to score points.
The Eagles’ quarterback dispute has resurfaced.
Jalen Hurts is a player that is easy to cheer for. He’s still young and has room to grow.
However, it’s difficult to envision it to the point where he’s The Guy.
He’s most likely not The Guy.
— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) January 16, 2022
Hurts’ accomplishments this season were not negated by one terrible game. Given that it was his first full season as a starter in the NFL, he had a good year.
The one terrible game does, however, reignite the debate regarding the Eagles’ quarterback situation. Hurts needed to show to everyone — on a national scale — that he had what it takes to be “The Guy” in Philadelphia, and the Eagles were anxious for him to do so. Instead, he had clear indicators of severe restrictions. The Eagles eventually paid the price for his lack of arm talent.
Whether fans like it or not, a club with three first-round selections and no obvious franchise quarterback on the roster will always be linked to outside quarterback movements.
Should Jalen Hurts be replaced by the Eagles?
The Eagles currently have the 15th, 16th, and 19th overall selections in the NFL Draft in 2022.
Jalen Hurts showed tremendous improvement this season, but few clubs are more positioned to trade for a seasoned quarterback than the Philadelphia Eagles.
There’s a lot to look forward to in the offseason.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 16, 2022
When it comes to Jalen Hurts’ future in Philadelphia, one might argue that either path is right. On the one hand, Hurts has shown indications of improvement and is under contract for another two seasons at a low price. On the other hand, he wasn’t good enough when the stakes were highest, and the Eagles aren’t going to get three first-round choices by accident again.
The Eagles presently have enough draft money to pull off a major QB deal. With Russell Wilson and Derek Carr expected to be traded this winter, the Eagles have a viable alternative worth pursuing.
Whether you like Hurts or not, you can’t deny that Carr and Wilson would have given the Eagles a better opportunity to win versus Tampa Bay.
In the end, it’s up to owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman to make this franchise-altering choice. They could easily rationalize making a move for a real franchise quarterback if they believe they can pull it off. They could easily justify giving Hurts one more year if they wanted to. However, one thing is certain: the debate will resurface.
People will continue discussing the Eagles’ quarterback position until Week 1 of the 2022 season.
ESPN provided all numbers.
RELATED: NFL Insider Ian Rapoport Says Kenny Pickett, the Steelers’ new quarterback, is “one to watch.”
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