After Another Poor Performance, Is It Fair To Wonder If Jalen Hurts Is Massively Overrated??

The stat line may not look terrible (18-23 passing, 193 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 2 rushing touchdowns), but anyone who watched last night’s game knows there’s something wrong with Jalen Hurts.

The most important thing is the Philadelphia Eagles won the game. The 34-28 victory over the Minnesota Vikings improves them to 2-0 on the season and that’s the only thing that matters.

However, even though it’s extremely early in the season, it’s not too early to be a little concerned about Hurts.

It’s true that some of the top quarterbacks in the league have struggled out the gates (Joe Burrow and Josh Allen to name a few), however both of them have larger bodies of work and it’s safe to say they’ll soon get back on track.

Hurts may very well too – but the fact remains his dominant 2022 season came with a couple footnotes.

He was coming off a 2021 season where he struggled to the point where many wondered if he was the long-term answer in Philly. To his credit, he made a major jump last season thanks to his work-ethic, determination and improved play. 

But there’s no denying his success was massively aided by playing behind the best offensive line in the league and taking cues from one of the top offensive coordinators (Shane Steichen).

Most importantly, it seemed like the Eagles always played from ahead and had controlling leads which allowed them to “stay on script” thanks to their dominant offensive line and run game – not to mention their phenomenal receiving weapons and top defense. 

None of those things are Hurts’ fault – and most of the great quarterbacks in the league also have those same elements. 

Hurts proved his value with his incredibly impressive performance against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. On sports’ biggest stage, Hurts delivered an MVP-like performance. There’s no taking anything away from that.

But having said that, did he truly prove enough to warrant the 5-year, $255 million contract that the Eagles gave him? Perhaps they should have waited to see a larger sample size of what he can do. 

Fast forward to now, the offensive line (and defense) don’t seem as good as last year. Steichen is gone, now the head coach in Indianapolis. And the league has had an entire offseason to get more acclimated to defending Hurts. 

Getting back to my original point – anyone whose watch the Eagles first two games knows that 2023 Hurts is not nearly the same as 2022 Hurts (so far).

The running game was the straw that stirred the drink for Philly last night. It’s clear Nick Sirianni trusted D’Andre Swift (28 carries, 175 yards, 1 touchdown) and the run game more than Hurts.

The Vikings inexplicably turned the ball over four times last night – including Justin Jefferson’s fumble out of the endzone, resulting in a touchback and ultimately a 10-point swing. 

If you take one or two of those turnovers away, Minnesota probably wins the game and the discussion would be much, much different. 

Was last season a product of Hurts playing on such a stacked, well-coached team that always played from ahead and had arguably the best roster in the entire NFL?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Again, the only thing that matters is winning games, and Hurts and the Eagles have done that. But if they are to accomplish their goal of winning the Super Bowl, Hurts will need to play better, as does the entire team.

Chalk it up to competitive fire, but the frustration was obvious on the Eagles sideline as wide receiver A. J. Brown got into a verbal spat with Hurts…

Hurts needs to be better. And he knows it.

These mistakes can’t happen…

In fairness, Hurts has been a great leader and has busted his ass and overcome adversity at every level of his football career. 

There’s no doubt he will continue to work hard to improve. He has all the tools to be a perennial Pro Bowler. He just needs to put it all together and be consistent. 

It’s okay to be a little concerned about Hurts. It’s also okay to have the confidence that he’ll figure it out and truly become a top-tier quarterback. 

But again, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is winning – and he did that last night.

What do you think about Hurts?

Are you alarmed by his early regression?

Is this year’s Eagles team as good as last years? 

Will they get back to the Super Bowl? Or will all the losses in free agency (and with the coaching staff) be too much to overcome?

(Not to mention that team in San Francisco.)

 

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