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Eagles Rookie Report Card: JALEN HURTS CARDINALS DEFENSE

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Philadelphia Eagles v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Eagles didn’t beat the Cardinals but there is much they should be encouraged by after Sunday’s game. A few key rookies came up big for Philadelphia and that’s a win for the future of the team!

Jalen Hurts: A

Hurts got off to a rocky start to the game when he got called for an intentional grounding in the end zone, resulting in a safety. Another failed drive after that and Arizona got out to a two-score lead.

Instead of clamming up, the rookie quarterback rose to the challenge in his second start and played really outstanding football.

Last week, the Eagles had a very easy game plan for Hurts to execute, which he did mostly very well. Screens, drags, RPOs and roll-outs … the team didn’t ask him to do much against the Saints as a passer.

Against Arizona, however, Hurts was relied on to make a lot more high-level throws. The “gimme” passes were still there for him, as one of his TDs came on a screen pass and great run by a receiver, but Hurts showed so much more against the Cardinals than he did the Saints.

A big tell for quarterbacks is what they do on “Money Downs.” This means third and fourth down conversion attempts and also passes in the red zone. Hurts repeatedly converted on these downs, making impressive throws in and outside the pocket. He had two really excellent touchdown passes to Greg Ward down in the red zone, one coming in a two minute drill to end the first half.

With the game on the line, Hurts threw three perfectly placed passes to the end zone that were knocked free by great defensive plays. Bad luck for the rookie and for the team, but what a showcase of Hurts’ ability to perform under pressure.

Hurts wasn’t perfect by any means. He missed some passes, took a few bad sacks and misread option plays. However, it’s hard not to be thrilled with his poise and playmaking ability against a talented Arizona defense. Hurts finished the day with over 330 passing yards. Good for the third best mark by a rookie passer this season.

Playing Hurts over the next two weeks will be huge for his development and evaluation. Regardless, the Eagles should be extremely excited about what they have in Hurts. This writer sure is.

Poll

Grade Jalen Hurts’ Week 15 performance

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    A
    (1814 votes)
  • 25%
    B
    (629 votes)
  • 1%
    C
    (35 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (11 votes)
2496 votes total Vote Now

Jalen Reagor: C+

Reagor’s game against Arizona was a perfect microcosm of his abilities and where he still needs to grow.

The rookie receiver caught five passes and often looked explosive when given space after the catch. He was on the wrong end of a badly executed screen and a blown up reverse, but still flashed what his athleticism can do on the field.

Reagor also got what felt like a ton of targets down the field. Reagor’s ball skills leave a lot to be desired since he wasn’t able to turn any of his deep targets into catches. Though he did draw a crucial PI in the end zone. It’s notable that Reagor was still used this way because his speed is serious and Arizona respected it by putting Patrick Peterson on him for a majority of the game. Those deep targets are still warning shots to a defense that make them respect the long ball. This opened a lot of space underneath for other Eagles receivers.

Reagor still has a lot of room to grow, but the pass catcher is undeniably talented and the team should keep targeting him through the rest of the season.

Poll

Grade Jalen Reagor’s Week 15 performance

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    A
    (32 votes)
  • 34%
    B
    (589 votes)
  • 49%
    C
    (849 votes)
  • 12%
    D
    (210 votes)
  • 1%
    F
    (31 votes)
1711 votes total Vote Now

Michael Jacquet: A-

Jacquet has been in and out of the defensive lineup this year due to injuries suffered by starting cornerbacks in front of him. However, his game against the Cardinals suggests the rookie might be here to stay.

Jacquet kicked his game off with a big forced fumble on DeAndre Hopkins early in the game to force a red zone turnover. On the next drive, Jacquet ended a drive when Murray ran outside to pocket to throw for a first down, but the 6’2” corner peeled off his coverage to knock down the pass, almost intercepting it.

Jacquet saw a lot of snaps against DeAndre Hopkins, which is not a position any cornerback wants to be in. Jacquet got a nice pass break up against Nuk in the end zone, but the all-time receiver got the best of him more times than not. Jacquet, positively, was constantly in great position to defend the pass. Against any other receiver he would’ve won the target. But, against a guy like Hopkins, some of those plays are indefensible.

Jacquet’s last big play was when he blitzed Kyler Murray and helped force another fumble to put the Eagles in a great position.

Jacquet, who is still new to the cornerback position, played his ass off against Arizona. Despite some poor outcomes, it’s hard not to think he deserves to be the Eagles outside cornerback opposite Darius Slay for the rest of the season.

Poll

Grade Michael Jacquet’s Week 15 performance

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    A
    (854 votes)
  • 41%
    B
    (669 votes)
  • 5%
    C
    (84 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (10 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (6 votes)
1623 votes total Vote Now

Quez Watkins: A+

Watkinsonly touched the ball three times against Arizona but boy did he make an impact.

The rookie receiver had a fantastic 32-yard touchdown on a screen pass where he evaded defenders at the line of scrimmage and immediately accelerated downfield for a score.

Watkins’ easy speed makes it obvious why the team wants him out on the field. I bet he sees a few more targets like that over the next two weeks.

Poll

Grade Quez Watkins’ Week 15 performance

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    A
    (853 votes)
  • 37%
    B
    (556 votes)
  • 5%
    C
    (83 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    F
    (6 votes)
1499 votes total Vote Now

K’Von Wallace: C

K’Von Wallace didn’t see the field much but luckily not much bad happened when he did.

It’s notable the team isn’t trusting him to take over at safety and move Mills back to cornerback since the secondary is so thin. With Kevin Seymour banged up, the group could be getting thinner going into the final weeks of the season. Who knows if this will mean more time for Wallace.

Poll

Grade K’Von Wallace’s Week 15 performance

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    A
    (27 votes)
  • 16%
    B
    (167 votes)
  • 59%
    C
    (617 votes)
  • 18%
    D
    (195 votes)
  • 2%
    F
    (31 votes)
1037 votes total Vote Now