Hurts so Good

The Story

Everyone knows the NFL is all about the quarterbacks. You will see what I mean when you consider 16 of the last 20 MVPs have been quarterbacks. Quarterbacks are one of the most important positions in all of team sports and are vital for the success of a team.

For this reason, during a rebuild, teams usually try to find a quarterback first to build around. The Eagles are on one such hunt.

In 2016 the Eagles drafted Carson Wentz with the second overall pick. After a pretty good rookie year and a stellar 2nd year the Eagles thought they had their guy. But we all know what happened next...Wentz tore his ACL in 2017 which gave Nick Foles the opportunity to lead the Eagles to their first super bowl ever. From 2018 - 2019 it was hard to evaluate Wentz because of the Eagles lack of talent. But in 2020 Wentz had his worst year by far throwing 15 interceptions in just 12 games. This led the league despite the number of games played and gave him almost a 1 to 1 touchdown to interception ratio. After 12 games the Eagles needed some type of spark, anything, to get them going so they turned to the rookie Jalen Hurts.

Jalen Hurts started his young career at Channel View Highschool where his father coached. Hurts played outstanding there, throwing for 2,384 yards with 26 touchdown passes and rushing for 1,391 yards and 25 touchdowns his senior year. Being a four star recruit, Texas A and M attempted to recruit him, but he eventually committed to Alabama. His freshman year he had to compete for the starting job, and it looked like he had lost it when he did not start his first game. But soon he proved his worth and took the starting job from game 2 on. His freshman year he threw for 2,780 yards and 23 touchdowns with nine interceptions. His completion percentage was at 62.8 percent, and he finished the season with a quarterback rating of 139.12. He rushed for a total of 954 yards and 13 touchdowns, breaking the school single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback, surpassing Steadman Shealy's previous record of 791 yards. He finished the 2016 season with 36 overall touchdowns breaking Blake Sims's previous record for touchdowns in a single season for the Crimson Tide with a total of 35 which he set in 2014. Hurts became the first quarterback coached by Nick Saban to rush for more than 11 touchdowns in a single season. He was the first player in Alabama history to pass for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in the same game and the first quarterback to rush for 120 yards or more in multiple games. In the Iron Bowl game against Auburn, Hurts completed 75% of his passes, which set a new Iron Bowl record. Alabama concluded its 2016–2017 regular season with a perfect 12–0 (8–0 SEC) record. On November 30, 2016, Hurts was declared one of the ten finalists for the Manning Award, which is given to the nation's top college quarterback. On December 3, 2016, he led his team to win the 2016 SEC Championship over the Florida Gators and was subsequently named SEC Offensive Player of the Year, SEC Freshman of the Year, and received Freshman All-American from several publications. And mind all this was done in 1 game less than usual. He was simply outstanding! His Sophomore year he didn't let up leading his team to a 13-1 record. But after getting injured in the national championship, true freshman Tua Tagovailoa led the team to another national championship. The next season Hurt’s career took a dramatic turn, he played backup QB all year in favor of Tagovailoa. But he had his chance to prove his worth once again when he was put in for the injured Tua in the SEC championship. He did just that by leading his team to an essential victory and securing a spot in the playoffs with a 13 -0 record. In his final year of eligibility Hurts decided to transfer to Oklahoma. Hurts had an amazing year there and finished second only to Joe Burrow in Heisman votes. Although Hurts had shown his potential, NFL scouts were hesitant because he did have a few gaps. Here is a scouting report for him done by Greg Cosell:

As you can see he did have some things he would need to work on. The real question was, which team would be willing to take these risks? Well, when he was still available in the second round the Eagles did just that, drafting him with the 55th pick. Everyone was baffled because they thought Carson Wentz was supposed to be the franchise guy.

Throughout the 2020 season Hurts was only used as a gadget guy but did show flashes when put in these situations. Wentz was still the starter until...week 13. The Eagles were getting blown out by the Packers in week 13 and Wentz had only 79 yards passing. Fed up with these performances the Eagles finally decided to give Hurts a chance. Right away Hurts brought a spark and led his team to score a touchdown on 4th and 16. Hurts was named the starter against the 10-2 Saints the very next game. And he proved his worth once again by leading his team to arguably the best victory since they had won the super bowl in 2017. This gave Eagles fans something to watch towards the end of the season. Although they lost the last couple of games, Hurts played pretty well keeping them close in most of them. In the 2021 off season, the not so surprising news came out that the Eagles were moving on from Carson Wentz, and this opened the door for Jalen Hurts. Everyone knew that the 2021 season was going to be a rebuild year for the Eagles. They had many holes that needed to be filled, which is why they traded for picks. But everyone was also looking forward to seeing how the second year QB, Jalen Hurts would play. Hurts would have to show that he is the franchise QB this year.

To keep the story short, Jalen Hurts has played 6 games this season. He has had his ups and downs, but overall has kept the Eagles in 5 out of the 6 games. There is a lot to take in after just 10 games played for the young QB. So I will let you decipher that for yourself by just giving you the simple stats and facts that I found on the internet or observed from watching his games.

Here we go:


What you like:

  • Hurts’ 79.0 pff grade ranks 15th overall and third in the 2020 NFL Draft class behind Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert.

  • Is currently tied for the most qb rushing TD’s this season, with 5.

  • Has only thrown 4 interceptions through 6 games in 2021.

  • Has the second most rush yards for a qb with 300.

  • Hurts was the first player in the NFL in the past 70 years to have 500-plus passing yards and 150-plus rushing yards in his first two career starts (since this was tracked starting in 1950). The Eagles quarterback has completed 41 of 74 passes for 505 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions while rushing 29 times for 169 yards in his first two starts -- compiling a 94.7 passer rating.

  • Since becoming the Eagles’ starter, Hurts has had games with 326, 338, 342 and now 387 passing yards. He’s only the second quarterback in NFL history with four games of 325 yards in his first eight career starts. Kirk Cousins also had four in his first eight starts from 2012 through 2014. Hurts is the first Eagles quarterback ever with consecutive games with 325 passing yards, 64 percent completion percentage and two TDs.

  • Hurts is only the 4th quarterback in Eagles history to throw for at least 385 yards in a game with no interceptions. Donovan McNabb did it in 2000 and 2004 and Michael Vick and Nick Foles did it once apiece, both in 2013.

  • In his first eight career starts, Hurts has thrown for 2,086 yards with 12 touchdowns and five interceptions. He’s one of only nine QBs with 2,086 yards and 12 TDs in his first eight starts and along with Kurt Warner one of only two with has five or fewer INTs.

  • Hurts has 2,584 combined rushing and passing yards in his first eight starts. Only Cam Newton (2,712) and Pat Mahomes (2,637) had more total yards in their first eight starts.

  • Hurts has 1,167 passing yards and 226 rushing yards, making him the second QB in history with 1,100 passing yards and 200 rushing yards four games into a season. Lamar Jackson had 1,110 and 238 in 2019.

  • When the Eagles are either leading or trailing by fewer than eight points – Hurts has completed 68 percent of his passes for 737 yards with four TDs, one INT and a 102.7 passer rating, along with 132 rushing yards and a 6.6 average.

  • Hurts’ 101.1 passer rating is 3rd-best in the league among quarterbacks 25 and under, trailing only Kyler Murray (115.0) and Joe Burrow (113.8). He’s only the 12th quarterback ever to register a passer rating of 100 or higher four weeks into a season before his 24th birthday.

What you don’t like

  • According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Hurts’ intended air yards per pass (7.9), essentially meaning the average depth of target, is higher than the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, and Kyler Murray. This means that Hurts is taking shots down the field, but when it comes to average completed air yards per attempt (4.8), meaning the average depth of target on completed passes, Hurts is one of the lowest in the league, only ahead of Jacoby Brissett, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Andy Dalton, Geno Smith, and Jared Goff. Although Hurts has been willing to take deep shots this season, he hasn’t been able to connect consistently. He throws the ball too late making it hard on himself to hit the receiver.

  • Jalen Hurts isn't using the middle of the field. Hurts has come up short on a number of his deep balls — he's completed 11.5% of his throws that have traveled 20-plus yards, which ranks 17th in the NFL — and rarely uses the middle of the field. Ranks 33 in MOF (Throws over the Middle of the Field) with a percentage of 2.88 %.

  • Jalen Hurts has shown to miss open receivers or make the wrong read at times.

  • Hurts can leave the pocket early, therefore missing passes he could have otherwise made.


  • Hurts has only played 9 full games.

  • Hurts is playing under a first year head coach who is still learning himself.

  • Hurts has accounted for 87% of the Eagles yards which is the most in the NFL.

  • Jalen Hurts has accounted for 40% of Eagles rush attempts (53 of 132). That would be the highest rate by any QB in a season in NFL history.

To wrap up, there is a lot to like about Hurts. His ability to extend plays, his amazing throws at times, his leadership, and his drive to win. He has even shown improvement since last year. But he has not proven that he is the franchise guy just yet. The Eagles will be watching him closely to see what they have in him. Hurts has been faced with adversity his whole football career. Yet every time he has answered the call. Will he be able to do it one more time?