Whew. It was ugly. Like really ugly. I'm not going to make an excuse for it. You cannot lose that game, especially with playoff hopes possibly riding on it. Not that it matters, the Eagles we saw today don't deserve the playoffs this year. But still, the arrow is pointing upwards. Here's why.
The Eagles may have found their guy in Hurts. At least the guy for 2022. This may come across as something only an idiot would write after the Giants game. It was really a stinker. And the blame for losing the game falls mostly on his shoulders. He was errant with his throws. In the first three quarters he fell apart every time the Eagles were in a position to score. He threw THREE interceptions. He had a seventeen-and-a-couple-cents for a passer rating. It was far and away the worst game in his career. But I still have faith in him, for a couple of reasons. First, the talent is there. We've seen flashes from Hurts that make him look like a franchise quarterback. Even a top 10 one at that. But can he achieve a level of consistency to his game where we see that more often? Sure. Look at Jameis Winston. The guy threw 30 interceptions in a season with the Bucs. He threw three this season. He was really good. Now, the Eagles need Hurts to put it together quicker than Winston. Like by the end of next year quicker. Going into this draft, there are not a lot of guys that look the part of franchise quarterback (which is why we should avoid wasting a high pick on a quarterback this year). Hurts has a higher upside than all of them! He is also more ready to take the step we all want him to take, as he will be going on to his second year as a starter. This was pretty much his rookie year, his first starting full time. You can't make a judgement of a quarterback off of their first full season as a starter. You just can't. Jalen needs a little more time for it to really click. And when it does, it's gonna be pretty. He'll tell you that himself.
When I think of a franchise quarterback, I think of someone a team can win because of. A mediocre/middling quarterback is a quarterback that a team can win with, although he's not going to be the reason why they win. And the Eagles can win with Hurts (even if he doesn't figure it all out). But someday, there will be a time when the Eagles will win because of him. Even against the Giants this game, he was able to nearly engineer a game winning drive, throwing two strikes that should have been touchdowns to Jalen Reagor, who literally let the game slip through his fingers. Not every quarterback would be able to put aside their struggles, not dwell on their blunders, and do that. Now, we may not see it this year, but I am confident that if the Eagles give him another they will start to see him put the team on his back when nothing else is working.
The rest of the Eagles team has performed much better than I expected. The defense has been stout. T.J Edwards looks like he has put it together, and next to Davion Taylor (who by the way has blossomed in his second full season as a starter), his deficiency in coverage has been schemed around, making him a premier run-stopping linebackers in the league. Darius Slay looks like an All-Pro, al least a Pro-Bowler. The offensive line is bullying people. Devonta Smith looks like a top 10 wideout for years to come. Dallas Goedert is a top-5 tight end, maybe even top-3. Howie Roseman, for all of his mistakes, has hit on late draft picks, such as Jordan Maliata, Quez Watkins, Jack Driscoll, and the aforementioned Edwards, and has started to right the ship on high picks with Smith, and Landon Dickerson this year. The bones are there. And with three first round picks, the Eagles have the opportunity to add the missing pieces.
All in all, the future does not look gloomy. This team is tenacious - it has heart. Give it another year, I say. Once the Eagles take off, they aren't gonna land. We just have to let them get off the ground.