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Eagles News: ESPN predicts Jalen Hurts will be Philadelphia’s 2023 starting QB

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 8/14/22.

New York Jets v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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2023 NFL quarterback market predictions: 17 teams that could swap starters and where Lamar Jackson, Jimmy Garoppolo might land - ESPN+
Signed through: 2023. A second-round pick in 2020, Hurts supplanted incumbent starter Carson Wentz late in that season and started the whole 2021 season for the Eagles. It hasn’t been perfect by any means, but Hurts showed the Eagles enough last year to earn another shot in 2022 to prove he can be their franchise QB. Philly has built a strong-looking team around him, with depth on defense, a good offensive line and an exciting blend of skill at receiver and tight end. If Hurts can take the next step in his own development, the Eagles could easily be a playoff team in 2022. They’re already a popular pick to steal the NFC East away from the defending champion Cowboys. However, if they come out of this season unconvinced on Hurts, they have two first-round picks with which to find a replacement. Most likely outcome: Hurts. Come on, if I’m going to believe in Tua Tagovailoa surviving his make-or-break year, I have to bet on Hurts, too, right? I’ve had plenty of evaluators tell me they don’t think Hurts has the ability as a passer to last long term. But I just think the young man has the right kind of stuff inside of him to prove people wrong and succeed where others think he can’t. I believe he showed more improvement in 2021 than the Eagles expected and believe he can do it again in 2022. Plus, they have a good team that’s poised to have the kind of year that doesn’t make them want to make major changes. Call me a wide-eyed optimist, but it’s August. Isn’t that the time for NFL optimism?

Eagles vs. Jets: 14 winners, 6 losers, 6 IDKs - BGN
Hard to not like QB1’s final stat line: 6/6, 80 yards (13.3 average), 1 TD, 0 INT, and a perfect 158.3 passer rating. Talk about efficiency. Sure, it’s a very small sample size against a Jets team that ranked second-to-last in defending the pass last year (103.2 average passer rating allowed). And it’s the preseason. But it was a stock up night for Hurts. He avoided mistakes. He made accurate throws. There was a good balance of playing on-schedule (multiple quick completions) and making things happen on his own (good throw on the run to Quez Watkins along the right sideline). Hurts didn’t let a dirty hit from Quincy William that Jets head coach Robert Saleh described as “egregiously awful” rattle his composure.

Eagles C Cam Jurgens looked like a Jason Kelce clone, with gifs and stuff - PhillyVoice
When asked if he was happy with the way the Eagles used his athleticism, Jurgens responded, “They’ve been doing that with Kelce for years, so it’s a great system to be in, because I feel that that’s the stuff that I excel at.” It almost looked on the field like Kelce changed his jersey number to 51.

PS #1 – NYJ 24, PHI 21 - Iggles Blitz
The next play was 3rd/5. Hurts had a pretty clean pocket, but bailed to his right. He couldn’t find anyone open so he tucked it and ran. Went out of bounds and took a big hit on a cheap shot. That did get the Eagles a first down. I didn’t like the decision to bail. He should have stayed in the pocket. I also didn’t like his decision to get everything he could on the run. Get out quickly in that instance. He saw the LB closing on him. It was a cheap shot, but don’t give him the chance to hit you there. Play it safe in the preseason opener. Your health is way more valuable than a yard or two. Hurts wasn’t hurt so it worked out. I just hope Hurts realizes how valuable he is and is more judicious in the future. There are times to fight for yards and there are times to just go out early and play it safe. I get that he expected the LB to pull up, but don’t give him the chance to hit you in August. Save that for when it matters.

What was most encouraging about Hurts’ performance - NBCSP
DeVonta Smith didn’t play, and A.J. Brown didn’t get a target. And maybe the most encouraging thing to come out of the Eagles’ preseason opener against the Jets Friday night was the way Jalen Hurts engineered a touchdown drive without his top two receivers catching a pass. Two catches for Quez Watkins. Two for Miles Sanders. One each for Jack Stoll and Dallas Goedert. Hurts took what was there, didn’t force anything, was happy to take the underneath throw, found the open man, spread the ball around and got the Eagles in the end zone. “We like getting everybody involved, there’s no doubt,” Nick Sirianni said. “Just makes you harder to defend. It was nice to see him spread it around early tonight.” It was only one series in a preseason opener against the Jets, but it was a promising start for Hurts because he showed growth in a lot of the areas the Eagles have been hoping he’d improve in.

Zach Pascal is everything the Eagles hoped for and more -
“I’m not all the way back where I want to be strength-wise, but I have been in the weight room every single day,” Pascal said. “If we have practice in the morning, I’m in the weight room in the evening. If we practice at night – even today I lifted this morning. I’m still trying to get my strength back after the illness.”

2022 NFL preseason, Week 1: What We Learned from Saturday’s games -
Antonio Gibson’s fumble issues once again a problem. Gibson fumbled on the Commanders’ second drive, leading to an easy Panthers touchdown. Following the botch, rookie Brian Robinson Jr. got most of the run with the first-team offense. The third-round pick out of Alabama looked good bowling over defenders and falling forward to gain additional yards when the blocking didn’t open holes. Robinson rushed six times for 26 yards with a TD and added two catches for 15 yards. Making the rotation more interesting was Gibson returning to the game when Taylor Heinicke and the backups entered the contest. Gibson’s fumbling concerns and Robinson’s solid showing add more questions to how the Commanders backfield will shake out moving toward the regular season.

Commanders fans are generally upbeat ahead of the first preseason game; they also have some interesting thoughts about the defense and the firing of the DL coach - Hogs Haven
I was a bit surprised at the strength of this number when I first saw the results, but I guess I shouldn’t have been. In our last poll, 56% of respondents picked the Commanders to win the NFC East in 2022. This week’s result in which 73% of those answering the question expressed confidence in the direction of the team is consistent with that.

Big Blue View mailbag: Xavier McKinney, Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones, more - Big Blue View
Sure, it is traditional that a middle linebacker calls the defense. But, why? Because in the old days the middle linebacker — Dick Butkus, Ray Nitschke, Ray Lewis, Jack Lambert — was the heart and soul of the defense. That isn’t really the case any longer. Inside linebackers are guys who come off the field in passing situations. Safeties can see everything, and they are already calling signals for the secondary. That, to me, is the crux of this for the Giants. Martindale and the Giants are absolutely turning this defense over to McKinney. He is now the leader, a young, rising star. Martinez? A guy coming off an ACL who is not playing every snap in training camp, and this moves screams from the mountaintop that Martinez will not be playing every snap in regular-season games. He will likely be one of those guys being shuttled in and out based on package. Same with Tae Crowder. Or, whoever is at inside linebacker. Don’t forget also that Martinez is in the last year of his contract. He is unlikely to be a Giant next year, so cutting the cord now and making the transition away from him as the brain of the defense makes sense.

Cowboys thoroughly disappoint in inept 17-7 loss to the Broncos - Blogging The Boys
Sometimes you hate to be right, but I think you have to admit I nailed it as the dysfunctional Cowboys fell to the Broncos 17-7 where the most glaring stat line for Dallas was 17 penalties for 129 yards, with several other infractions declined. It is hard to figure out where to start with the struggles in the first half, but let’s go to a sadly very familiar problem. Penalties just kept coming for the Cowboys. They had a dismal nine penalties for 65 yards accepted, with several others declined. They ran the gamut, from offsides to false starts, but a standout in a bad way was rookie Tyler Smith, who was twice flagged for holding. This is particularly troubling. The team is relying on him to be the starting left guard, but he came into the league with a reputation for getting flagged a lot. That was clearly in evidence. Mike McCarthy claimed that cutting down on the infractions was an emphasis this year. That was mission failed in the first half.


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