Last season Jalen Hurts converted countless 3rd and 4th downs with his legs. He ripped the hearts out of opposing defenses and fans by turning broken plays into first downs. He also picked up huge chunks of yardage on designed runs. Jalen was fast and nimble and he ran tough and hard. He broke tackles, ran over guys and made them look ridiculous.
He kept defenses confused and tentative because they didn’t know who or what to cover when he dropped back. That’s why the offense was so explosive and why he was on pace to win the MVP. He truly was the ultimate weapon, kinda like a guy who used to play here.
And then Hurts got injured on a run in Chicago. It seemed like the narrative that comes up with every mobile QB was taking it’s turn with Hurts: “He’s gotta protect himself better.” “He’s gotta slide!” “He can’t put himself in danger like that anymore, he can’t risk injury.” They said it about Randall, they said it about Vick, Lamar Jackson, even Donovan McNabb. Of course we don’t want Hurts to get injured but do you want to neuter him and take away his super powers? Watching him curl up on the ground after half yard gains this season was sad and demoralizing.
What happened to our Jalen? Was he gone for good? He still led us to a 4-0 start this season and is a great player, but without those runs he wasn’t the MVP anymore. The offense felt off. And then Sunday happened. Hurts ran hard, bounced off tacklers, dragged guys and picked up tough yardage when we needed it most. He was back scrambling! Can you tell I was obsessed with Randall Cunningham as a kid?
Aside from the breathtaking scrambles, Hurts is the main reason the Brotherly Shove (yes, I capitalize it) is so fool proof. I was at the game this Sunday and after we scored that huge TD at halftime there were Rams fans complaining about the unstoppable play. Yes, the fans were outnumbered two to one but I heard them complaining. I told one Rams fan, “It’s legal for you guys too! Go for it!” Another Ram fan chimed in, “Once you lose Kelce it won’t work anymore.” I love Jason Kelce. He’s a legend. You can’t get me to say a bad word about him. Ever. But Hurts is the key to the Brotherly Shove. As long as it’s legal (there’s literally no reason for it not to be) then Hurts will always convert. He is that talented with his legs. And when he uses his legs to scramble, the passing game opens up for him and he throws for 300 yards to wide open receivers. It’s a simple equation. All due respect to Fred Barnett and Calvin Williams, but imagine if Randall had AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith. Hurts is also playing in an era much more favorable to offenses and protective of QBs. His ceiling is so much higher than #12.
I don’t know if he was coached to protect himself for the first four games or if he was in his own head because of the injury but it was tough to watch that new version of Hurts. It’s like in “Superman II” when Clark Kent gave up his powers for Lois Lane and got beat up at a diner. Or like in “Rocky II” when Rocky wouldn’t fight Apollo Creed in the rematch because Adrian was worried he’d get hurt. Really painful to watch our heroes not using their super powers. But eventually Superman gets his powers back and saves the world and Rocky fights Apollo and wins*. I don’t know what changed this week for Jalen Hurts but he was back and I’m trusting that he’s back for good.
Are you glad Jalen Hurts is scrambling again?
This poll is closed
No! We can’t afford for him to get injured
Yes, it’s part of what makes him great!