So, When Does Jalen Hurts Take Over In Philly?
When Jalen Hurts was selected with the 53rd overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, a lot of scouts and analysts scratched their heads. The Eagles' 2019 season was a rollercoaster of exceptional play and unfeathered disappointment, usually because of stacks of injuries in the secondary and at wide receiver, but looking for quarterback insurance was a toss-up decision.
But why Hurts in the second?
Eagles starting quarterback Carson Wentz signed a four-year extension in June of 2019, a deal which, at the time, guaranteed him more money than any other player in the NFL. In 2017, Wentz played at an MVP level in the eyes of many before tearing his ACL in a crucial game against the Los Angeles Rams. The rest of the story is Nick Foles's road to a Super Bowl LII victory.
Wentz didn't return to an MVP level in 2018, throwing for just over 3000 yards and 21 touchdowns to seven interceptions in just 11 games as he dealt with back injuries. 2019, while players around him were often injured, didn't produce much better.
But if injuries are what has plagued this team since December 10, 2017, the day Wentz tore his ACL, why draft Jalen Hurts?
Objectively, Doug Pederson is one of the top coaches in the NFL. Winning a Super Bowl with a backup quarterback has its effects. Maybe for the past two seasons, he'd seen enough to know Wentz may never return to an MVP level.
After all, Wentz's 2020 has been nothing short of abysmal. So far Wentz has thrown three touchdowns to six interceptions in just three weeks. Wentz hasn't thrown more than seven interceptions in a season since his rookie year.
Jalen Hurts has slowly been creeping more and more in the Eagles offensive plans, each week getting more action than the week before. Maybe Wentz is looking over his shoulder. Maybe Wentz has the yips.
Maybe it's having one receiver at practice Thursday.
Things are headed south in Philly and fast. And things won't get easier over the next three weeks, with matchups against the San Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens setting up a murderer's row for the Eagles offense to combat.
Here's where we answer the headline's question. There is a very real chance the Eagles start the season 0-5-1. Ending Week 3 in a tie purposefully against the Cincinnati Bengals was a strong tell that the team doesn't have great confidence in this offense. The Bengals are still bottom dwellers in the NFL while these next three matchups are the NFL's elite, especially defensively.
The moment that Hurts fans, and disgruntled Eagles fans, need to watch for is halftime of the Week 7 game versus the New York Giants. The Giants at best could be a one-win team at that point. If Wentz can't take the reigns in that game, look out for number two. Struggle to take care of the Giants like the Bengals, and Wentz could find a permanent spot on the bench.
Hurts knows all about losing his job. Professionally, don't expect sympathy when he takes the field. Hurts make the most of his opportunities, as all Crimson Tide fans have seen on multiple occasions.
The stars have aligned in Philadelphia. Jalen Hurts will be the starter by year's end.
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