Philadelphia Eagles

Pros and cons of making Jalen Hurts the starter for the rest of 2020

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Doug Pederson had finally seen enough last night. The Eagles Head Coach pulled Carson Wentz in the third quarter of what was looking like a blowout loss to the Green Bay Packers, only for Jalen Hurts to provide enough of a spark to give them a fighting chance. The question is, who starts against the Saints?

Pros of starting Jalen Hurts

Opens up the offense

It took two impromptu rushing attempts for Jalen Hurts to lead the Eagles in yards on the ground last night. Whether by design or not, and whether it was down to the Packers defense playing so softly or not, there is no denying that the threat of Jalen Hurts running the football changed a lot for the Eagles offense last night.

His ability to make things happen on the ground was a welcoming sight to Eagles fans, who had spent weeks watching Carson Wentz go from statue to desperation rushing on countless occasions. Hurts brought an element of composure and confidence that Wentz simply didn’t in that area and that will undoubtedly open up the offense, force linebackers to stay shallow, and give his tight ends and crossing wideouts more space to work with.

A change needed to be made

Carson Wentz had 92 first-half passing yards. It wasn’t good enough. Regardless of the combination of factors playing into his regression, there had been no positive change in Wentz’s game through 13 weeks. From an individual standpoint, the Eagles had watched utter stagnation. At that point, down 21-3, what was really left to lose?

A failure to make a change and at least see what Hurts has to offer would be the equivalent of watching a stock plummet and refusing to sell, fully convinced that it will rebound. If you need that money, it’s not a good idea.

The Eagles had exhausted every avenue with Wentz and all that really happened was that he got a little angry last night and then woefully under-threw Dallas Goedert. If Pederson didn’t pull the plug, then someone else would’ve ultimately pulled it for him.

Now, at least nobody can doubt Pederson’s desire to improve this football team, even with their 3-8-1 record. Pulling your franchise QB sets a tone that isn’t acceptable.

A sense of urgency

Following on from that last point, it simply sets a precedent. Nobody is unbenchable. Nobody is untouchable. Nobody is exempt from having the rug ripped under them if their play is hurting the team. It might inject a sense of urgency from the players on the offense who have absolutely played a role in the benching of Carson Wentz. The guys who have come to respect him as their QB1 after all he’s gone through. They’ll have to face some accountability now and might see their play improve as a result.

Cons of starting Hurts

Confidence breaker

After all that Carson Wentz has been through, from watching Nick Foles win a Super Bowl, to the ‘Alshonymous’ sources, this might be the straw that breaks the Camel’s back. Drafting Jalen Hurts was a slap in the face and while it may not be the reason for his regression, it certainly might have been a reason.

If Wentz sits out the rest of the season and Hurts balls out, this offseason is going to be a rollercoaster that the Eagles have brought on themselves. They may have destroyed their own franchise QB through complete incompetence and a history of bad decisions…and cost themselves $128M in the process. Lovely.

He’s not the $128M man

The obvious answer here – Hurts isn’t the man with a contract that the Eagles have pumped a ridiculous sum of money into. If Jalen Hurts can win a few games and look better than Wentz (which isn’t hard) then should the Eagles approach the offseason with a mindset of moving on from Wentz, it’s going to be ridiculous.

The $43M in dead cap would be one problem, the cultural problem is another…

Locker room rumbles

We’ve seen it before, we’ll see it again – teammates ride and die for their QB. Benching Wentz might cause some locker room unrest from those close to him and spark a whole different problem. Some will stand in unison with Wentz over Hurts, and others the opposite…which is the last thing a team on the edge of a total implosion needed. Fireworks SZN? Fireworks SZN.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire

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Liam is a 25-year old sports journalist from the UK and founder of the Philly Sports Network. In just five years he turned a hobby into one of the fastest-growing Philadelphia sports sites in the world, amassing 7,000,000 views and writing over 3,000 articles. Drawing attention from the likes of CSN, NJ.Com and Bleacher Report in the process, Liam is set on changing the way Philadelphia sports teams are reported on forever.

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1 comment

  • Dave says:

    There is no con of starting Hurts. Take for instance the Packers, whom we just lost to. The Packers drafted a QB in the same fashion that the Eagles drafted Hurts. Rodgers responded by playing lights out and being near the top in QB rating for the season. Wentz imploded. He got progressively worse as the season wore on. For a 5th year guy who has a monstrous contract to go 6 of 15 for 79 yds. is inexcusable. True franchise QB’s put the team on their backs and at least make a game of it. There is all this talk of Wentz being intimidated or insulted or whatever because the Eagles drafted Hurts. Maybe the Eagles know something that we don’t. Maybe they have told Wentz over and over and over again to throw the ball away instead of taking the sack. Maybe they keep trying to get him to do things in practice that he won’t do. Maybe having his buddy Press Taylor as his QB coach was a boneheaded move on the Eagles part. All the extraneous things do not matter. What matters is that Wentz is falling apart…for whatever reason. True franchise players whether they be QB’s or RB’s or OL don’t look over their shoulder at the guy behind them. They show why they are the guy who should be or stay on the field. If Wentz doesn’t have the ability to do that, then he should be on the bench, and if the Eagles can’t trade him, then for the good of the team, they need to pay him to sit until such time that they can trade him for a couple of picks. In the meantime, they need to keep him in case Hurts gets hurt, because Sudfeld ain’t going to cut it. The Eagles are in this mess, and I would rather see them play well, but still lose so they can get the highest draft pick possible and get a new GM who can evaluate talent and draft the best players available..not players who fit the wonderful culture…players who can really play.

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