Is it time for the Eagles to set Jalen Hurts free? Since the beginning of the season, Nick Sirianni and the offensive staff have been focused on maximizing the abilities of Jalen Hurts but in doing so they may be hurting the second-year QB. Hurts and the offense lead the league in the most RPO plays ran, but is that a good thing?
At this rate, Jalen Hurts has accounted for 87% of the Eagles’ offense. The highest rate by any player in the league, even Lamar Jackson. The Eagles could be closer to running Jalen’s career into the ground before they find out his potential to be the team’s franchise QB. With how predictable this offense has become, there’s not much room for growth if Nick Sirianni doesn’t pull his head out of the sand. The RPO-heavy offense has limited the usage of players like Dallas Goedert, Zach Ertz, and even Miles Sanders.
Many in the NFL believe that with a mobile QB you need to focus on plays out of shotgun, or the trickery of the RPO. Jalen isn’t just a mobile QB, he’s a pretty decent pocket passer when given the chance to be. Hurts is pretty effective when throwing behind the line of scrimmage. Since teams are aware of his running ability it helps keep defenses honest as their forced to contain the edges. The one issue with Hurts and his passing ability is his timing. It seems to be a bit delayed when targeting a player deep or even on a crossing route.
It’s time for Sirianni and company to focus on helping Jalen get settled in games as opposed to playing him scared in this very basic RPO set. Teams are zeroing in on what the Eagles are doing and defenses like the Bucs will have no remorse for the young QB.
Allowing Hurts to drop back more often combined with running the ball under center can help the eagles’ offense and its playmakers. It allows a player like Miles Sanders to see the hole better than he does out of the RPO. It’ll give him more confidence knowing he’s getting the ball as opposed to him having to guess if Hurts is going to keep it or not.
Tonight is the perfect opportunity for Nick Sirianni to experiment. They’re facing a top-5 NFL team with a tremendous defense. If the Eagles can control the tempo of the game and keep Brady off of the field then the win may be in reach. The only way to do this is to settle the offense, understand what the defense is giving you as opposed to forcing the RPO to work. It’s going to be interesting if Sirianni shows some self-awareness and cuts down on the RPO sets.
Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire