Nick Sirianni might have found a way to buy himself & Jalen Hurts time

CHARLOTTE, NC – OCTOBER 10: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) claps his hands during the game between the Carolina Panthers and the Philadelphia Eagles on October 10, 2021 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

While the Eagles are coming off of a big win the fact of the matter is that they also took a big loss in the process. The team rushed for a season-high 236 yards in a historic amount of attempts(46). In the process of solidifying the run, they also revealed the cold hard truth about the offense. Their QB isn’t the right QB for the job.

Sure, Jalen Hurts was one of the top-rated QBs by PFF this weekend but he was still making the same mistakes that he’s been making all season. Hurts looked as paranoid as ever in the pocket. He stared down defenders as if they were the ones running routes for him.

Head Coach Nick Sirianni made the wise decision of relying on his running backs instead of his young QB in hope that it would lead the team to their third win in eight weeks. The mission was accomplished, but it didn’t exactly paint his quarterback out to be a developing passer.

Jalen Hurts was average at best throughout the game. He threw the ball 14 times and landed 9 of them. He heavily relied on Dallas Goedert as he once again struggled to push the ball down the field. The majority of his passes, as they have all year, were to the right-hand side of the field.

His 103 passing yards against the Lions were the lowest he’s thrown for all season. Receivers DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins combined for 3 receptions for 33 yards. While we all know Jalen Hurts can sling the ball, we also know that when the team relies on his arm, the likely outcome isn’t a win.

He’s missed wide-open receivers because of his inability to stay patient in the pocket. There’s also the issue of accuracy. Hurts has a completion percentage of 61% which places him at the bottom of the league.

However, his athleticism and ability to escape collapsing pockets is the one trait that continues to grant him a lifeline. Offensive coordinator Shane Steichen spoke glowingly of the performance Hurts turned in on Sunday.

I think he’s doing a heck of a job. Obviously, he did a heck of a job managing the game last week. He had that third down, third and 12 backed up. To me, we talked about staffing, that was the play of the game. He got us out of backed up, scrambling, made some big plays, and, obviously, he was efficient in throwing the football Sunday. It was good to see.

While many feel like it’s tougher to evaluate Hurts, I feel the opposite. I think it’s hard to evaluate Sirianni because of the limitations that come with Jalen Hurts. The inconsistency, the lack of trust in his arm, and the inability to see the field has placed the Eagles behind the 8-ball. So even after the big win on Sunday, the team may have mistakenly exposed that Jalen Hurts is truly their biggest weakness and huge question mark going forward.

However, if Sirianni can build a run-heavy offense that plays to the strengths of Hurts, then it will show us that he can mold his offense after all and elevate the playmakers within his system. Doing so would likely buy him some much-needed time and it might even do the same for Hurts.

This has been the case for weeks and the reason that fans have been clamouring for Sirianni to run the ball. If Hurts is struggling, forcing him to throw 40 times and air it out isn’t going to change anything. Taking weight off his shoulders and allowing him to grow in confidence is only going to benefit him in the long run until such a time as he’s able to step up with a much stronger skillset. If that doesn’t change, the Eagles have their answer and can use their trio of draft picks to find their next franchise QB. But they have to at least try to help him if it’s clear he’s struggling to stay afloat.

This Eagles team was always going to take a while to get going. A rookie Head Coach was destined to find teething problems early and a second-year QB needed time to develop. Rome wasn’t built in a day and while the jury is still out on both, there is at least a sign that brighter times may be ahead.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire