Jalen Hurts has come under a lot of fire since the opening game of the season. With the front office holding a trio of 2022 first-round picks, there was naturally a lot of pressure on the shoulders of the second-year QB to exceed expectations. When progress wasn’t leaping off the screen, it was easy to jump to conclusions and begin to panic. Hurts reminded the world to simply breathe, trust the process, and enjoy the ride this past Sunday.
He wasn’t perfect, but Hurts completed 16/23 passes for 2 TD’s and 1 INT and 178 yards. The numbers don’t really matter, but the context does. For a quarterback who has struggled with accuracy, pocket awareness, and a reluctance to throw to his left, Hurts clearly showed signs of development in all areas.
There were numerous occasions where Hurts stepped up in the pocket and delivered a strike over the middle as opposed to trusting his instinct and aborting the mission. He kept his eyes downfield more regularly and was able to put a little more touch on those deep shots. The overall accuracy on those longer throws still needs some work, but the receivers had consistent chances to make plays on the ball, which wasn’t the case for the most part this season.
The biggest compliment you can give Hurts right now is that he never got gun-shy. He never lost confidence in those deep balls or refused to throw them. As the weight was slowly taken off of his shoulders, it probably only added more confidence because there was a sense of stability. The offense can move the ball easily on the ground and it’s not the end of the world of he misfires. As a result, we’ve seen Hurts really take some significant strides when it comes to planting his feet when delivering a throw and a willingness to step up and fire it deep.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. We knew that Jalen Hurts would be a raw talent coming into this season and that it would take more than a handful of starts to properly evaluate him. Did it get concerning when it appeared his growth stagnated? Absolutely. But it’s easy to confuse growth with an overnight transformation, especially when there’s a real push to see instant results.
Sunday’s win acted as a stark reminder that Hurts can become a lethal quarterback in this league and has all the right tools to do so. He’ll need a few more outings like that to really convince the Eagles to double down and remain patient for another year, but this was a huge step in the right direction. Hurts is developing as a quarterback and that’s all anyone could ask for.
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