Is Jalen Hurts a franchise QB? It’s a debate that will rage on deep into the offseason regardless of how good or badly the Eagles play to round out their 2021 campaign. As one of the most marketable franchises in the NFL, the Eagles QB situation will always be a massive conversation, so long as they remain coy with their future plans.
But with the Eagles sitting at 4-6 after a brutal 10 game stretch that saw a combo of All-pro QB’s and top 5 defenses, the schedule will begin to lighten up, and an opportunity to march to the playoffs is upon Philadelphia.
And that is because of the play of Jalen Hurts.
Hurts has played mistake free football for the better part of 10 games and it’s put the Eagles in a position to compete for a playoff spot in a year where the playoffs seemed like a far reaching idea.
As long as his play continues to remain consistent, the Eagles should do everything in their power to build around him, to build a Super Bowl roster around him.
There’s plenty of examples we’ve seen with that working.
I know. I know. Jalen Hurts isn’t as bad as Mark Sanchez was. But even with how bad a turn the career of the Sanchize took, he was still the QB that beat not only Peyton Manning on the road, but Tom Brady, Phillip Rivers, and Carson Palmer.
He wasn’t the main reason of course. The Jets roster was absolutely loaded with talent. Revis, Mangold, Ferguson, Faneca and many other All-Pro’s were on the roster that made the Jets a legitimate contender in the late 2000’s.
The example Sanchez sets is that as long as you have an extremely talented roster and competent QB play, your team and and will be successful in the NFL and can win multiple playoff games.
Jalen Hurts’ talents far exceed that of Sanchez. The Eagles should do everything in their power to build around Hurts like the Jets early years with Sanchez.
When Dak Prescott was drafted to the Dallas Cowboys, he was drafted by a team that went 12-4 two years prior and had a boatload of injuries in 2015.
In reality, the Cowboys were a loaded offensive and defensive juggernaut before Dak even got there. Then you add in an All-Pro like Ezekiel Elliott at RB, and you have an offense that can outgun anyone.
We really haven’t seen Dak play without exemplary talent around him, even with the rotting carcass of Dez Bryant, he still had Jason Witten, and a top 5 offensive line. A year and a half later, and Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup were added.
The Cowboys have done everything in their power to add offensive talent around Dak, and it’s made the Cowboys into an absolute dynamic force offensively.
There’s no reason to hide it. When it comes to overall talent on the roster, the Cowboys have overlapped the Eagles. It really isn’t that close.
There’s no reason for the Eagles to not hit on all three of their upcoming first round picks in this upcoming draft…even if that means all three first-rounders must be on the defensive side of the ball. It’s what the Cowboys did in 2020, and now they have total control of the NFC East because of it.
I wrote an article a few months back after coming to the realization that we expect too much out of starting QB’s. People can debate the reasons why Carson Wentz’s tenure in Philadelphia ended so sourly, but the Eagles did absolutely nothing to help him out in the long run.
Missed draft picks, poor free agent acquisitions, and confusing contract extensions all mired the Eagles in below average talent. The expectation was that Wentz must be able to overcome this and still win consistently.
However, that has never been the case, no matter who you’re talking about.
John Elway couldn’t win a Super Bowl until he actually got a good defense and run game, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson haven’t been to the Super Bowl in close to a decade, and showed massive collapses in many playoff games.
If the Eagles are to TRULY learn from the Carson Wentz fiasco, it’s to build the offense, and overall roster with excellent talent, and smart free agent acquisitions. Build the talent around the QB, and watch the QB flourish.
How good was Nick Foles on the Rams and Jaguars? Was he the same player as he was in Philadelphia when he threw for 27 TD’s in 10 games?
Or was he the same player when he guided the Eagles to their first Super Bowl in franchise history?
In truth, the reality is that the talent placed around Foles in Philadelphia far exceeded anything the Jaguars and Rams gave him.
But the example here is showing just how good the 2017 Eagles were. People forget that, before his Super-Sayan run to the Lombardi, Foles was horrific in his three starts in the regular season. A QBR of 31.1, poor decision making, and a horrific arm showed and for a good three weeks, people were clamoring for Nate Sudfeld to play in the divisional round against Atlanta.
That actually happened.
In reality, the Eagles went 2-1 with Foles as the starter in 2017, 4-0 in 2018, and two great playoff runs. But the Eagles had the #3 rushing attack that year, a great OL and receiving threats all over the field.
It was the most complete team the Eagles have ever had and that’s without the QB. All Foles had to do was to not screw it up. And he did more than that.
The same can be said about Hurts here. Building the team around him isn’t expecting him to hide all the problems they have, it’s to build an offensive and defensive juggernaut that allows Hurts to be the player and leader he is.
Hurts has shown consistency in terms of his overall decision-making. He is far from a polished passer, but his growth is showing every week.
It’s time the Eagles backed him with the roster choices they make.
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