Jalen Hurts has a lot in common with one unsuspecting former Eagles QB in particular

Jalen Hurts
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 19: Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts (1) throws a pass in the first half during the game between the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles on September 19, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The instinctive comparisons for Jalen Hurts might be a Michael Vick or Donovan McNabb, but the numbers tell a darker story.That’s right. I’m talking about Sammy Sleeves.

After looking at every Eagles quarterback’s season totals since 2010, beginning with Kevin Kolb, Sam Bradford’s the closest to what we see in 2021.

I’m going to keep this brief because we’re all excited about a potential playoff run that will ultimately net the Philadelphia Eagles three first-round picks in the mid-twenties.

So before we can have the Bradford-Hurts conversation, let’s hop in our time machine and revisit Philadelphia’s villain: Chip Kelly.

It wasn’t all daises for those of you who remember the Kelly years. Bradford was just another flower that never bloomed, and his tenure was ultimately a fever dream.

From the highs of a perfect preseason performance against the Green Bay Packers to the repeated beating of the Kelly patented:45s second three-and-out, this ranks as the most disappointing Eagles residencies of the last couple of decades.

I, for one, choose to forget those Chip Kelly years and, with only Lane Johnson remaining of 21 total draftees, Philadelphia’s effectively erased any whispers of the little man from Oregon.

I know it may not seem relevant to the headline, but I needed to get that out of my system. Back to Sleeves and Hurts, their similarities extend past their collegiate days in soon-to-be SEC powerhouse, Oklahoma.

I’m pretty aware that Sam Bradford didn’t rush for 800 yards in 2015, but otherwise, the comparisons are rather stark. Here are Bradford’s numbers from 2015 alongside Hurts’ current campaign:

Sam Bradford – 2015

Record as a starter: 7-7

QBR: 39.2

Net Yards Gained per Pass Attempt: 6.29

Jalen Hurts – 2021

Record as a starter: 7-7

QBR: 46.5

Net Yards Gained per Pass Attempt: 6.45

Now, QBR is the WAR of the NFL, but it must mean something. In that category, Hurts has the jump on Bradford, but I’m more interested in yards per pass attempt.

As a passer, Hurts’ 6.45 NYG per pass attempt isn’t much better than Bradford’s 6.29, and there’s more.

In 2015, Bradford threw a touchdown on 3.6% of his passes. Meanwhile, Hurts is averaging a touchdown on 3.9% of his pass attempts. I’m not done.

Bradford was sacked on 5.0% on all dropbacks. 5.8% of all Hurts dropbacks have resulted in a sack.

I think you know where I’m going with this. These are the kind of numbers that point you in the direction of a .500 record.

Now, I’m certainly not prepared to send Hurts into the doghouse, but all this even surprised me. If you removed Hurts’ ability to tuck and run, I know you can’t; Bradford is Hurt’s best comp since 2010.

You cannot undervalue Hurts ability to extend the play, but all these numbers say the same thing: when you ask him to throw the ball, he’s mimicking a 2015 Bradford impression.

This isn’t SNL, and I’m not laughing. Cheers to the playoffs.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire