Love him or hate him, Jalen Hurts goes into the 2022 season as the starting quarterback and face of the Eagles franchise. It’s crazy to think the former second-round pick is only 24 years old. Hurts is just the sixth youngest starter in football.
So, on the birthday of Jalen Hurts, we decided to dive into the archives and relive his five best games so far.
5. Jalen Hurts makes his debut
The 2020 Eagles season was a disaster. At 4-11-1, questions surrounding their original starting quarterback, coach, and even general manager had completely overtaken the locker room. It wasn’t a surprise that the rookie Jalen Hurts got a start at the beginning of December.
Hurts completed 17 of 30 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown pass while also attributing 100 yards rushing to help the Eagles stun a 10-2 Saints team at Lincoln Financial Field.
Was the game perfect from Hurts? No. But with a serious lack of weapons around him, and against one of the best defenses in football, Hurts pulled off an excellent game that helped Philadelphia fans celebrate for one of the few times all season.
4. Hurts-Herbert Duel
Arguably one of Hurts’ best starts of the 2021 season came in a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Justin Herbert couldn’t be stopped on offense, and the Eagles barely had time to score throughout the game. It was a miracle that Philadelphia was even in that game.
Yet in the limited snaps, he played, Hurts matched Herbert play-for-play and helped Philadelphia tie the game late into the fourth quarter. The numbers don’t tell the whole story. Hurts was 11 for 17 and just 162 yards passing but his strike to DeVonta Smith in the fourth quarter was one of the main highlights as the Eagles began to turn the corner in their second-half run.
Numbers don’t tell the whole story on the Hurts/Herbert draft year.
3. Beatdown of the Falcons
The opening day of the 2021 season was an excellent start for the Hurts/Sirianni era in Philadelphia. Philadelphia opened up the year against Atlanta, which arguably, had an even worse year than the Eagles in 2020.
Hurts threw for over 260 yards and three touchdowns en route to a dominant 32-6 rout of the Falcons. Pinpoint accuracy, a balanced trust in his legs, and red-zone efficiency helped propel the Eagles quarterback to an excellent start in his first season as the face of the franchise.
2. Hurts duels with Kyler Murray
After going 1-0 in his first start against the Saints, Jalen Hurts lost an excellent duel against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals in December of 2020.
Hurts and the Eagles fell in a 16-0 hole after the first quarter but battled back to tie the game in the fourth quarter.
Hurts threw for 338 yards and three touchdown passes while also scoring once on the ground. Hurts looked every bit like a franchise quarterback in that game and showed that there was room to improve in every facet.
1. Both 2021 games against Washington
The Eagles’ 2021 season essentially came down to both games against the Washington Football Team. In both contests, Jalen Hurts was arguably the best player on the field.
In the first matchup, the Eagles erased an early deficit and came back in large part because of their quarterback. The first game saw the team fall into a 10-0 deficit before Hurts took over. The then-23-year-old scored three times (2 rushing, 1 passing) to help the Eagles win 27-17. Hurts accounted for over 290 yards passing and 38 rushing yards to help the Eagles gain over 500 yards of offense.
The second matchup was far more of a challenge.
While the first game in Philly had the WFT decimated with injuries, the second saw a much better defense fighting for their playoff lives. Washington led 16-7 before a second-half onslaught, started by Hurts. The Eagles would clinch a playoff berth after the win.
In both games, Hurts did what franchise quarterbacks need to do: win the football game. If Hurts doesn’t play as he did in both games, the Eagles probably lose and the team would be out of the playoff hunt. Numbers don’t tell the whole story when judging quarterbacks. That is evident in Hurts’ first full year as a starting quarterback.
Yet if it wasn’t for him, the Eagles are probably not in the playoffs the year prior. Jalen Hurts heads into his second full year as a starting quarterback. If he continues to show improvement as he has, the Eagles’ 2022 season could be more special than last year.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire