A 24-year-old quarterback went toe-to-toe with the league MVP and damn near won it had it not been for a porous Eagles defense and questionable calls at the conclusion of the game. It’s clear the Philadelphia Eagles, after their heartbreaking 38-35 loss in Super Bowl LVII have found their franchise quarterback, even if they didn’t do enough to help him. Jalen Hurts was sensational and deserved a chance to win that football game.
It’s also easy to say that the Eagles will be back with 10 of 11 starters returning on offense, and plenty of flexibility to improve on the defensive side of the football.
Unfortunately, history does not favor Philadelphia at the current moment.
Jalen Hurts is now the 35th starting quarterback to lose in his Super Bowl debut. Of those previous 34 quarterbacks, only six have been able to get back to the big game in their careers. Most recently, Joe Burrow lost the Super Bowl last season and lost in the AFC Championship game this year.
Am I shameful for even bringing this up? Of course. Hurts has shown improvements as a passer in the pocket and a leader to be more than up to the challenge of getting back to the Super Bowl. He also has the benefit of playing in an overall weaker conference where he is clearly the best quarterback in.
The obstacles for the Eagles
But a tougher schedule in 2023, a defense that will undergo major changes in the offseason, and a looming contract extension for Hurts could stand in Philadelphia’s way. The money Hurts will command on an extension (reports say well north of $50 million) will directly impact how the Eagles build another championship roster.
Could Jalen Hurts take less money to keep much of the core roster intact? Of course. Is it likely? Probably not. Hurts came to the NFL disrespected and now has a chance to get his true worth. He shouldn’t negotiate down because it would be bad for players everywhere.
Howie Roseman therefore will need to show that he’s up to the task to improve a very porous defense that didn’t show up in the Super Bowl. Decisions on Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, James Bradberry, and TJ Edwards will need to be decided. If the Eagles can also draft as well as they have, they could be like Kansas City and pay a top quarterback and still win a championship.
Philadelphia’s championship window now falls on three people: Howie Roseman, Nick Sirianni, and Jalen Hurts. If Roseman puts the right core together, Sirianni is able to find smart assistants to replace those that are leaving, and Hurts elevates his game, the Eagles will be back in Super Bowl Sunday soon.
Unfortunately, History shows that it’s a lot easier said than done.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire