The Philadelphia Eagles may have been off yesterday as they prepare for their NFC East clash against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, but they still found a way to stay in the news through no fault of their own. On NFL Total Access, the night show on NFL Network, former quarterback and first-overall pick David Carr questioned Philadelphia’s viability as a contender with the way Jalen Hurts has been playing.
How many MVP candidates have you heard have their job questioned midway through another MVP-caliber season?
“When you look at this team, you have to have a serious conversation if you’re Philly and you have to really say, ‘Is it better for us to play Marcus Mariota right now and let Jalen get fully healthy?'” Carr said Tuesday.
Carr’s comments came as a shock to many around the league. Hurts has just under 3,000 passing yards, and 31 total touchdowns, and ranks in the top 10 in QBR. He has helped Philly traverse through the post-Super Bowl hangover to record a 10-2 record despite a knee injury that hampered his rushing capabilities against the league’s toughest schedule. A win in Dallas on Sunday could all but guarantee a division crown for the Eagles – their second straight.
It’s that knee injury that Carr feels is the biggest reason why the Eagles should bench their $50 million franchise quarterback.
“If Philly wants to win the Super Bowl, which I believe that’s their goal. Jalen has to be 100% to utilize his legs in designed QB runs to dictate coverages that will allow for one on ones to his dynamic receivers,” Carr explained in additional tweets.
If Carr was trying to explain his point from an injury perspective, he may have had a small, but somewhat fair point. The issue at hand for many both outside and inside the organization is that the former first overall pick in 2002 stated that Hurts could not read defenses well, and wasn’t effective in drop-back passing situations.
It was at that point that some of the NFL’s top analysts came to the defense of the current MVP candidate – and for good reason. Last season, Hurts had the highest grades for passing inside the pocket while this year has been much of the same. Despite some obvious regression in numbers from the entire offense (ninth-ranked offense this year to third last year), Hurts has been as good as ever in clutch moments.
That was what made Carr’s comments so surprising.
If the Eagles weren’t 10-2 and the offense was being hampered by Hurts’ apparent knee injury, the conversation of sitting the quarterback for a couple games still doesn’t happen – but maybe whispers begin to start.
But we know how important attaining the #1 seed is for each contending team in the NFC. Playing in Philadelphia in January is far different than a game in early December. Obviously, the Eagles should be using Hurts as much as possible to attain the top seed, and then give him extra weeks to rest up and begin the playoff run at 100%.
Carr may have begun focusing on the first part of his diatribe on NFL Network, but his comments about Mariota being a better passer and running the offense more effectively than Hurts are not based on any sort of fact imaginable. Hurts is an MVP candidate, Mariota has never been. With the Eagles nearing the end of their gauntlet schedule, it would make little to no sense to even consider benching a top quarterback on the planet.
Eagles would never, actually no one would
It’s also simply a laughable take when you consider that the Eagles can still attain the #1 seed and win the division even with a loss to the Cowboys on Sunday. There may be plenty of overreactions after the team’s 42-19 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, but this one from a first-round bust might have taken the entire cake.
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel