What more does Jalen Hurts have to do to prove that he is an elite QB?

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts celebrates after the Eagles defeated the Los Angeles Rams 23-14 in an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

It is difficult to avoid reading or hearing someone talk negatively about Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Jalen Hurts lately. He’s accomplished so much in the little time that he’s been the Eagles starting QB. But for some reason that continuously gets swept under the rug in favor of some new eye candy for the media. Instead of allowing him to flourish it seems like the outside media has put a target on Hurts now. One of the more recent people to throw themselves into the drama is former Eagles player Emmanuel Acho.

“Jalen Hurts is a good quarterback, he is not an elite quarterback. Jalen Hurts is good enough to get you there, he’s not good enough to win it.”

This again? Really?

Like Yogi Berra once said“It’s like deja vu all over again.”

Two Years Ago

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, right, is sacked by Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Greg Gaines during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

After losing in the playoffs to Tampa Bay (sound familiar) to end the Eagles 2021 season, many people questioned whether Jalen Hurts was a franchise Quarterback

Even though Hurts had just led a team with 3 offensive rookies (DeVonta, Landon Dickerson, Kenny Gainwell & Jalen himself was a first-year starter) to a 9–8 record that exceeded all expectations, including a playoff appearance with a very flawed roster. Many fans were not excited and energized about the future. 

People had doubts on me. People still have doubts on me.”

And those doubters came out in full force on the airwaves and social media; “He can’t read a defense, He doesn’t have a strong arm, and He is only a running back” etc, etc, as if that were true. 

Or as if, he alone shoulders the blame for a roster of 53 losing.

But you know what though, he would accept it. He always does. 

And even though Jalen Hurts accepts their criticism, he does not share their opinions. He also doesn’t forget. 

I carry my scars with me everywhere I go. I don’t forget. Do I waste my energy worrying about the opinion of someone else? No. Everyone and their opinion doesn’t deposit at the bank”

Jalen spent that entire off-season hearing fans, media, and former players criticize his play, ability, and even his spot on the roster. Yet he never responded. He stayed focused and continued improving his craft by utilizing the one attribute very few have ever doubted, his relentless work ethic.

While others in similar circumstances could have been bitter or demanded to be traded, Hurts used it as fuel and changed the mind of each doubter one game at a time.

“That turns me up. It lights a fire in me. It does something to me, because I know I’ll prove you wrong.”

And a season later he did just that.

2022 Season

Jalen Hurts nfl week 11 odds
PHOENIX, AZ – FEBRUARY 12: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) throws a pass while warming up for Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles on February 12, 2023, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)

The narrative began to change in a big way after Jalen led the Eagles to an impressive 8–0 record to start the year

Jalen was in the midst of one of the best seasons for an offensive player in Eagles history. Until a late-season injury caused him to miss 2 games, he was the leading MVP candidate in the NFL. 

Despite his injury, the Eagles marched through the playoffs without much resistance. 

Their season would be over after Hurts played one of the greatest games by a QB in Super Bowl history. Despite his efforts the Eagles lost by 3. But his star was on the rise, and he would be rewarded with a long-term commitment to be the Eagles starting QB. He even did that with the long-term needs of the team in mind.

Jalen got paid, to be sure, but he accepted a team-friendly contract, and as he said

“Money is nice, Championships are better”

The epic collapse of 2023

Once again, the Eagle’s season started very promising and they got off to a blistering 10–1 start. Jalen Hurts was being mentioned as an NFL MVP contender in the league. Then the wheels came off. 

The team went 1–6 down the stretch and Hurts suddenly went from being the top MVP candidate to many people believing he should not be a starting QB.  

The Eagles limped into the playoffs and were again eliminated by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the wild-card round. 

Here we go again. 

Where does Jalen Hurts stand now?

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts looks on from the bench during the first half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

Some people in the media, fans, and armchair Quarterbacks everywhere started to question Jalen Hurts and his ability to be an NFL QB.

Some believe Kellen Moore was brought in to fix Jalen Hurts, not an entire offense that struggled with playcalling and consistency.

Others believe that Jalen will suffer without Jason Kelce on the line assisting in the Brotherly Shove tush push play. 

More recently, it was stated that Jalen was not effusive enough with praise for the Eagles head coach when he was asked about Nick being open-minded to changes in the offense and what he has seen from him doing that. Jalen replied

“I think he’s been great in the messages he’s delivering to the team. Trying to be very intentional in what he’s saying.”

Some thought this answer ducked the question. Seems like a classic Jalen Hurts response to me. 

Mostly, the criticism handed to Jalen has been perception versus reality. He is a leader, speaks on coaching and players when needed, and the offensive woes from a year ago are on more shoulders than just his. The praises for Jalen Hurts will be effusive once the Eagles start winning and accomplishing their goals on the field. 

As always, thank you for reading

Follow me on X @PHLEagleNews 

AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian