Why the Eagles are starting Jalen Hurts at QB over Carson Wentz
Updated: Feb 3, 2021
Let’s face it- it’s beyond time to replace Carson Wentz as the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles.
After leading the team to its first Super Bowl win just two seasons ago, the honeymoon is officially over between the former No. 2 overall pick and the famously ruthless fanbase.
There’s no shame in that for Wentz, now in his fifth season. The average lifespan of an NFL career in 2020 is a meager six years. There’s been clear signs of regression for the signal caller- and I’ll explain why in a moment.
But if the team decides to stick with championship-winning head coach Doug Pederson, it might be best for the team to eat some of Wentz’ lofty $30 million dollar deal in an effort to replace him.
Still, that leaves a gaping hole at the most important position in football, or sports for that matter.
Luckily, there’s a more than reliable backup option for Philly.
His name is Jalen Hurts.
Hurts has been overlooked from the time he was putting up huge numbers at Channelview High School in the Houston area.
We know him for what he did at Alabama starting with this often forgotten game in 2016, when he outdueled Sam Darnold and USC after coming in for that guy- frequent transfer portal flyer Blake Barnett.
After that, it was nothing but great numbers, accolades and wins for the Tide- until this happened.
Jalen was forced to play in a relief-backup role in 2018, but showed up in the nick of time in this classic moment.
In a move that was smart for him, Hurts transferred to Heisman trophy factory Oklahoma for his final season of school, and even led the Sooners to the College Football Playoff.
In a move that was criticized in April, Philly grabbed Hurts in the second round with the (53rd)? Overall pick. Critics thought the team could’ve addressed other needs with the selection, but maybe Pederson saw something coming that we didn’t.
There’s a really great video by film room savant Brent Kollman on YouTube that explains the ins-and-outs of Wentz’s regression this season. I’d encourage you to check it out if you’re interested, but the main takeaway is this: Wentz has been too prone to hero ball this season.
It’s almost like he’s trying to win the game on one play. Take this example.
All this has led to a disaster of a season production-wise and a league-high 15 picks.
Clearly, this offense isn’t fooling anybody in the NFL- let alone the genius defensive minds of coordinators and coaches and professional athletes on the other side of the ball. Hurts creates a wrinkle in the Eagles.
Just look at what he’s already done in the pros. In a league infatuated with run-pass-option concepts, Hurts speed, ability to make the right reads and agility gives the Eagles something they don’t have with the injury-prone Wentz under center.
Besides, the Eagles really don’t have much to lose. The team’s just 3-7-1 at the time of this video, and even though they’re within arm’s length of a playoff spot in the tank division- AKA the NFC East, four games in his rookie season could be just what Hurts needs to get adjusted to the offense and pace of the NFL.
The day of reckoning has come for Philly, and as the Eagles finish with the Saints, Packers and Cardinals- three teams in playoff positions, all likely losses for- along with the fodder of Dallas and Washington, there’s never been a better time to experiment.
But, knowing this organization, don’t be surprised if you see him wearing a headset 'til week 17.