Heading into the 2021 NFL season, no one quite knew what to expect from the Philadelphia Eagles. They were rolling out an entirely new coaching staff filled with first-year play-callers, and Jalen Hurts was set to begin the season as the unquestioned starter.
With playoffs seemingly out of the question for Philly this year, focus pivoted toward Hurts and the overall status of the QB position. The Eagles have upwards of three first-round picks in 2022, so figuring out if Hurts can be the long-term starter is pretty essential. If he’s not, the Eagles are expected to aggressively pursue veteran quarterbacks Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, and Aaron Rodgers in the trade market.
Jalen Hurts is coming off one of the best games of his career
Sat at 4-6 through ten weeks of football, the Eagles have slightly overachieved. By no means have they performed like one of the better teams in the NFC. However, numerous offseason models had them finishing with three or four wins total. Hitting that mark just over halfway through the season is a promising step.
While the Eagles’ new and improved run game is largely what’s saved their offense as of late, it’s worth highlighting that Jalen Hurts is coming off one of the best games of his career.
Hurts was 15-for-20 with 228 total yards of offense and two passing touchdowns during the first half of the Eagles’ Week 10 win over the Denver Broncos. The young starter hit DeVonta Smith in the end zone twice, highlighting his improved throwing ability compared to where he was just a few games prior.
Hurts finished with just 178 passing yards and threw an interception in the second half. However, it’s the small steps of growth Hurts is displaying that has Eagles fans excited. He went on the road and led his team to a massive first-half lead, primarily moving the ball through the air. That’s not something he could do during his rookie season.
Dan Orlovsky claims the Eagles have their guy for 2022
With questions still circulating over the Eagles’ QB job in 2022, NFL analyst Dan Orlovsky chimed in with his thoughts on the matter. He believes Hurts has done enough to retain the position for at least one more year.
“Jalen Hurts is the guy, at least, at least, next year for the Philadelphia Eagles,” said Orlovsky. “I think he’s done nothing but get better and better and better.”
“I think the young man has proven he’s at least in the conversation for being the guy, right?”
Are the Eagles willing to commit to Jalen Hurts moving forward?
While Hurts has certainly improved this season, it’s worth pointing out Eagles general manager Howie Roseman is somewhat infamous for his aggressiveness at the QB position. He’s churned through multiple starters over his tenure as Philly GM, even trading Carson Wentz, who he sold the farm to initially acquire back in 2016.
Unless Hurts leads the Eagles on a magical run into the postseason, it’s hard to imagine Roseman passing up on the opportunity to acquire Wilson, Watson, Rodgers, or possibly even Derek Carr.
There’s a lot of football left to be played this year and Hurts currently ranks outside the top-18 in both quarterback rating (QBR) and passer rating. Simply put, he has a lot of work to do before the Eagles should consider committing to him over a potential offseason veteran acquisition.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.