The Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants‘ Week 12 matchup had the makings of an instant classic heading into it. It was the first time the two teams were seeing each other in 2021, and the Giants had a bit of a score to settle after the Eagles hilariously tanked away their season last year, knocking New York out of the playoff picture at the last second.
However, this year’s Eagles team is very different compared to last year’s four-win one. They have a new starting quarterback, a new head coach, and a new No. 1 wide receiver (who the Giants also wanted to draft). The Eagles were riding hot after a home win over the New Orleans Saints, while the Giants were still struggling to get out of the starting gate.
With so many converging storylines taking place at once, fans were expecting an exciting affair.
The Giants beat the Eagles 13-7 in incredibly dull fashion
Unfortunately for those in attendance and those watching at home, the Eagles-Giants Week 12 duel was a disgusting display of football on all accounts. 20 total points were scored between the two teams, and the Eagles turned the ball over four times.
Few (if any) explosive plays were achieved on the afternoon. Most of the game was spent battling for field position, as neither Philadelphia nor New York could string together enough good plays to establish long, productive drives.
Anytime the Eagles got close to the endzone, Hurts threw an interception. The Giants, on the other hand, spent minimal time near the endzone. Most of their drives stalled out with punts.
Giants DB Julian Love took a shot at QB Jalen Hurts after the game
Despite reports surfacing before the game that the Eagles were coming around to the idea of Jalen Hurts being their starting QB in 2022, the second-year pro had his worst NFL performance by a country mile. Hurts went 14-for-31 for 129 passing yards and three interceptions. It was a gross display of football, highlighting how limited Hurts truly is as a passer.
After the game, Giants safety Julian Love wasted little time commenting on Hurts’ arm. He stated the Giants’ plan entering the matchup was to force Hurts to throw.
“Make him throw the ball,” Love said. “He’s very talented, but we wanted to make him beat us throwing.”
Hurts still had a productive day running the football (8 carries for 77 yards). However, when asked to beat the Giants through the air, he couldn’t do it. It’s near-impossible to win a game when your starting QB throws three interceptions.
Love’s comments may come off as disrespectful and insulting. However, that’s not the point. The Giants had a game plan and executed it to perfection when it was all said and done.
Jalen Hurts failing as a passer is the Eagles’ worst nightmare
Through his first 1.5 seasons, the Eagles have committed extremely hard to Jalen Hurts. They fired an entire coaching staff and traded away former franchise QB Carson Wentz to make room for him this past offseason. One can reasonably argue the selection of WR DeVonta Smith this past spring was influenced by the presence of Hurts as well.
The team switching to a run-first mold this season is another example of the organization catering to Hurts and his needs.
However, as we just saw against the Giants, quarterbacks need to pass the football to win games in the NFL consistently. Despite all the work Philadelphia has put into developing and growing Hurts, his inability to move the ball through the air dates back to his college days. It’s yet to turn around despite being an NFL sophomore.
Hurts has won over his teammates, coaches, and the city’s fan base. However, continued performances like the one against the Giants will push the Eagles to explore external QB options in 2022. It’s simply too bad of a look to have rival defenses daring your starting QB to throw the football against them.
The Eagles are set to have upwards of three first-round picks at their disposal next offseason to fix the QB position. However, this is not the outcome the team was hoping for when they traded Wentz away to make room for Hurts.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.