The Philadelphia Eagles are slowly slipping out of contention in the NFC East, as the starting quarterback conundrum is getting murkier by the week. Carson Wentz has struggled mightily over the last few weeks, and Philly fans are rapidly calling for Jalen Hurts to take over the starting job.
And apparently, so are the Eagles. In the week leading up to their Monday Night Football matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, the Eagles gave Hurts first-team reps at practice for the first time. If Wentz struggles out of the gate, Hurts will be given the opportunity to run the offense and steal his job by the end of the night.
The Eagles face off against the Seahawks on MNF
The Eagles, who now sit at 3-6-1 through 10 games this season, are in the midst of a tailspin. Philadelphia has lost two straight games coming off the bye week as the team has watched its NFC East lead evaporate.
Things don’t get any easier for the Eagles going forward, either. In the next four weeks, they play the Seahawks, Packers, Saints, and Cardinals all in a row. With the way they’ve been playing lately, the Eagles will be lucky to steal one of those contests.
Philadelphia welcomes Russell Wilson and the Seahawks into town for a crucial Monday Night Football matchup this week. Wilson has never lost to the Eagles in his career. He improved to 4-0 against the birds when he led Seattle to a Wild Card victory over Philadelphia in Lincoln Financial Field last postseason.
Can the Eagles find some late-season magic to upset the Seahawks and regain the division lead, or will Wilson uphold his undefeated record against the NFC East foe?
Jalen Hurts is getting first-team reps with Carson Wentz struggling
There’s no secret as to why the Eagles have sputtered to a 3-6-1 record this season. Carson Wentz, who was on his way to an NFL MVP award just three seasons ago, has regressed exponentially in 2020.
Wentz leads the entire NFL in turnovers this season with 18. He’s thrown as many interceptions this year (14) as touchdown passes. Last week against the Browns, Wentz single-handedly gifted Cleveland nine points after he threw a pick-six and took an unnecessary safety later in the game. The Eagles went on to lose by five.
Through 10 games, Wentz ranks 27th out of 31 qualifying quarterbacks in QBR (48.9). He ranks dead last in the league in completion percentage (58.4%) and has the worst off-target percentage in the NFL (23%). He’s missing open wide receivers, constantly throwing into double-coverage, and has failed to feel pressure from the defensive line all season long.
What happened to the guy who threw 33 touchdowns and led the NFL in QBR in 2017? You can argue the personnel around him isn’t getting the job done, or that the coaching staff is failing to put him in a position to succeed, but the bottom line is Wentz hasn’t played well enough to merit a starting quarterback job in the NFL this year.
Jalen Hurts will steal Carson Wentz’s starting job Monday night
Ahead of the Eagles’ MNF game against the Seahawks, Tim McManus of ESPN reported backup QB Jalen Hurts has been receiving first-team reps all week at practice.
Now, this could mean a lot of things. Wentz is still expected to start Monday night, but Hurts will undoubtedly be more involved in the game plan this week than in any game so far this season. Hurts is only averaging 3.1 snaps per game in his rookie year.
If Wentz struggles early against the Seahawks, who have a historically porous pass defense this season (343.7 yards allowed per game), head coach Doug Pederson might be forced to see what Hurts can do in his place. Hurts has every opportunity to steal Wentz’s starting job this week with a higher snap count against an inferior defensive unit.
Buckle up, Eagles fans. It might finally be Jalen Hurts time in Philadelphia.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference