Love him or hate him, Jalen Hurts enters the 2022 season as the starting quarterback and face of the Eagles franchise. It’s crazy to think that the former second-round pick is only 24 years old. Hurts is just the sixth youngest starter in football.
So, on Jalen Hurts’ birthday, we decided to dive into the archives and relive his five best games so far.
5. Jalen Hurts debuts
The 2020 Eagles season was a disaster. At 4-11-1, questions surrounding the original starting quarterback, head coach and even general manager had completely bypassed the locker room. It was no surprise that rookie Jalen Hurts started in early December.
Hurts completed 17 of 30 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown while also accounting for 100 yards rushing to help the Eagles stun a 10-2 Saints team at Lincoln Financial Field.
Was the game perfect from Hurts? No. But with a severe lack of weapons around him and against one of the best defenses in football, Hurts made an outstanding play that helped Philadelphia fans celebrate for one of the few times all season.
4. Hurts-Herbert Duel
Arguably one of Hurts’ best starts to the 2021 season came in a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Justin Herbert was unstoppable on offense and the Eagles barely had time to score the entire game. It was a miracle that Philadelphia was even in that game.
However, in the limited snaps he did play, Hurts matched Herbert play-for-play and helped Philadelphia tie the game late in the fourth quarter. The numbers don’t tell the whole story. Hurts was 11 for 17 with just 162 yards passing, but his fourth-quarter hit to DeVonta Smith was one of the highlights as the Eagles began to turn the corner in the second half.
The numbers don’t tell the whole story in the Hurts/Herbert draft year.
3. Beatdown of the Falcons
Opening Day of the 2021 season was a great start to the Hurts/Sirianni era in Philadelphia. Philadelphia opened the year against Atlanta, who arguably had an even worse year than the Eagles in 2020.
Hurts threw for over 260 yards and three touchdowns en route to a dominant 32-6 rout of the Falcons. Pin-point accuracy, balanced footwork and red-zone efficiency have helped propel the Eagles quarterback to an outstanding start in his first season as the face of the franchise.
2. Hurts duels with Kyler Murray
After going 1-0 in his first start against the Saints, Jalen Hurts lost a great duel against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals in December 2020.
Hurts and the Eagles fell behind 16-0 after the first quarter, but battled back to tie the game in the fourth quarter.
Hurts threw for 338 yards and three touchdown passes while also scoring once on the ground. Hurts looked almost like a franchise quarterback in that game and showed that there is room for improvement in every aspect.
1. Both 2021 games against Washington
The Eagles’ 2021 season was effectively limited to both games against the Washington football team. In both games, Jalen Hurts was arguably the best player on the court.
In the opener, the Eagles erased an early deficit and came back in large part because of their quarterback. The first game saw the team fall into a 10-0 deficit before Hurts took over. The then 23-year-old scored three times (2 rushing, 1 passing) to help the Eagles to a 27-17 win. Hurts accounted for over 290 passing yards and 38 rushing yards to help the Eagles gain over 500 yards of offense.
The second encounter was a much bigger challenge.
While the first game in Philly had decimated the WFT with injuries, the second saw a much better defense fighting for their playoff lives. Washington led 16-7 before a second-half onslaught, started by Hurts. The Eagles would clinch a playoff spot with the win.
In both games, Hurts did what franchise quarterbacks are supposed to do: win the football game. If Hurts doesn’t play like he did in both games, the Eagles will likely lose and the team would be out of the playoff hunt. Numbers don’t tell the whole story when judging quarterbacks. That’s evident in Hurts’ first full year as the starting quarterback.
However, if it wasn’t for him, the Eagles likely wouldn’t be in the playoffs the year before. Jalen Hurts enters his second year as the starting quarterback. If he continues to show improvement like he has, the Eagles’ 2022 season could be even more special than last year.
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