On Marks & Reese on 94WIP, a question was raised surrounding the Eagles’ priorities with Jalen Hurts this upcoming season. The first option that the Eagles would have is to develop Jalen Hurts throughout the season to ensure that he is their franchise quarterback. The other is to focus more on winning as a team rather than centered around Hurts. So the question now is, which would be more important?
Do you want the Eagles to have the same offensive approach as they ended last year with or do you want them to open up throwing the ball more?
— Jon Marks & Ike Reese on 94WIP (@MarksReeseWIP) June 14, 2022
As we all remember, the Eagles did not exactly start off on the right note last season. Going 2-5 through their first seven games, it looked like the season was over. However, HC Nick Sirianni changed their game plan and turned the season around. This change was mainly from the passing game to a run-heavy offense. The Eagles finished with the #1 rushing offense by far, led by Hurts and Miles Sanders.
Throwback to this stat showing how much depth the Eagles had in their run game last season.
Do the #Eagles have the best rushing group in the NFL?
Jalen Hurts: 784 Yds, 10 TD’s, 5.6 YPC
Miles Sanders: 754 Yds, 5.5 YPC
Jordan Howard: 406 Yds, 3 TD’s, 4.7 YPC
Boston Scott: 373 Yds, 7 TD’s, 4.3 YPC
Kenneth Gainwell: 291 Yds, 5 TD’s, 4.3 YPC
The depth is insane.
— Hunter Simpson (@HSimpsonNBA) January 12, 2022
Seemingly this offensive style worked very well for the Eagles and landed them a spot in the playoffs. Jalen Hurts showed some improvement in his passing game over the course of the season, but it was not enough to lead their offense. It became evident that Hurts mainly succeeds as a run-first quarterback. He finished with 784 rushing yards and ten rushing touchdowns on the season. These were the best rushing stats by any quarterback last season. While this produced wins for the Eagles, it did not mean much for Hurts as a quarterback.
Hurts was not awful as a passer, but he certainly was not great. His overall stats are much more appealing than his stats as a passer. He finished with 3,144 yards, 16 touchdowns, and nine interceptions with an 87.7 passer rating. I’m sure by now that we’ve all seen Hurts’ insane difference in build from last offseason to now.
Jalen Hurts looks ready for year three ?
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) June 11, 2022
The fact that he is bigger doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be better, but it shows the work that he’s put in. It also shows that he’ll have more power on his pass this season making the Eagles’ deep threat even better.
Jalen Hurts performed very well in the OTA’s and showed signs of improvement as a passer. If this continues into the season, then the Eagles could very well incorporate the passing game into their game plan a lot more. That being said, there’s no saying how well he’ll perform under the pressure of an actual game. It is definitely important to develop hurts and give him the opportunity to pass the ball. However, the Eagles simply can’t do this at the expense of the team.
The Eagles need to experiment with this for a maximum of three games if this isn’t working. With the 3rd easiest schedule in the league, it would be very concerning if the Eagles need to make any drastic changes by week 4. This season is undoubtedly a make or break year for Hurts. If he can’t succeed as a passer with the tools he now has, then he can’t be their franchise quarterback.
Yes, the Eagles should give Hurts a chance to pass, but they shouldn’t keep giving him the opportunity to if it will hurt the team.