There’s nothing better than the morning after an Eagles’ win, but this one doesn’t feel quite as good to most Eagles fans after a poor showing by the defense allowed the Lions back in the game. And yes, there are certainly concerns on the defensive side of the ball with both the playcalling and personnel usage by Jonathan Gannon.

However, on the offensive side of the ball, the Eagles moved the ball relatively easily against Detroit’s uber-aggressive defense which blitzed the Eagles consistently all game. But Hurts was ready for it and adjusted beautifully. Though he ran the ball 17 times (not ideal) and finished the game 18/32 throwing the ball, here’s why you should be encouraged by Hurts’ week one performance.

 

Picking up the defense

The Eagles did not win a single game allowing more than 30 points last season.

With the defense being gashed on the ground by De’Andre Swift and Detroit moving the ball for most of the game, this game could have easily swung the other way if it weren’t for Hurts and the offense stifling any potential run by the Lions with a long drive of their own.

It’s what good quarterbacks do. When your team isn’t firing on all cylinders and looks sloppy like the Eagles were yesterday, it falls on the quarterback to carry the load and Hurts did it with his legs and his arm.

 

Third Down Performance

Hurts routinely converted on third and fourth down against the Lions. It seemed like whenever the Eagles needed a big conversion to keep the momentum from shifting to Detroit, Hurts (and usually A.J. Brown) made it happen. With the Lions bringing a lot of pressure on third down, Hurts was able to escape multiple times and either run for a first down or find an open receiver in most situations.

With a quarterback who is able to move like Hurts, the Eagles have a great backup plan if a play breaks down and make something out of nothing on third and fourth down.

 

More Great Throws than Bad Throws

I won’t say that Hurts is an elite passer by any means, he certainly looked more comfortable as a passer and actually hung in the pocket a lot more when his pass protection held up. Hurts made a couple of great throws yesterday and showed an incredible connection with A.J. Brown and limited his poor throws.

In a season that will be determined by the Eagles’ ability to win with Hurts’ arm, the signs were there on Sunday that he is an improved passer and is becoming more comfortable staying in the pocket and looking downfield.

 

Hurts Won the Game for the Eagles

With the Lions coming out with a lot of energy and an aggressive game plan, the Eagles very well could have been on their heels all game. But as Jason Kelce stated after the game, Jalen Hurts “bailed them out a lot”.

What makes Hurts special is how he is able to make something out of nothing. Carson Wentz had some of that ability early on in his career before he was derailed by injury, but Hurts is incredible at escaping and limiting negative plays.

There were a few plays on Sunday where the Lions were able to penetrate the Eagles’ offensive line and were poised to put the Eagles in third and long or force fourth down but Hurts just has the talent to find a way out.

Overall, it was just the first week, but Hurts and the Eagles were able to go into a very loud Ford Field and beat a very aggressive and pumped-up Lions team by doing what he does best while looking like a more comfortable passer with a true number one target in A.J. Brown.

The groundwork has been laid for an improved season from Jalen Hurts.


Featured Image: Duane Burleson / Associated Press

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