We’ve Been Here Before: Jalen Hurts Should Start for the Philadelphia Eagles

per USA Today

An appointed quarterback languished on the bench as his backup came out onto the field. The offense woke up; the team looked brand new, fresh out of the box. Receivers got open, the defense got hungry. Yet despite the theatrics, they lost. Coach played it cool in the press conference but everyone knew the deal: Michael Vick would be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Sunday’s game against the Packers felt like an ill case of “remember when…”.

Obviously some of the details are different. Kevin Kolb, QB1, wasn’t coming off of three years of injuries, a passenger seat to the Super Bowl and a multi-million contract. Michael Vick, QB2 who would be QB1, wasn’t a rookie fresh out of Norman. He was Andy Reid’s latest redemption song, one of the most electrifying athletes in sports before a prison bid stopped the parade. Andy’s decision was a no-brainer. He could use an injury to mask the quarterback change.

Doug Pederson doesn’t have such grace. He has two quarters of film showing Jalen Hurts tossing two dimes, one for a TD, and Jalen Reagor flexing some serious Jeremy Maclin-like energy. He saw a team who looked “over it” get somewhat close to their fantasies before their reality got the best of them. But as overused sports cliches go, the Eagles got “a spark”.

Honestly, starting Jalen Hurts is like a whiff of potpourri inside of a landfill. It’s a douse of joy in the midst of a never-ending Howie Roseman-orchestrated storm. It won’t magically fix all of the problems happening at NovaCare. As mentioned ad nauseum, the offensive line is in shambles. The wide receivers can’t catch. The secondary can’t cover the broad side of a barn. The defensive line can’t drop a body. Doug Pederson can’t call plays. There’s a whole bunch of “can’t” happening in Philly.

Jalen Hurts isn’t one of them.

I saw Jalen turn two sacks into first downs and a 4th and long into a TD. I saw his first pass gently plopp into Jalen Reagor’s hands. I then saw Reagor return a punt 70-something yards for a touchdown. I witnessed a defense produce a three-and-out against Aaron Rodgers. That wasn’t the team of the first half, not even close. Despite a dropped pass by Travis Fulgham and the secondary sliding all over the place (they can’t tackle or cover, it’s foul), the Eagles looked poised to come back. Things felt different.

Hurts should start for the rest of the season, if for anything, to give Doug four game tapes to figure out if Jalen can cover this offense for sixteen games. I’m on the record — just hours after the draft — saying that Jalen will start the 2021–22 season. As an Oklahoma fan, I watched that kid finesse the pocket with ease. The doubts about his throwing arm threw me off; he is a quarterback. Everything about his style of play screams west coast. I see what Andy is doing with Patrick Mahomes and while I’m not jumping off that bridge, Jalen and that offensive scheme could bring some heat to South Philly.

Only if these receivers can get off the bump and catch the ball.

Carson really can’t afford any more heat. Bruh is sitting buttnaked on a cast iron skillet. I, like many, knew what that contract was supposed to do: shut us up. It was the organization’s way of saying that they had Carson’s back despite the injuries and Nick Foles bringing the Lombardi trophy to South Broad St. To be fair to Carson, you don’t get to that Super Bowl without his thirteen games prior to the injury. Dude isn’t horrible. He’s just always hurt and when the rest of the team ain’t on their top game, he’s not great enough to elevate them past their setbacks. Some quarterbacks are so good that they can make the mediocre around them look better. Carson isn’t that.

In four plays, Jalen did just that. It’s time for a change.

Memoirist in spirit and in truth. Christian essayist when both the spirit and truth move me. email: crjtwrites[at]gmail.com