Eagles Win But Jalen Hurts Cannot Continue Being Second-Best QB On The Field

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No one is complaining, well, much in Philadelphia because the Eagles are undefeated the first two weeks of the NFL season and no team can do better than that.

So this isn’t about what’s wrong with the Eagles.

It’s about what isn’t quite right yet.

And that would be quarterback Jalen Hurts.

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts had something to smile about after his team beat the Vikings
Jalen Hurts threw for 171 less yards than Kirk Cousins on Thursday night. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Jalen Hurts Solid But Not Great

The team’s biggest name, the face of the franchise, the guy who signed a record (at the time) $255 million contract in April, has played solid so far this season.



But through two games against the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings, Hurts has also been the second-best quarterback on the field. He’s been outplayed so far by Mac Jones and Kirk Cousins.

And while two games is admittedly a small sample size, it happened. It’s fact. And it’s up to Hurts to change that for the Eagles to go where they want to go.

“I think we are a work in progress,” Hurts said Thursday night after Philly beat the Vikings. “What better way to be a work in progress than sitting on two wins out of the gate in ten days or however many days it was.

“We strive for progress, not perfection. Obviously we all have a standard for ourselves. Obviously we demand the most of ourselves because of everything that we go through together, all the work that we put in together, and all of those things.

“We are going to continue to keep chipping away. We understand as we continue to climb this mountain and we go on, there will be different challenges that come along, but the only thing that matters is winning. Truly, the only thing that matters is winning.”

Eagles coach Nick Sirianni understands teams are limiting his passing game
Eagles head coach Nick Siriani has work to do on the team’s offense. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Eagles Nick Sirianni Needs Pass Game Improvement

Hurts is correct. Winning is important above everything else.

But one way many teams win in today’s NFL is by getting outstanding quarterback play. That is a large part of why the Eagles won last year when Hurts had his best season and was among the league’s MVP candidates.

But he’s not there at present. He’s the 13th rated passer in the league.

And if the Eagles are going to be elite, they’re eventually going to need their quarterback to play, well, like an elite quarterback.

That didn’t happen Thursday night. The Vikings decided Hurts wasn’t going to, here it comes, hurt them. Just like the Patriots did days before.

“These two defenses have done a really nice job of keeping everything in front of them and limiting some of our explosive plays,” coach Nick Sirianni said.

Jalen Hurts connected with DeVonta Smith but didn't maximize the receiver.
DeVonta Smith #6 and A.J. Brown #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles in action against the Minnesota Vikings. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Eagles DeVonta Smith Had A Night

So the Eagles have found other ways. They rushed for 1,930,104 yards against Minnesota. The Vikings woke up this morning giving up rushing yards.

And Hurts was part of that, with 35 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. But that’s not the primary reason he’s there.

He’s there to stretch the field and maximize outstanding receivers such as DeVonta Smith and A.J. Browns. He’s there to do to what other great quarterback find a way to do when facing similar situations.

And Hurts didn’t do that.

Hurts did complete two bombs to Smith. One of those went for 63 yards and a touchdown and was probably his best pass of the night.

Another was a 54 yard completion earlier in the game. And that one was good, but not great. Because Hurts underthrew an open Smith who was behind the entire Vikings secondary.

An elite quarterback throw would have hit Smith in stride for a walk-in TD.

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts was pleased following a win over Minnesota.
Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles smiles after the game against the Minnesota Vikings. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown Have Sideline Moment

Another thing: Brown was quite unhappy this game. He was open much of the game, as many Eagles receivers were, and Hurts wasn’t getting him the ball.

So Brown manifested on the sideline. Television (streaming?) cameras caught him and Hurts in a heated discussion. It got so heated that Sirianni had to intervene.

Brown didn’t speak to reporters afterward. And Sirianni got all defensive about the moment.

“The conversations we have on the field are going to be private, and the conversations we have in our locker room are going to be private,” the coach said. “You don’t need to know what was going on right there.”

Hurts downplayed the moment. But it merits mention that after it happened, he threw three passes to Brown perhaps to appease his teammate.

“I think everybody wants to make plays and everybody wants to contribute,” Hurts noted. “I have no worry about him, he’s a great player, a great teammate, a great friend, and we’ll do anything and everything to win.”

And then the quarterback got to what mattered most in his head.

“We won. We won,” he said. “I don’t want to make it bigger than what it is. We’re talking about external factors here, those things don’t matter. What’s said out there that can potentially divide this group doesn’t matter. We won.”

That’s true. But this also is true:

For the Eagles to continue winning they eventually will need their quarterback to be better than merely acceptable. Jalen Hurts cannot continue being the second-best quarterback on the field.

Follow on X: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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