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When the Philadelphia Eagles selected Jalen Hurts in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, many were puzzled. Carson Wentz is the team’s franchise quarterback, after all.
But as we continue to progress through the season, it is starting to look like the right move. Wentz is not the same caliber of player, and Hurts adds a much-needed spark to the offense.
The process has been gradual. Hurts has been more of a wrinkle than a staple through five weeks. But that might be changing soon. According to a tweet from John Clark, an NBC Sports reporter in Philadelphia, Coach Doug Peterson brought up the recent success using Hurts.
Doug Pederson says they can run the football with Jalen Hurts and run zone read from QB position
“It’s been successful for us. I can see things continuing this way” pic.twitter.com/VQJEKNR6hl
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) October 19, 2020
The phrase “continuing this way” could mean a variety of things. It could mean that Hurts will continue to be used sporadically throughout games, but it could also refer to his gradual usage week-over-week, a usage that could continue to grow.
Hurts rushed for a season-high 23 yards on two attempts in the 30-28 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
With the team off to a rocky 1-4-1 start, something has to give. Hurts has been effective as an extra runner in the backfield (seven carries for 49 yard) with limited opportunities, but he has attempted only one pass during a four-game stretch.
Asking the Oklahoma and Alabama product to sit back in the pocket and read defenses might not be a good move, but working in more run-pass options and quick, designed passes could put more strain on defenses that already struggle to contain his rushing ability.
It could also provide a wake up call to Wentz. The former No. 2 overall pick has averaged a completion rate of only 58.7% and thrown nine interceptions to only eight touchdowns this season. These QB stats are unacceptable, even with all the injuries to the roster.
Something has to give for Philadelphia. With the New York Giants quickly coming up on Thursday night, things have got to turn around in a hurry. Hurts can continue to be that necessary spark .
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.