Hurts Has Given the Eagles a Major Boost

Hurts Has Given the Eagles a Major Boost
Admit it, without the insertion of Jalen Hurts into the Eagles lineup, they would be difficult to watch at this point. 
Hurts has given the Eagles a major spark even though there is no an official quarterback controversy. 
The Eagles (4-9-1) played their most exciting game in Sunday’s 33-26 loss to in Glendale, Arizona against the Cardinals.  
They trailed 16-0, tied the score 26-26, saw the Cardinals take the lead and then fought until the final incomplete pass in the end zone. 
These are the dog days of the NFL season, especially for losing teams and if there has been anything comforting about the Eagles is that they haven’t packed it in. 
True, they still are alive for a playoff spot, as hard as that is to believe and if Washington loses or ties against Carolina and the Eagles beat Dallas on Sunday, then the Eagles would enter the final of the season mathematically alive in the playoff race. 
That sounds crazy, but at the beginning of the season, having Carson Wentz benched would have sounded just as bizarre. 
It’s not only Hurts, but the young Eagles, are all fighting. They entered the game without three starting members of the secondary – Rodney McLeod, Avonte Maddox and Darius Slay, and the Eagles still played hard. 
They were overmatched by DeAndre Hopkins of Arizona, but so is any healthy secondary. He is arguably the best receiver in football and showed it against the Eagles with nine receptions for 169 yards and a score. Hopkins also made some of the most incredible catches.  
As we look at this season, the Eagles have way more than a quarterback problem, but with the way Wentz was playing, that was obviously the biggest deterrent.  
The Eagles are in a bind with Wentz because one wonders if the injuries have caught up to  him, have made him a more tentative quarterback. 
When seeing Hurts play, one of the most impressive things is how decisive he is. He has the ability to feel the rush and take off, usually for positive yardage.  
That said, even a mobile Hurts was sacked six times against Arizona and that outlines another of the big problems with the Eagles – the offensive line. 
Like the secondary, the offensive line is banged up. Missing three-time Pro Bowl guard Brandon Brooks for the entire season due to an Achilles injury and having three-time Pro Bowl tackle Lane Johnson only play seven games before needing season-ending ankle surgery, have been killers. 
Plus 2019 first round pick Andre Dillard missed the entire season with a biceps injury. Center Jason Kelce is the only projected starting offensive lineman to play in every game. 
Kelce has played through injuries and remains one of the inspirational leaders on this team.  
The Eagles are getting up in age, their salary cap situation for next year is a potential mess and they have a major quarterback controversy.  

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Still, the positive development has been the play of Hurts. Whether he can be a long-range starter and a better one than Wentz will continue to be debated, but he has made the Eagles must-see TV and who would have guessed that with two games left of what has been one of the more disappointing seasons in recent franchise history.

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Author: Marc Narducci


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