Hurts Needs a Bounce-Back Season for the Eagles

by Marc Narducci | Jan 26, 2024
Hurts Needs a Bounce-Back Season for the Eagles
There are many reasons why the Eagles had their shocking end of the season collapse, but in moving forward, the biggest thing that needs to change is the play of QB Jalen Hurts.

Whether he was unhappy about the offense or not, he was a subpar quarterback this season.

Just compare his 2022 regular season statistics to 2023 courtesy of

2022: 15 Games (14-1), 306-460 passing, 66.5%, 3,701 yards, 22 TDs, 6 interceptions, 1.3 interception percentage, 101.5 passer rating, 165 carries, 760 rushing yards, 4.6 avg., 13 TDs, 9 fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries.

2023: 17 games (11-6), 352-538 passing, 65.4%, 3,858 yards, 23 TDs, 15 interceptions, 2.8 interception percentage, 89.1 passer rating, 157 carries, 605 rushing yards, 3.9 avg., 15 TDs, 9 fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries.

The two biggest differences are his interception total and yards per carry. His interception percentage of 2.8 was more than twice as much as last year (1.3).

Hurts said in his final interview last week as players cleaned out their lockers, that he was 100 percent healthy.

During the earlier part of the season, he was dealing with a bruised knee, and while Hurts didn’t miss any games, he was not his explosive self. As we’ve stated countless times, he didn’t look to be 100% this season and especially during the Eagles’ 1-6 end-of-the-season swoon that included the 32-9 thumping they received in their lone playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Against Tampa Bay, Hurts rushed just one time for five yards. 

Hurts’ main selling point and a likely reason he received a $250 million extension, is that in 2022 he was among the top dual-threat QBs in the NFL.

This year while he still had 15 rushing TDs, many came on short runs courtesy of the tush push.

Hurts had tremendous trouble against the blitz. The Eagles’ scheme didn’t help him a great deal, with a prime example being in the playoff loss to Tampa Bay, when the Birds would have an empty backfield and Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles couldn’t wait to earn a numbers mismatch by blitzing.  

It’s not only that he didn’t fare well against the blitz this season, but Hurts often missed open receivers, or didn’t see them. 

People can talk about his stoic sideline demeanor and how he has to become a better leader, but nobody mentioned this in 2022 when he was a major MVP candidate.

In fact, as the Eagles opened this season 10-1 and Hurts was again in the MVP conversation, his leadership wasn’t mentioned.

If he produces, this won’t be a topic, but when he doesn’t, everything is going to be examined. 

This season Hurts was third in the NFL with 15 interceptions. Sam Howell of the Washington Commanders led the NFL with 21 INTs, while Buffalo’s Josh Allen was second with 18.  

Buffalo was able to overcome Allen’s mistakes, but he also threw 29 TD passes, and averaged 6.5 yards per carry and rushed for 15 touchdowns. 

Still, even with Allen, it’s not the recommended way to be that reckless throwing the ball.

Hurts must now bounce back.

In 2022 he was arguably one of the three best QBs in the NFL. This year he slipped.

It wasn’t all his fault. The offensive line wasn’t as strong this year, although it was still a formidable unit. Hurts has quality receivers to work with.

Yes, the Eagles’ offensive scheme left a lot to be desired, but Hurts also didn’t execute as well. 

All through college and the beginning of his NFL career, Hurts has always faced skeptics and has continually proved them wrong. Next season he will have to do it again after taking a major step back this past season.

Photo of Jalen Hurts - Courtesy of Philadelphia Eagles

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Author: Marc Narducci


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