By: Aaron Greenberg
After falling to (3-8-1) and losing their fourth straight game, Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson has finally decided to sit Carson Wentz in favor of rookie 2nd-round draft pick, Jalen Hurts.
Hurts saw his first real NFL action Sunday, as he came in for Wentz during the third quarter. Hurts finished 5-of-12 for 109 yards with a touchdown and an interception while rushing five times for 29 yards. Wentz ended 6-of-15 for 79 yards and was sacked four times. It’s no surprise that things haven’t gotten messy in Philly. Since the Super Bowl Championship in 2018, there have been questions surrounding Wentz, his recovery from injury, and his long-term progression. Even with these questions, Wentz has undoubtedly been their best option to win games, that is until this year. Wentz has thrown a league-leading 15 interceptions in just 12 games, after throwing just 7 interceptions each of the last three years. His QBR has also sunk to 49.2, a career-low. It has been an extremely tough year for Wentz and the Eagles, who many thought could walk to a division title after Dak Prescott’s injury. Pederson and his staff have decided to take one last shot at that Philly magic and put the ball in the hands of their back-up quarterback. Hey, it’s worked for them before!
Jalen Hurts is an interesting story as well. Drafted much earlier than anticipated by Philadelphia with the 53rd pick, Hurts came into a situation in Philly where many saw him as a Taysom Hill prototype. However, since coming into the league, he’s played just 33 snaps in 11 games, but he has lined up across the formation. Now, Hurts will be challenged with re-energizing a dead offense, the only problem is they’ll have to go through the NFC leading New Orleans Saints. It will be interesting to see Hurts, who went from Alabama to Oklahoma losing just three games all of college, come into a losing situation in Philly. Hurts’ 52 touchdowns last year at Oklahoma is something the Eagles hope they can use as they currently rank 7th worst in the league in points per game with 20.9. Hurts’ legs helped him in his appearance last week vs. Green Bay. His ability to extend the play and keep his eyes downfield showed on 4th and 18 in the 3rd quarter when Hurts connected with Greg Ward for a 32-yard touchdown, the first of Hurts’ NFL career.
The final element to this whole equation is Doug Pederson, the once-beloved coach has found himself on a flaming hot seat. Pederson’s 12-15-1 record since winning the Super Bowl has been disappointing to both the Eagles organization and their fans. In their current cap situation, a complete team rebuild could be on the horizon in Philly. Is this the decision that starts it all? Hurts could very well be holding the fate of Doug Pederson in his hands, as it is assumed that Carson Wentz will be expected to be the week one starter a year from now, barring a trade. Nonetheless Hurts will be given the next four games to prove he can be a legitimate quarterback in the NFL, with games vs. New Orleans, Arizona and Dallas, he will have a chance to show he can compete. Hurts, much like Wentz though, will have to deal with the struggles of playing behind that broken offensive line, which is allowing the most pressure of any team in the NFL. Is this the end of Wentz’s time in Philly?