The Eagles have an unsolvable problem that’s quickly ruining Jalen Hurts’ chances of winning the NFC East.
The jalen hurts is a problem that has been present for a while. It is quickly ruining Jalen Hurts’ chances of winning the NFC East.
The Philadelphia Eagles have put themselves in a difficult situation to start the 2023 NFL season, despite their shocking Week 1 victory against the Atlanta Falcons.
They’re 0-2 and coming off back-to-back dreadful outings.
First, they failed to move the ball at home against the San Francisco 49ers, squandering many game-winning chances. Second, they were totally depleted for Monday Night Football against the Dallas Cowboys, losing 41-21.
The defeat to Dallas in Week 3 was especially humiliating. Nick Sirianni, the first-year head coach, had his first taste of the Philadelphia-Dallas rivalry, and he failed miserably.
The Eagles are dealing with a particular problem.
The Eagles are now having a lot of problems. Jalen Hurts, a second-year quarterback, is performing like a glorified backup. DeVonta Smith, a top-10 selection, is having trouble establishing himself. The offensive line isn’t in good shape. The defense does not seem to have improved since previous season. The list might go on forever.
One element of the Eagles’ offense, though, stands out above the others.
They don’t play football on the ground.
To make things easy for a club that is assessing its rookie quarterback, one would assume the play-calling would be centered on the ground game. The Eagles’ new coaching staff, on the other hand, is taking a totally different approach. In Week 2, they only ran 19 planned rushing plays against the 49ers, and in Week 3, they only ran three.
That’s right, you read it properly. Against Dallas, the Eagles gave the ball to a running back three times. It’s an almost incredible figure.
The Eagles’ upper management does not want to address this problem.
The Cowboys defense sacks Jalen Hurts | Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images
While the Eagles’ lack of a well-established running game has already cost them this season, on theory, it should be a pretty simple fix: just run the ball more.
Miles Sanders, a former Nittany Lion, has shown he can handle an RB1 workload in the past, while freshman Kenneth Gainwell possesses NFL-caliber speed. Boston Scott, the Eagles’ third-string running back, is capable of carrying the offense for long periods of time. During the team’s division-winning 2019 season, he was instrumental.
The primary issue, though, is that the Eagles do not want to address the situation. They don’t want to play football on the ground.
According to a shocking report in The Athletic this offseason, Jeffery Lurie (owner) and Howie Roseman (general manager) would chastise former head coach Doug Pederson for rushing the ball too often, even after victories.
The club had come back from a 10-0 second-quarter hole to defeat Aaron Rodgers and the Packers 34-27 and level its record at 2-2 only a few days before. A constant dosage of the rushing game, which took advantage of Green Bay’s defensive game plan, was the offensive key to the victory.
That didn’t seem to be good enough. Lurie, a longtime proponent of statistics, was curious as to why Pederson hadn’t called more passing plays. After another victory that season, this time in Buffalo on a day with 23 mph winds, the questioning was the same.
In 2019, Pederson’s game plan against the Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills was flawless. It was two of the Eagles’ most stunning victories this season. Lurie, on the other hand, chastised the now-fired head coach for over-running the ball.
That should tell you all you need to know about how the team’s upper management views the ground game.
Where do Jalen Hurts and Nick Sirianni go from here?
For what it’s worth, the Cowboys’ defeat on Monday night seems like an exception. It’s doubtful that Lurie and Roseman are so anti-run that they only want their running backs to have three touches each game.
With that said, the overall lesson here is that the Eagles made the decision to be a pass-first football club a long time ago. One that can compete with the likes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. One of the main reasons they chose Sirianni, who had never called a play before, is because he lacked expertise and confidence. He’s the ideal person to instill these irrational expectations in.
Due to these strange conceptual demands, Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ offense have clearly failed. It’s worth noting, though, that Hurts isn’t playing well either. He was inconsistent with the football versus Dallas, leaving a lot of passes on the field.
What does this imply for his prospects in Philadelphia? As long as Lurie and Roseman are in charge, it’s safe to think they’ll keep looking for quarterbacks who can successfully throw the ball 40 times or more a game. If Hurts is unable to do so, the Eagles will want to replace him as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, Hurts’ and the Eagles’ lives will be made more difficult by this pass-first mentality. They lack the skill to compete in this manner, and their recent string of ailments has just added to poor NFC East odds. The guys in midnight green may be in for a long season.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
The Cowboys Came Perilously Close to Drafting the Eagles Jalen Hurts, quarterback, says, “We Certainly Had Interest in Him.”
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