Eagles rookie Jalen Hurts is heavy on minds in New York and Dallas

Doug Pederson, Jalen Hurts #2 and Carson Wentz #11 (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Doug Pederson, Jalen Hurts #2 and Carson Wentz #11 (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

It appears that the Giants are preparing for a Jalen Hurts-heavy offense.

Seasons like the one Philadelphia Eagles fans are currently enduring, one where rookie Jalen Hurts is now being asked to be the equivalent of what Taysom Hill is for the New Orleans Saints or what a young Kordell Stewart was for the Pittsburgh Steelers is why an old Muhammad Ali employed the ‘rope-a-dope’ versus George Foreman in 1974’s ‘Rumble in the Jungle’. No seriously, it is.

You see, this is how scientific Ali was. He knew he probably couldn’t trade punches with Foreman, but a combination of humidity, an angry champion, and a few rounds of placing his back on the ropes would allow Ali to later jump all over the man who would eventually place his name on the world’s greatest counter-top appliance many moons later.

What does this have to do with the Eagles and New York Giants you ask? Well, it’s simple. 2020’s NFL regular season feels like all those clips that we saw of Ali on those ropes. The ‘Birds’ have taken some pretty heavy shots from the Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, and Los Angeles Rams. They’ve even gotten rocked by the Washington Football Team and the Cincinnati Bengals, yet here they are.

Philly is a game out of first place in the NFC East despite posting four losses in six weeks. Blame a bad division for that. Blame Carson Wentz, Doug Pederson, or injuries, but here we are. That, ladies and gentlemen, is where Jalen Hurts comes in.

Expect to see more Jalen Hurts in the Philadelphia Eagles offense, not less.

Our defending NFC East champions are battered and bloody, but they’re not on the mat. Actually, the next three weeks represents one of their best opportunities to do what Ali did to Foreman, jump on a wounded and fatigued rival, two of them actually.

Philly’s next three games are against two divisional rivals as a game versus the Dallas Cowboys is sandwiched between two tilts with ‘Big Blue’. These next two games are in primetime before the bye week comes and, then, Philly gets their Week 7 opponent again for Week 10 in a home game. With so many injuries (add Zach Ertz and Miles Sanders to the list), Philly will need to manufacture offense, much like they did versus the Ravens, and Hurts might be their best chance of doing so with no Jalen Reagor, Alshon Jeffery, Dallas Goedert, Zach Ertz, or Miles Sanders present.

If you’ll remember, it was Hurts that provided the spark for a struggling Eagles offense in Week 6. He’ll be asked to do so again. Fans should expect that New York has tried to gameplan for him. Actually, according to Ryan Messick of ITI’s friends over at GMenHQ.com, the Giants are absolutely preparing for the possibility of an increase in touches. Don’t think for a moment that the Dallas Cowboys aren’t thinking the same thing.

Think about Week 6 for a moment. Philly wanted to set up a double pass, but the Ravens diagnosed it. Hurts, with the ball in his hands, is a danger to throw and to run. He’ll give New York one more thing to think about seeing as how his biggest impact play in Week 6 came on a call where he didn’t even touch the ball. Take a look.

Baltimore’s concern for what Hurts was doing helped spring Miles Sanders for a long run, one that wound up contributing to JJ Arcega-Whiteside’s first touchdown of 2020. It still feels wrong that ‘JJAW’ is given credit for that touchdown, but it is what it is.

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Either way, expect to see more, not less, of Jalen Hurts going forward, especially as we near the bye week. The Eagles have a huge opportunity to put some distance between themselves and Washington, New York and Dallas. They’ll need to take advantage of it. If their second-round draft choice from 2020’s NFL Draft is involved in the process, they might do just that. Our staff’s prediction is that Hurts reaches the end zone in Week 7. Let’s hope that’s exactly what happens.