Philadelphia Eagles versus Saints could be closer than people think

Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Eagles host the Saints on Sunday, but you already know that.

The Philadelphia Eagles have not only played at their absolute worst, but they’ve also had an extremely difficult schedule to stress over. On Sunday, it won’t get any easier. On Sunday, they may have their toughest test yet. They host a New Orleans Saints team with a 10-2 win-loss total, a team that is riding a nine-game winning streak.

Their last four wins have come with Taysom Hill handling most of the signal-calling duties on offense because Drew Brees is injured. Winning with a backup might sound familiar to Eagles fans. Their recent postseason games notwithstanding, the City of Brotherly Love is preparing for Jalen Hurts’ debut.

Most football pundits are picking the Birds to lose, but in the NFL, anything is possible, especially in 2020. Optimism is in the air (sort of), so let’s talk about how they can win and maybe bring some optimism for Birds fans (as hard as that may be).

Did someone say the Philadelphia Eagles are starting Jalen Hurts?

On Tuesday afternoon, to the surprise of many, head coach Doug Pederson announced that Jalen Hurts would be starting in Week 14, and after a strong quarter and a half versus the Green Bay Packers, there is reason to believe he can provide a similar spark in a home game.

Obviously, the Saints’ defense is an above-average unit, but Hurts showed in Week 13 that he’s capable of escaping defenders and making the accurate throws, something Carson Wentz seems to have struggled with.

As soon as he started making plays, it seemed to light a fire under this team, and there should be no reason to expect anything less on Sunday.

If the Philadelphia Eagles run the ball, that would be great.

At this point, Eagles fans have probably lost count of how many times they’ve pleaded with this team to run the ball. Now it might be easier said than done against the Saints who are excellent at stopping the run, but if the Eagles can show some kind of balance, that will really take the pressure off of Hurts and help the team’s chances of winning.

With Hurts’ abilities, they could call some designed scrambles for him, as the Saints do for Hill. If the Eagles can accomplish this, and if the defense can play as they did versus the Seattle Seahawks, this could be a close game.

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Keep in mind the fact that both starting quarterbacks are inexperienced, so expect a closer and more exciting game than most are expecting. The question is this. Can Hurts pull off the upset? Can you imagine what the headlines will be like next week if he does?