We’ve gone from debating whether or not Jalen Hurts and Carson Wentz were the members of a mini-quarterback controversy within the Philadelphia Eagles organization to, indeed, watching Hurts supplant Philly’s QB1 of the moment to claim the role for himself. It feels like that was four years ago as much has happened since then.
With Wentz sitting, Hurts struggled to a 1-3 finish as the starting quarterback for the last four games in what wound up being a 4-11-1 finish. We can argue about whether he might have won that final game versus the Washington Football Team to bring the tally to .500, but that’s water under the bridge now. It is what it is.
During the offseason, Wentz left and eventually played enough of the Indianapolis Colts’ regular-season games to ensure the conditional second-rounder that Philly got for his services would wind up being a third first-round pick for the Birds in the first round of the next selection meeting.
Before that happened, Jalen Hurts had a monster 2021-2022 season debut in Atlanta versus the Falcons. He went 27 for 35 in that one, pitched the ball around for 264 yards and three touchdowns (while picking up another 72 yards with his legs on seven carries), and saw his jersey sales skyrocket as a result.
Here we are. A second season is in the books for Number 1, and despite an up-and-down ride through 18 games as Philly’s full-time starter, he hasn’t lost any steam in terms of popularity. He’s now beating the Eagles’ former QB in the court of public opinion now after beating him out for the starting job and leading his team to the postseason while Wentz failed to do so.
Jalen Hurts cracks a unique list, ahead of Carson Wentz.
Sure, it’s easy to say that Carson Wentz should be old news and we all need to stop discussing him and focus more on the guys who actually play for the Eagles (and maybe we should), the fact of the matter is this. Wentz will be compared to Jalen Hurts forever.
Speaking of comparisons, Alex Silverman over at Morning Consult dropped his list of the 18 most-liked skill position players in the NFL. Hurts made the list at number eight behind Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Rob Gronkowski, Josh Allen, Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, and Lamar Jackson. Guess who didn’t make the list.
The reasons for Hurts’ popularity are obvious. He’s a leader. His teammates and coaches love him. He’s all business and super professional.
We’ve never questioned who Jalen Hurts is as a person or a leader. He’s phenomenal. He has a Tim Tebow quality, but like Tim, there have been questions about what he can do mechanically with the football as a passer (even though Hurts is a much better thrower of the football than Tebow is).
The Eagles organization has committed itself to Hurts going forward, for now anyway. The questions are about how long that will last. We love Hurts for his intensity and his work ethic, and if his skill-set ever equals his intangibles, he could go down as one of the most popular NFL players of all time.
Year three of the Jalen Hurts era in Philadelphia will go a long way in determining if that happens.