Well, that actually went better than expected! Heading into the most recent NFL offseason, Philadelphia Eagles vice president/general manager Howie Roseman promised he’d continue to build around Jalen Hurts. He kept his promise.
He didn’t do much. Truthfully, A.J. Brown was the lone significant offensive addition unless, of course, you’re counting the acquisition of a couple of undrafted guys who have gotten support from various members of the fan base, Grant Calcaterra and Kennedy Brooks. Depending on who you ask, there was hope that one or both might sneak onto the 53-man roster. The jury is still out on that one.
Brooks was decent in game one, picking up 26 yards on seven carries and reaching the end zone via a reception that produced a late go-ahead score. Calcaterra has missed a ton of valuable time with an injury, and his absence could be jeopardizing his chances of earning a roster spot.
So far there’s no need for concern though! QB1 has plenty of talent to work with, and in the preseason opener, he was flawless… literally. Let’s get into some specifics as Jalen Hurts answered a lot of questions that were being asked leading up to the first preseason game.
Here’s Jalen Hurts’ report card following the Eagles’ first preseason game.
Best throw: Hurts to Quez Watkins (A+)
It’s hard to pull a bad throw out of a six-for-six display. Hurts was impressive, but when we bring up discussions about his skill set and the tools his offensive coaches can build on, make sure to reference his first toss of the drive.
QB1 opened with some play action, rolled right, and delivered a nice spiral to Quez Watkins who displayed some nice body control to haul in the catch before going out of bounds. That one was, in a word, gorgeous.
The second completion to Miles Sanders was a dump-off on a check down. The first pass after the personal-foul penalty was a screen pass to the same target. Hurts’ other throws were great decisions, and QB1 put the ball where he needed to. There aren’t many passes to evaluate, but that was to be expected. In the end, it’s easy to be pleased with the performance. We’ll give him an A here as nothing would qualify as a challenging throw minus the first.
See the above take. Hurts has been criticized for how he’s surveyed the field in the past, but that wasn’t the case versus the Jets. Excellent job by the third-year man.
The intangibles weren’t necessarily on display minus the lone scramble by QB1 on the night. It didn’t count as Jordan Mailata was called for a questionable hold, but that isn’t Jalen’s fault. We’ll still give him an A for effort.
Philly ran some no-huddle after the first completion, and that resulted in consecutive first downs on his first two passes. He made two great decisions in succession, and that continued through the remainder of the drive.
Say what you want about Jalen Hurts. One thing you can’t say is that he gets rattled.
His demeanor was even-keel as it always is despite a false start, the aforementioned negated touchdown run, and a late hit out of bounds on third-and-five. New York Jets linebacker Quincy Williams went ‘Hulk-Smash’ on that one.
Jalen popped up unphased. His head coach and left tackle seemed to be more upset, but Hurts wasn’t going to let that rattle him. The 15-yard penalty kept the drive going. The Birds scored three plays later.
None of this should surprise us though. We all know how this guy is wired. We’ve never had anything to complain about in terms of his heart or the thinker between his ears. QB1 scores another A+ for some noticeable leadership traits. As a matter of fact, until further notice, that designation may remain pretty steady for a while.
Overall grade: A+
Let’s do some inventory. He completed all of his passes. He actually scored twice if we’re being technical, and he racked up a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating. What’s there to complain about? QB1 gets straight As for his performance in Week 1 of the preseason. Let’s hope the upswing continues in Week 2.