Random thoughts on the coming Jalen Hurts versus Kyler Murray duel

Jalen Hurts #1, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Jalen Hurts #1, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Many are viewing Week 5’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals this Sunday as a battle between franchise quarterbacks Jalen Hurts and Kyler Murray. Though both men are University of Oklahoma products and students of Lincoln Riley, they couldn’t be any more different. Sunday’s game is likely to be a testament to those differences.

Let’s dig into a few of those details as the Birds prepare for another worthy opponent.

Here are a few random thoughts as we prepare for the duel between Jalen Hurts and Kyler Murray.

The Arizona Cardinals enter this game with a 2-2 record (they’re winless at home). The Eagles are 4-0. This one kicks off at 4:25 p.m. EST. Let’s discuss the signal-callers.

Kyler Murray

A 2018 Heisman Trophy winner, at the risk of sounding disrespectful, Kyler Murray shouldn’t be viewed as an elite talent at the quarterback position, but he’s dangerous. You’ve heard the discussions and rumors. He allegedly doesn’t study his playbook or his game film to the satisfaction of the organization that pays him. At one point, there was an independent study clause in his contract extension, one requiring that he participate in uninterrupted study at the team’s facility.

Eventually, the clause was removed before Murray signed the extension as the language was leaked, sparking some minor media controversy, but the damage may have already been done. There are continuing questions about why an NFL organization had to incentivize a franchise quarterback to work harder.

Jalen Hurts

The Philadelphia Eagles are lucky to have Jalen Hurts as their starting quarterback. Unlike Murray, Hurts is the textbook definition of a franchise QB. He’s shown elite athleticism and leadership from day one, but that isn’t all that makes him special.

What sets Hurts apart, and has turned the largest skeptics into admirers. He’s also developed a more patient and aware weapon from the pocket. His throwing motion both on and off-platform is better. He can more quickly and efficiently read passing progressions.

Here’s how the Eagles should limit Kyler Murray

Here’s a part of Kyler Murray’s game that doesn’t get mentioned as often as it should, his inability to utilize every part of the field. Some of his inconsistency as a passer stems from his height disadvantage. As a result, many of his attempts are thrown toward the sidelines because he can’t see over his offensive linemen.

At this point in his career, Kyler Murray is far more dangerous as a runner and as a dual-threat quarterback than he is as a passer. T.J. Edwards and Marcus Epps may be able to serve as the elixir.

Pro Football Focus grades him as one of the game’s lowest signal-callers when pressured; however, there’s value to his game if he can be elusive. See his game versus the Las Vegas Raiders this season if you need evidence. A heavy dose of Haason Reddick may be in order.

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Reddick’s bull rush could be what the doctor ordered on passing downs. If the Eagles’ defense can collapse Murray’s pocket, Philadelphia may be able to keep Murray contained.

We’re very aware of Jalen Hurts’ ability. Look for a strong performance by him. We should know a lot more about both of these guys when the time runs out on Week 5’s game.