Jalen Hurts’ struggles lead to more questions for the Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles were seemingly torn about second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts heading into his sophomore season.

General manager Howie Roseman is the individual who made the decision to select him in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. First-year head coach Nick Sirianni was merely the offensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts at that time.

The backdrop here is Philadelphia opting to move off form No. 2 overall pick Carson Wentz in a trade with the aforementioned Colts.

Despite this, Philadelphia flirted with the possibility of acquiring Deshaun Watson and other big-name quarterbacks during the off-season. That seemed to be a clear indication the team was not sold on Jalen Hurts.

Through the first six games of his sophomore campaign, these concerns have been realized. Philadelphia now sits at 2-4 following Thursday night’s 28-22 loss to the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was another downer of a performance from Mr. Hurts.

Jalen Hurts struggles in Philadelphia Eagles loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

philadelphia eagles' jalen hurts struggles

The former Oklahoma standout completed just 12-of-26 passes for 115 yards with at touchdown and an interception in defeat. This, despite the fact that Tampa Bay was shorthanded at cornerback following the early-game departure of Richard Sherman.

For Hurts, it seems as if regression has been the common theme in recent weeks. Sure he’s still young. Mistakes will be made. But the overall landscape of his performance has not been good. Thursday night saw him fail to progress to his second read more often than not. He struggled with seeing the field, pocket awareness and ball placement.

Regardless of how mobile a quarterback is, these issues are not acceptable against the best competition football has to offer. It’s been the name of the game for Hurts.

Jalen Hurts stats tell us a story

As a rookie last season, Hurts tallied six touchdowns against four interceptions through the air while adding 354 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. He did this primarily in four starts. We’re just not seeing the same results in 2021.

  • Week 1: 27-of-35 passing, 264 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions
  • Week 2: 12-of-23 passing, 190 yards, zero touchdowns, zero interceptions
  • Week 3: 25-of-39 passing, 326 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions
  • Week 4: 21-of-48 passing, 387 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions
  • Week 5: 22-of-37 passing, 198 yards, zero touchdowns, one interception

The performance against Kansas City in Week 4 can be seen as somewhat of an outlier. Through five games, the Chiefs are on pace to give up the most passing yards in NFL history.

It’s what we’ve seen against other teams, some division rivals included, that has to be concerning. In what seemed to be a statement game for Jalen Hurts and his Eagles in Week 3 against the Dallas Cowboys, the quarterback was picked off twice by former teammate Trevon Diggs. It led directly to an ugly 41-21 loss.

Where do the Philadelphia Eagles go from here?

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Philadelphia Eagles

Thursday’s uninspiring performance against Tampa Bay could very well lead Philadelphia to turn to the recently acquired Gardner Minshew under center.

However, that might not be the best decision for the remainder of the 2021 campaign. Philadelphia is 2-4 on the season and could very well fall three games behind Dallas, pending the Cowboys’ game against New England on Sunday. It’s highly unlikely that Minshew is going to be the long-term answer. The Eagles also exhausted very little draft capital to acquire him from the Jacksonville Jaguars ahead of Week 1.

Related: Will the Philadelphia Eagles replace Jalen Hurts in 2021 NFL Draft?

Instead, Philadelphia simply must ride this out with Jalen Hurts for the remainder of the season. Perhaps, he turns things around. It’s also possible that an inexperienced head coach in Nick Sirianni will put his quarterback in better situations moving forward.

If nothing comes to fruition on this end, the Eagles will have a lot more questions than answers heading into what might be their most-important off-season of the modern era.

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