The Day After – Jalen Hurt

Posted: December 19th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 2 Comments »

Eagles fans heard the news they have feared all season. Sort of. Jalen Hurts is injured. Before you go into panic mode and start chugging PBRs, there is a good angle to the news.

This is big news, but it would have been huge news if Dallas hadn’t blown their lead yesterday and lost to Jacksonville. The Eagles only need to win one of their final three games to clinch the NFC East and the top seed in the NFC. Hurts will likely miss this week’s game with Dallas, which is no longer a must-win scenario. Old friend Doug Pederson did the Eagles a huge favor by winning 40-34 yesterday.

Even if the Eagles lose to Dallas, they only need to beat the Saints or Giants to clinch. Those are winnable games with Gardner Minshew at QB. Heck, Dallas is a winnable game with Minshew. The Eagles still have a ton of talent. Hurts helps this team to play at an elite level, but the team won’t disappear without him. And Minshew is the kind of QB who I can see loving the chance to start on national TV on Christmas Eve in Dallas. That’s the kind of situation he will relish.

I’m sure Hurts will want to play. The Eagles need him to be smart and focus on the postseason. Get healthy. The team will be fine for a couple of weeks. This isn’t Carson Wentz getting hurt in 2017. This isn’t Donovan McNabb getting hurt in 2002. Hurts will miss a couple of games. He was able to play through the injury yesterday, but there is no reason to risk any further issues. Rest up and come back in a couple of weeks.


Style points are important in college football because polls can determine your fate. In the NFL you can live by the immortal words of Al Davis, “Just win baby.”

The Eagles won’t get any style points for their 25-20 win over the Bears. The Eagles out-gained the Bears by 173 yards and only trailed once (6-3). The Eagles built leads of 17-6 and 25-13. But they could never completely put Chicago away until the end. Beyond that, things just didn’t come easily for the Eagles. When you’re 12-1, fans and the media can start to expect things to look smooth. That doesn’t always happen in the NFL.

Look around the league on Sunday and you see several upsets. Teams simply aren’t going to have their A-game every time out. What makes this year’s team so special is that they have still found a way to win all but one of those games. They held off the Cardinals, came back to beat the Colts and then outlasted the Bears. Think about Dallas losing overtime games to Green Bay and Jacksonville. Think about the Niners losing to the Broncos and Saints. Winning ain’t easy.

The Eagles had the one game where they couldn’t find a way to win. That’s it. The biggest reason for that is Jalen Hurts. He almost always plays well. He also seems to make big plays when the Eagles need them most. That’s the sign of a great player.


The Eagles lead the NFL with 55 sacks this year. Dallas, which had such a dominant pass rush early on, is second with 49. I don’t know what happened, but the Eagles pass rush has come alive at the same time the Cowboys has slowed down.

The Eagles have had 6 or more sacks in each of the last three games. That is exactly what you want at this time of the year. There are times when sacks can be overrated. That isn’t the case with the Eagles this year. They lead the NFL in 3rd down sacks. Those are drive-enders. Those are critical plays.

The rush is working for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, the Eagles have a lot of talented pass rushers. Blitzing and scheming isn’t enough. You need guys who can win one-on-one. They also have good depth. Jonathan Gannon can rotate his guys to keep them fresh. We also have to give Gannon credit for some of his calls. He has mixed in more stunts as the season has gone on and that’s worked well. He blitzes here and there, to keep the offense honest.

Gannon would be disappointed if I didn’t give the secondary some credit. Their coverage has been outstanding. Receivers aren’t open quickly. It helps that the coverages get mixed up enough that QBs have to hold the ball an extra second as they decipher what’s going on in a given play. That pause can be the difference in a QB hit and a sack.


The Eagles completely dominated the Giants and totally controlled that game. Chicago was different. Every time the Eagles started to get some separation, the Bears answered. Usually they were taking advantage of Eagles mistakes. The key is that they kept the game close.

That wasn’t any fun to sit through, but it will benefit the Eagles more than a blowout would have. The goal is to be ready for January football. Those games aren’t likely to be blowouts. Playoff football usually involves tight, competitive games. The Bengals needed multiple comebacks to make the Super Bowl last year. The Rams needed multiple comebacks to win the Super Bowl.

Playing in tough back-and-forth games where every possession feels important is a good way to get ready for January. You wish the game on Sunday was closer because the Bears played insanely good football instead of the Eagles being so sloppy. Still, you get the benefit of a tight game. There is also the benefit of winning when things aren’t going great.

Chicago probably did the Eagles a favor by battling and finding ways to stay in Sunday’s game.


After seeing Dallas lose on Sunday, I made a comment on Twitter that the Eagles-Cowboys game wouldn’t be quite as compelling. A few people took issue with that comment.

I didn’t choose my words carefully there. Philly-Dallas games will always be compelling to us. Any chance to see Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliott or Jerry Jones suffer will always be embraced by Eagles Nation.

The game won’t be as compelling to general NFL fans. A Christmas Eve showdown with the NFC East title at stake (sort of) would have been the game of the year. Everyone would have tuned in to watch Dak vs Haason Reddick and Jalen Hurts vs Micah Parsons. A lot of people will still be watching because it is such an intriguing matchup, but it won’t be the same as if Dallas had won on Sunday.

Now we have the Minshew angle. That could make things fun.


How weird is it to see AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith playing at such a high level

After enjoying the DeSean Jackson-Jeremy Maclin-Jason Avant era, there were some lean years at WR. There were some dreadful years. Jordan Matthews wasn’t good enough. Dorial Green-Beckham wasn’t good. The 2017 team gave us Alshon, Torrey Smith and one good year of Nelson Agholor. Things went haywire after that and the guys drafted to replace them turned out to be worse. We did get one great month from Travis Fulgham and one great game from DeSean on his second stint, but things didn’t really change until DeVonta arrived.

Now you add in AJ and the Eagles have about as good a 1-2 punch as you’ll find in the league. Quez Watkins and Zach Pascal are good role players.

For years we watched other teams receivers make clutch catches and big plays. This year we get to see the Eagles dynamic duo make plays. There was DeVonta hauling in a 45-yard pass to set up a FG in the second quarter. This play was key to a TD drive at the end of the first half.

There was also a key catch and run on a screen on 3rd and 10 in the second half that led to a TD.

There was AJ catching the deep ball down the right side and tip-toeing the sideline as long as he could.

Then Hurts hit AJ on the final 3rd down and that let the Eagles simply run out the clock.

It sure is fun to have stud receivers that can make big plays and clutch plays. Those guys will be a huge factor in January.


2 Comments on “The Day After – Jalen Hurt”

  1. 1 The Linc - All eyes on Gardner Minshew - Philadelphia News Station said at 1:35 PM on December 20th, 2022:

    […] The Day After – Jalen Hurt – Iggles BlitzEven when the Eagles lose to Dallas, they solely have to beat the Saints or Giants to clinch. These are winnable video games with Gardner Minshew at QB. Heck, Dallas is a winnable recreation with Minshew. The Eagles nonetheless have a ton of expertise. Hurts helps this crew to play at an elite stage, however the crew gained’t disappear with out him. And Minshew is the type of QB who I can see loving the prospect to begin on nationwide TV on Christmas Eve in Dallas. That’s the type of state of affairs he’ll relish. I’m positive Hurts will wish to play. The Eagles want him to be good and give attention to the postseason. Get wholesome. The crew shall be high quality for a few weeks. This isn’t Carson Wentz getting damage in 2017. This isn’t Donovan McNabb getting damage in 2002. Hurts will miss a few video games. He was capable of play by means of the harm yesterday, however there isn’t a cause to threat any additional points. Relaxation up and are available again in a few weeks. […]

  2. 2 Eagles News: All eyes on Gardner Minshew – Bleeding Green Nation – Financial Consultant said at 9:20 PM on December 20th, 2022:

    […] theory also think that the Cowboys will beat the Eagles on Saturday because Hurts is likely out.The Day After – Jalen Hurt – Iggles BlitzEven if the Eagles lose to Dallas, they only need to beat the Saints or Giants to clinch. Those are […]