Lucky Break

Posted: June 3rd, 2023 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Lucky Break

Life is good for the Eagles in large part due to the team having a star QB. Jeffrey Lurie has seen his team win with Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, Carson Wentz and Nick Foles. He knows how critical it is for the team to have the right QB.

Jalen Hurts wasn’t considered a star coming off the 2021 season. The Eagles hoped he would be good, but weren’t sure. That’s why they took a long look at Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson.

It is easy to understand why the Eagles really wanted Wilson. He had a career rating of over 100 and his worst W-L record was 6-8. Wilson was still a good athlete who could make dynamic plays on the move. There weren’t the off-field concerns you would have had with Watson. And Wilson had played in two Super Bowls and won it all in 2013. He checked a lot of boxes.

As we now know, Wilson was a disaster in Denver. He was 4-11 as the starter. He got sacked a career-high 55 times and threw a career-low 16 TDs. Beyond the numbers, Wilson looked lost. He wasn’t the playmaker from Seattle. He was a mess. Wilson also wasn’t the kind of leader the Broncos needed. He was an awkward fit.

The knee-jerk conclusion is to go “Boy did the Eagles get lucky that he said no.”

Imagining last season with Wilson at QB is more complex than that. Nathaniel Hackett was a rookie coach in Denver and was so bad that he got fired. Wilson would have played for Nick Sirianni in Philly and that would have made a big difference. Sirianni has had success with a variety of QBs as offensive coordinator and head coach. He’s shown he can connect with veteran QBs and get them to play well.

Wilson did not have a good OL in Denver. The Eagles had the best OL in the league. That could have made a huge difference. All QBs perform better when they’re well-protected.

There would have been challenges as well. The Eagles wouldn’t have been able to build as good of a roster with Wilson. Trading for him would have deleted resources and eaten up salary cap space. That would have put more pressure on Wilson. You also wonder how he would have handled the Philly media. Seattle isn’t a huge media market. Wilson would have had a shock factor when he saw the media crowd at his first PC.

I think the Eagles version of Russell Wilson would have been closer to the star QB from Seattle. We wouldn’t have had the disaster from Denver.

That said, I can’t see Wilson playing as well as Hurts did. And Wilson certainly wouldn’t have become the kind of leader and presence that Hurts did. Even if Wilson was better than in Denver, the Eagles got very lucky that he said no to them, for both last year and into the future.


For those who question the Eagles moving on from Hurts after 2021, you have to erase last year. The Eagles made the playoffs in 2021, but fell behind Tampa 31-0 in that game and  you could see Hurts was in over his head. He failed to see open receivers and made some bad decisions.

Hurts was a gifted runner, but had a long way to go as a passer. He threw 16 TDs in 15 starts. That’s hardly a QB you “know” is going to be a star. The Eagles couldn’t find a better option so they stuck with Hurts and gave him the weapons he needed. That led to a magical season and hopefully more of those to come.


The Eagles got doubly lucky in March of 2022. WR Allen Robinson talked to the Eagles about a contract and then changed his mind. He went to the Rams and proved to be a bad fit in LA.

We almost had to settle for Wilson to Robinson instead of Hurts to AJ Brown.

Thank you Russ.

Thank you Allen.


Saying the Eagles got lucky isn’t an insult to them. The Patriots got lucky that Tom Brady slid to pick 199 back in 2000. Johnny Unitas was cut by the Steelers and then went to the Colts. The Broncos got lucky that John Elway refused to play for the Colts and demanded to be traded elsewhere.

Some amazing teams were built in part by lucky moves. Joe Montana wasn’t a first round pick. The Packers traded for Brett Favre and then spent pick 20 on Aaron Rodgers. Both had HOF careers for them.

Teams should get credit when they get a special player unexpectedly and then build special teams around that guy.

Howie Roseman got lucky that Wilson said no and the team had to stick with Hurts. Howie then did a great job of putting the right pieces around Hurts to have a juggernaut team last year. It sure looks like they can be a juggernaut this year and into the near future.


Comments are closed.