The Philadelphia Eagles were surging heading into MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Winners of three of their last four games, the Eagles offense was flying high. Led by quarterback Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia was averaging 34.5 points per game over the last month and looking to be nipping at the heels of the Dallas Cowboys for first place in the NFC East.
However, things came quickly crashing down in Week 12. The New York Giants and their 27th-ranked defense halted Philadelphia’s offense in their tracks en route to a 13-7 upset victory over the Birds. Hurts committed three of the Eagles’ four turnovers on the afternoon, producing one of the more eye-sore quarterback performances of the season. Yet, while doubt in Philly begins to stockpile regarding Hurts’ legitimacy as a viable NFL signal-caller, Giants standout safety Xavier McKinney has a message for those questioning his former Alabama teammate.
“Well, I mean he’s a great quarterback. Obviously, like you said, I played him many times before, at least practiced against him, so I was familiar with how he plays. But he’s a — even if you have him in the pocket, he’s still a great quarterback,” McKinney proclaimed. “He can throw with his arm, he can go with his legs, so we knew that, so like I said before during the week, it was going to be a challenge today like it was, but we made those turnovers and got those turnovers that we needed and they helped us out a lot at the end.”
McKinney, who is playing at a near All-Pro level in his second season, snagged his fifth interception of the season on Sunday vs. Hurts — all of which have come over his last six games.
Hurts on Thin Ice in Philly?
At his peak, Hurts is one of the league’s more vaunted dual-threats at the quarterback position. He’s flashed a complete package from time to time. In fact, prior to the Giants loss, Hurts owned the top QBR (75.0) in football over the previous five weeks (h/t ESPN’s Tim McManus). Problem is, those flashes have more often than not come few and far between — namely pertaining to his play from the pocket.
“It’s never going to be an A, B, C or D if you turn it over three times, right? Obviously, he didn’t play good enough,” Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said following the game. “And we didn’t coach good enough. And it’s all of us. It’s never just one guy. We’re going to look through that tape and we’re going to have to make those corrections from that tape, but when you turn the ball over three times — again, there are different things at play there — but not a winning performance. Running the ball was good.”
The latest Giants news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Giants newsletter here!Sign up for the Heavy on Giants Newsletter!
Eagles in Position to Make Big Move at QB
Despite his flaws as a passer, Hurts has used his feet to muster up 3,130 yards from scrimmage and 21 total touchdowns this season. Each of which ranks within the top-11 at his position. However, as tantalizing as his jaw-dropping playmaking ability can be at times, sooner or later Hurts is going to need to prove his worth as a passer in this league.
If not, Philadelphia has three first-round picks in this year’s upcoming NFL Draft, giving them more than enough draft capital to position themselves to find Hurts’ replacement under center.