At the beginning of training camp, the top Philadelphia Eagles storyline was that this team would likely go as far as quarterback Jalen Hurts could take them. They had built an offense around him with a strong offensive line, upgraded his weapons, and improved the defense.
Over the last couple of weeks, the Eagles have suddenly garnered Super Bowl picks and Hurts has been named a dark horse MVP candidate. But that doesn’t change the fact that Hurts could be sitting on the hot seat in 2022, according to Heavy NFL insider Matt Lombardo.
According to Lombardo, Hurts probably has a wider range of possible outcomes after this season than any quarterback in the league. Even in a playoff campaign, Hurts didn’t exactly blow up the stat sheet last season, throwing for 3,144 yards, 16 touchdowns and 9 interceptions while completing 61% of his passes.
Now that they’ve built a better team around him, the sky is the limit for Hurts, but there are growing expectations to match.
“The Eagles enter the season boasting arguably the premier offensive line in football, added A.J. Brown to a receiving corps that already included DeVonta Smith, and significantly upgraded all three levels of the defense throughout the offseason,” Lombardo writes. “There might not be a quarterback better positioned to make a significant leap this season than Hurts.”
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni believes Hurts has made significant improvements as a passer. If that’s how it plays out, Hurts could be in line for a significant payday as a franchise quarterback, and the Eagles will be able to utilize their pair of first-round picks next year to continue to add talent around the young quarterback. However, if he struggles, those draft picks will likely be used a bit differently, according to Lombardo.
“If Hurts falters and the Eagles stumble, those two first-rounders will undoubtedly be used to mine his replacement next spring,” Lombardo predicts.
Eagles Believe Hurts Is Improving as Passer
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni spoke of Hurts’ development as a passer during his press conference on September 7. Sirianni says he’s seen improvement in the speed of Hurts’ reads, as well as in his accuracy.
Based on the latest injury report, it appears Hurts will have his full array of weapons for the season opener in Week 1.
Former Eagles QB Carson Wentz on the Hot Seat With the Commanders
There’s already been some conversation this preseason that it could be Carson Wentz’s last chance to stick as a starter in the NFL. Many had high expectations for the former Eagle when he was traded to the Colts, but he finds himself with a new team one season later.
“This is probably Carson Wentz’s last chance to prove he’s a starting caliber NFL quarterback,” Lombardo suggests.
But this isn’t based entirely on speculation, as Lombardo points out that the Commanders could already have a replacement on the roster.
“Washington is so committed to Wentz, whom it traded for on March 16, that the Commanders drafted quarterback Sam Howell in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL draft, just over one month later,” Lombardo writes. “Howell was already getting some first-team reps during Commanders training camp, so it is fair to question just how long Wentz’s leash as Washington’s starting quarterback is, before this prove-it season begins.”