Jalen Hurts’ first crack at securing the franchise quarterback role for the Philadelphia Eagles was a wild success. He threw for 264 yards and three touchdowns in Week 1 to earn a passer rating of 126.4.
Hurts also ran for another 62 yards on the ground while showing all the poise of a veteran leader in the huddle. He set the bar incredibly high for a Week 2 encore. His 87.9 passing grade was the second-best among qualifying quarterbacks, per Pro Football Focus. And his 89.5 overall grade was tied with Jameis Winston for No. 2 behind Tom Brady. ESPN ranked Hurts as the 11th-best quarterback in the NFL based on Total QBR rating.
“Jalen was in complete control the whole game,” head coach Nick Sirianni said of Hurts. “He played a heck of a football game. I’m really happy with the way he played.”
Added Hurts: “It’s me going out there and doing what I’m coached to do. We prepare, we hit it every day. I always talk about executing.”
That execution has made Hurts pretty popular with a ravenous fan base starving for a new franchise quarterback following a bitter divorce from Carson Wentz. According to ESPN, Hurts’ jersey sales saw the largest one-day spike of any NFL player on Sunday with an increase of more than 500%. His No. 1 midnight green jersey is the No. 2 best-selling product behind Mac Jones of the New England Patriots.
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Donovan McNabb Impressed by Hurts’ Debut
Donovan McNabb was asked for his initial impressions on Hurts during an appearance on SportsRadio 94WIP’s Afternoon Show and the greatest quarterback in Eagles’ franchise history didn’t hold back. He saw a talented, poised player who attacked the game plan and inspired confidence in his teammates.
“I thought he allowed the game to come to him instead of trying to press the issue and be perfect and tried to prove a point,” McNabb said, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “To me, I think when people are going to watch Jalen Hurts, they’re going to see a guy who’s just going to play the game the way the game is supposed to be played.”
McNabb did caution against putting Hurts in the Hall of Fame. Remember, this was only his fifth career start.
“Now, there’s going to be some ups and downs,” McNabb said. “And I think for those out there who do lazy analytical work, they’ll take the negatives and try to blow that up and that will become topic of conversation.”
Hurts Handled Blitz Pressure, Made Plays
Hurts was only hit one time during Sunday’s 32-6 win over the Atlanta Falcons. That’s not to say the opposing defense didn’t bring pressure. They did. But every time the dual-threat quarterback saw a blitz, he diagnosed it and moved around the pocket to evade it. More importantly, Hurts kept his eyes down the field and found open receivers in space.
“I really thought he handled that well, how he handled the blitz well,” Sirianni said. “And still, I thought he did a really good job of running it when he was supposed to and throwing it when the defense allowed. You know, be that passer first and then go and run.”