Jalen Hurts has gotten better every season we’ve seen him play football on the big stage.
He improved through his college career, first at Alabama (where he was usurped by Tua Tagovailoa before his junior year) and then at Oklahoma. He made strides from his first to second seasons in the NFL as well.
The Philadelphia Eagles have built the type of team around Hurts that can compete for a division title and maybe much more. They needed Hertz to play his part.
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Hurts, with the help of a great cast around him, has improved. He was magnificent Monday night, throwing for more than 300 yards in a complete 24-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
Everyone was talking about the Vikings after they beat the Green Bay Packers in week 1. Maybe we should have talked more about the Eagles.
Jalen Hurts stars in the win
On Monday night, Hurts got off to a surprising start. When he threw a 53-yard touchdown to Quez Watkins, he was 10 of 10 for 154 yards eight seconds into the second quarter. He also had a rushing touchdown, and would add another in the second quarter.
Hurts looked confident all night. He made strong throws and repeatedly made the right read. Hurts’ running ability is a big part of his game, and he added 57 yards and two touchdowns on Monday night. But he needed to grow as a passer in his third season for the Eagles to unlock their elite level. Through two games, Hurts looks more than capable as a runner and as a passer.
Like the Miami Dolphins did with Hurts’ old college teammate Tagovailoa, the Eagles strengthened their quarterback by building around him. The Eagles have a great offensive line, an effective running game and traded for alpha receiver AJ Brown. If the Eagles fell short this season because Hurts didn’t play well enough, he had no excuses.
Hurts has been very good to start this season. The Vikings shut out Aaron Rodgers and the Packers last week and then got burned by Hurts in Week 2. Hurts was 26-of-31 for 333 yards.
It looks like Hurts took another step in his third NFL season. This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.
The Eagles defense also has a big game
The Eagles defense heard a lot of criticism after the Detroit Lions put up 35 points on them last week, but that seemed like an overreaction. Many of those Lions points came after the Eagles took a big lead. There is too much talent on defense for them to play like this all season.
It showed against the Vikings. Justin Jefferson, who had a huge Week 1 and is arguably the NFL’s best receiver, did very little on Monday night. Darius Slay Jr., who had two interceptions, had a great night in coverage against him. The Eagles paid extra attention to Jefferson and made sure he didn’t beat them. Jefferson had six catches for 48 yards and looked even less than that.
The Eagles defense made big plays repeatedly in their own territory. In the third quarter they had a field goal blocked and punter/holder Arryn Siposs made a great play to make a tackle and prevent a touchdown on the return. It was another chance for the Vikings to get back into the game. Shortly after that, Kirk Cousins threw an interception to Eagles defensive back Avonte Maddox. It was Cousins’ second interception in Eagles territory — he would throw one more in the end zone — and pretty much sealed the win for Philadelphia.
The Eagles have a lot of exciting pieces. There is no real weakness on the roster, although many wondered if he would be the quarterback. What will happen this Eagles season if the quarterback ends up being a force?