Can Jalen Hurts lead a Philadelphia Eagles playoff berth?

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

With three games left to play, the Philadelphia Eagles are surprisingly in close striking distance of a playoff berth, which would be the first for the team since 2019.

While the team has certainly surpassed preseason expectations, the play of Jalen Hurts will be the deciding factor on whether this team can push through their final games and into the playoffs, all within the division. Hurts was just named a Pro Bowl alternate, an honorable feat in only his second year and his first full year as a starter.

The fact remains, however, that Hurts’ inconsistency is what could end up plaguing or saving the Eagles season.

Can Jalen Hurts lead a Philadelphia Eagles playoff berth?

I’d like to point out that it is still very early in his career, and the fact that the team is even in the playoff hunt is a success for Jalen Hurts and first-year coach Nick Sirianni as it is. Hurts has undeniably looked better as a passer in the latter half of the season than the former, making it an encouraging improvement as the young quarterback adjusts to the NFL as time goes on.

Here’s what we know about Hurts right now: He is the definition of a born leader. He takes responsibility, inspires his teammates, and never gives up on a play. He is an elite quarterback in the league when it comes to rushing upside, which is a trend that the NFL is slowly becoming more and more used to. He has the determination and the skills to build on to make him a top quarterback in the league down the road.

What we also know is that he is young, sometimes reckless with the football, and painfully obviously can be indecisive in the pocket. He misses some easy, early reads far too often, which has led to the Eagles missing out on points in closely contested games. While he is not prone to the luxury of having multiple elite receivers, there is much blame to be put on him when the Eagles lose some of their close games.

Going back to his inconsistency, he is able to look his best against good teams, such as the big wins against the Broncos and the Saints. However, the Giants game in Week 12 stands out as the worst performance of his career, in a game that the Eagles needed to win. Hurts will need to learn from games like that in order to become a playoff-caliber quarterback. This is evident in the Eagles’ most recent victory against Washington in Week 15, where he struggled mightily early on, but rebounded in the second half and took much better care of the football.

I have something to admit: I am a Carson Wentz sympathizer. I have always been sort of a traditionalist when it comes to football and quarterback play. I prefer my quarterback to be able to impress you with his arm, rather than his running chops; such as players like Aaron Rodgers, Justin Herbert, and Wentz himself.

I have also been very critical of Hurts ever since he was drafted by the Eagles in the spring of 2020, but whether or not I believe the Eagles are better off with Hurts rather than Wentz at this point of time is irrelevant. What matters is this: Hurts has improved mightily since the beginning of the year, and he is a guy you can’t help but root for, even if you’re not an Eagles fan. The mistakes will be there for quite some time, just as all NFL quarterbacks make mistakes, but Hurts has the skills to correct many of his mistakes.

Fish out your Nick Foles jersey, Philadelphia Eagles fans. dark. Next

There are three games left, against the Giants, Washington again, and the finale against Dallas. It is worth noting that Dallas has the division locked up, and the Philadelphia Eagles could benefit from the Cowboys resting some starters as they prepare for the playoffs. The path is there, all Hurts and the Eagles have to do is follow it. As long as Philadelphia sticks to the formula that has led them to achieve record-breaking running records, and Hurts cuts out the avoidable turnovers, QB1 is very capable of leading this team to an improbable playoff berth, and perhaps earning the trust of the fans he hasn’t won over yet.