More Sports:

January 01, 2023

Jalen Hurts was never a system quarterback

The idea that Jalen Hurts is a system quarterback now has to be totally thrown out the window. The debate raged this season about whether Hurts was a true MVP QB or just the product of playing in a great scheme with the league's best offensive line and an elite wide receiver tandem.

With Hurts spraining his shoulder against the Bears two weeks ago, the Eagles went from clear-cut NFC favorites to being in danger of not even winning the division.

The Eagles' offensive performed valiantly in a loss to Dallas on Christmas Eve, but Gardner Minshew turned in a colossal stinker against the Saints, as the Birds lost 20-10. A fourth quarter pick-6, one resemblent of a toddler playing "Madden" for the first time, had Birds fans heading to the exits early.

This is not a cowardly "The Eagles would be 15-1 with Jalen!" take. The Eagles failed to do their job, from the coaching staff to the o-line to Minshew himself. It's a realization that the chatter around Hurts this season has been laughable.

Does Patrick Mahomes ever get the system QB label? He's playing with a guy who might end up as the greatest tight end ever and a Hall of Fame coach. Does Joe Burrow get it while throwing to Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins? They shouldn't because they're just that good. The same logical should apply to Hurts, as the NFL media remains beholden to their pre-draft takes on him, blindly ignoring the way he's taken leaps every year of his football career.

What happened to the Eagles' coaching staff, allegedly the top reason behind Hurts' 2022 success, against New Orleans? Going into Week 17, the Saints' defense was 14th in points allowed and 13th in DVOA. Nick Sirianni and Shane Steichen were not trying to take down the 1985 Bears. It was a winnable game with Jonathan Gannon's defense hanging tough behind a torrid pass rush.

By the way Hurts had been talked about all season, I would've assumed that you could plop any rinky-dink QB into this offense and they'd continue to put up fireworks.

Sunday made it clear that couldn't be further from the truth.

Jalen Hurts is the system. 

The importance of capturing the No. 1 seed in the conference cannot be overstated. Winning next week against the Giants and nabbing that first-round bye is the equivalent of winning a playoff game. The Eagles, with or without Hurts, are not winning three-straight road playoff games if they fall to a Wild Card spot and the No. 5 seed.

I don't know if Hurts will play against New York in the finale game of the season. Maybe Eagles fans don't see him until the playoffs. Whenever Hurts does return to the field, however, this offense is going to operating in an entirely different universe than the one seen at the Linc on Sunday.

Follow Shamus & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @shamus_clancy | @thePhillyVoice

Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports

Add Shamus' RSS feed to your feed reader