The Philadelphia Eagles have made it clear on multiple occasions that they are all-in on quarterback Jalen Hurts. After solidifying this during the NFL Draft, and building around him, Hurts has one season to earn a long-term stay. And, he’ll do this by accomplishing these five things.
FIVE THINGS JALEN HURTS WILL DO IN 2022
1. Finish the season with 3,800+ passing yards
Last season, Hurts took a lot of heat for his inability to see the entire field and get the ball into the hands of his receiving corps. He finished the season with 3,144 passing yards, and if it weren’t for his missed opportunities, his total would have been much greater.
This offseason, Hurts has been training in Southern California, working privately with a quarterback coach. He also trained with Tom House, a former MLB pitcher, working on throwing mechanics.
Aside from Hurts’ own doing, the Eagles supplied him with a massive receiver upgrade. During the 2022 NFL Draft, Philadelphia traded with the Tennessee Titans for wide receiver AJ Brown. Brown, along with DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, and Dallas Goedert will now make up one of the best receiving corps in the league, providing Hurts with more options.
2. Exceed 500+ rushing yards
Critics had a lot to say when Hurts ran out of the pocket last season, but no one cared when it meant he was producing yards. With 784 rushing yards, he became the leading rusher on the Philadelphia Eagles, surpassing all of his running backs.
This upcoming season, Hurts’ rushing stats won’t be quite as high as they were last year, but they will still be something to keep an eye on. Miles Sanders will hopefully remain healthy and with an upgraded receiving corps, Hurts will have to run much less.
After becoming the lead rushing team in the league in 2021, Hurts and the Eagles should still remain at the top of the leaderboard here.
3. Win the NFC East and advance to the playoffs
Last season, Jalen Hurts and the Eagles finished 2021 with a 9-8 record, advancing to the playoffs. Despite losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round, Philadelphia took the league by surprise after finishing so strong during a “rebuild” year.
This coming season, the Eagles have the second-easiest schedule in the NFL. After making much-needed upgrades to positions such as wide receiver and cornerback, it’s likely Philadelphia will see the playoffs again.
Recently, FOX Bet released their betting odds. The Eagles are -133 to make the playoffs, and +190 to win the NFC East, closing the gap on the Dallas Cowboys.
4. Earn his first Pro Bowl selection
Jalen Hurts will be entering his third season in the NFL, but his second as a starting quarterback. After taking over the job from former franchise quarterback Carson Wentz, Hurts has led the Eagles on and off the field.
Though he wasn’t perfect last year, in his first full season, Hurts put up some pretty impressive numbers. He finished 2021 with 265 completions for 3,144 passing yards and 16 passing touchdowns. He also added 784 rushing yards and ten rushing touchdowns. Hurts finished with 26 total sacks; 1.8 average sacks per game — one of the lowest among other quarterbacks in the league.
Knowing what he needed to work on, fans should expect to see a more polished performance from the 23-year-old.
5. Finish as a Top-10 quarterback
After the 2021 season finished, a number of quarterback rankings were released, showing that Jalen Hurts is making quite the impact in the NFL.
NFL.com ranked Hurts No. 17 overall, up from No. 23 in 2020. Pro Football Focus did even better, ranking the quarterback No. 11, and most recently, Sports Illustrated’s Michael Fabiano ranked him eighth overall. Fabiano’s numbers placed Hurts ahead of top quarterbacks like Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, and NFC East opponent, Dak Prescott.
Based on his performance last season, these rankings may be overzealous, but it’s not absurd to think they could be more accurate in 2022.
Author of ProFootballTalk, Mike Florio stated,
“He’s [Hurts] kind of gradually becoming the guy. They [Eagles] wanted the obvious franchise guy ever since Donovan McNabb was traded 12 years ago. Hurts is a kind of guy who is going to ease himself into that role, and we’re going to wake up one day and say, ‘Holy crap, they got a top-10 quarterback in Jalen Hurts.'”
Earlier this offseason Hurts stated, “It’s my opportunity, it’s my team, it’s pretty much what it is. It’s my team so I’m ready to go. And the work has been put in to go out and achieve what we want to achieve, and I think this being a time for us to come together and spend time together and do all those things.”
Hurts knows that the pressure is on, and fans will see him capitalize on that this coming season.