For the first three quarters of Sunday’s game between the Eagles and Panthers, Jalen Hurts was not sharp. He was quite terrible, actually. At one point, he was 12-for-20 through the air with just 35 yards.
But in the end, Hurts made enough plays in the second half to win the game for his team. On the day, Hurts completed 59.4% of his passes for 198 yards, zero passing touchdowns, one interception, and a passer rating of 62.7. That’s his worst passer rating in a game this season.
Where Hurts did do well was getting the ball out of his hands on time. Per PFF, his average time per drop back was 2.6 seconds on Sunday, his lowest mark of the year. His adjusted completion percentage — the percentage of aimed passes thrown on target — was also superb on Sunday. Hurts finished with an adjusted completion percentage of 81.3 against Carolina, his best mark since Week 1.
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So, the 59.4% completion percentage doesn’t tell the whole story. Not only considering what the adjusted completion percentage indicates, but Hurts was also the victim of four drops on the day, the most the Eagles have had in a game all season.
His mobility helped at the end of the game, notching two rushing touchdowns and totaling 30 yards on the ground. Getting outside the pocket and utilizing his athletic ability on designed runs on the final drive is really what got the Eagles offense going. And it ultimately won the game for the Birds.
But, Hurts probably wouldn’t have had to put the game on his shoulders in the end if he made better decisions earlier in the game.
Hurts averaged just 5.4 yards per attempt and he only threw the ball 10+ yards down the field seven times. He completed five of those passes for 109 yards, but his ugly interception intended for Zach Ertz came on a pass downfield.
He also had some questionable decisions throughout the first three quarters. Hurts completely missed a wide open Quez Watkins at the end of the half that could’ve possibly scored a touchdown.
The snap that went over his head at the end of the half was the ugliest play of the afternoon. In that situation, just fall on the ball and take the safety. He lucked out when the ball rolled out of the end zone, but I’m not sure what he was trying to achieve here.
At the end of the day, Hurts did do enough to win. But the inconsistency is still concerning moving forward. The trend for Hurts this year is pretty straight forward: he plays well against bad defenses and bad against good defenses. Hurts needs to find a way to settle in sooner against the better defensive units, and his play caller needs to do his part to help his quarterback.
He showed some great fight on Sunday, but Hurts is still far from a finished product.
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