Eagles: Making sense of Hurts’ terrible performance against New York

It’s hard to feel encouraged after Jalen Hurts’ performance against the New York Giants this past Sunday. In a pivotal divisional game that could very well determine whether or not the Eagles make the postseason, Hurts had his worst outing as a pro.

He completed 45.1% of his passes on 31 attempts, threw three interceptions, didn’t even eclipse 150 passing yards, and posted a 17.5 quarterback rating. Not only was it Hurts’ worst game as a pro, it ranks up there with some of the worst games ever by an Eagles quarterback.

A lot of fans have taken their anger out on Jalen Reagor following the loss, and understandably so, but Reagor’s drops shouldn’t overshadow how much Hurts held his team back on Sunday.

Not only did Hurts throw three of the worst interceptions you’ll ever see on Sunday, his accuracy was the worst it’s been all year. He posted a bad throw percentage of 10.3% against the Giants and his adjusted completion percentage of 55.2% speaks to just how inaccurate he was.

As fans, it’s hard not to view every game this year as a measuring stick for Hurts. We’re all trying to figure out if he’s The Guy or not. He hasn’t had many performances that’ve drastically swung the narrative in one way or the other. He’s been an average game manager with elite upside in the rushing department for the majority of the year.

This game against New York was the first brutally awful game from Hurts this year — though he’s certainly had some clunkers throughout the year. And what made it so discouraging was that the Giants didn’t do anything special to stop him. Hurts was just asked to throw it a little bit more, which shouldn’t be a tall order for any quarterback. But for Hurts, it is apparently.

Giants safety Julian Love said during his post game press conference that forcing Hurts to beat them with his arm was their game plan.

The Giants can pat themselves on the back for this if they want, but it’s not like they made the Eagles offense one dimensional. The Eagles still racked up over 200 yards rushing and averaged 6.3 yards a pop. They ran it more than they threw it, too.

If you’ve been paying attention, you shouldn’t be surprised that Hurts completely fell apart through the air. In the games he’s looked serviceable, he’s dropped back to pass no more than 20 times and he’s handed it off 40-50 times. He hasn’t thrown for over 200 yards since Week 7, he hasn’t posted a 300-yard passing performance since Week 4. He’s only thrown three touchdowns in a game once this year, Week 1 against Atlanta.

Hurts’ completion percentage on the year (60.1%) is below average, his 13 to 8 TD/INT ratio is below average. His quarterback rating of 83.9, below average. And his 48.0 QBR is, you guessed it, below average.

A below average arm with elite rushing ability will only get you so far in this league. Never, in the long history of the NFL, has a quarterback who’s better on the ground than through the air won a Super Bowl. And it really doesn’t matter how great a quarterback is at creating plays with his legs. If you can’t consistently complete passes down the field, you won’t consistently win football games.

Hurts’ performance against New York is a perfect example of that. His team still dominated on the ground and he led the way with 77 yards of his own. But his team still only put up seven points on an average defense.

If Hurts doesn’t show any development as a passer over the final month of the season, then I don’t know how anyone can say he’s the long-term answer at quarterback with a straight face.

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