The Eagles may have lost a shot at the playoffs by not benching Carson Wentz for Jalen Hurts sooner
Eagles waited too long to switch to Hurts, which originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
With an energy this Eagles team has lacked for far too long, Jalen Hurts rejuvenated both the team and the fan base this month. Hurts gave Eagles football a zest for life that weighed more heavily on me on Sunday than the whole season, apart from a little less than two-quarters in week 1.
I had essentially built a full year of passion watching Hurt fight Kyler Murray in Arizona. That's more of the problem than just losing to a playoff team at the Cardinals. The Eagles didn't have that mood for the first 13 weeks of the season. Not only did the fan base miss watching Hurts' passes and the way he ticked linebackers, the Eagles themselves also missed wins that put him on the NFC East standings with him.
Not having Jalen Hurts earlier to replace Carson Wentz could ultimately cost that team their fourth straight post-season appearance.
The way Wentz was benched in the middle of the game against Green Bay on December 6th should have happened five weeks earlier. The Eagles played against the Cowboys on Sunday night, the last game before the team's Bye Week. Wentz was unpredictable with three first-half turnovers that saw Birds lose 9-7. They eventually came back for the 23-9 win, but it was fools gold.
Hurts could have found a rhythm against a poor Dallas Secondary and then had a full week off to prepare for his first career start. The Eagles dropped their next three games against the Giants, Browns and Seahawks, where the Eagles scored exactly 17 points each. New York won by 10, but the competitions in Cleveland and Seattle were one-point games. All three could be won with a simply competent quarterback game. The Eagles have less than that.
Just winning the Giants game, which saw the Eagles just four points behind in the fourth quarter, would keep the Eagles in control of their own fate the rest of the way (forget for a second what Chip Kelly had to say about fate and fate ) of NFC East even after this loss to Arizona.
Perhaps Hurts will have the Eagles steal one of those other games against playoff teams in Cleveland, Seattle, or even Green Bay. The rookie beeper has proven over the past two weeks that he can keep up with the big dogs, scoring a total of 50 points against two top 10 DVOA defenses.
Jalen Hurts' game has become history of the season for Philadelphia. It could have been one of the stories of the season for the entire football world if the call to him had come earlier.
The Eagles stay alive in the playoff chase but need some luck to get there, much like 2018. As this season ended and this one too, the Philadelphians wonder again why the offense didn't look so good like in December all season.
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