On the heels of their 35-13 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Oct. 30, quarterback Jalen Hurts made a proclamation.
“I think it’s about being able to be a threat in many different ways,” he said. “That’s something that a guy like me has the ability to do. Naturally being able to run, we’ll call it a dual-threat but I like to call it a triple-threat.
“You have to be able to kill them with your legs at times, make the throws when you need to in the passing game, and kill them with your mind and with what you see and how you react,” Hurts continued.”
That triple-threat ability was on full display during the Eagles 17-16 come from behind win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
For much of the first half, Philadelphia’s offense sputtered. They struggled to find any semblance of consistency and were marred by penalties. For much of the matchup, it felt like a dog fight.
But Philadelphia came out on top and they wouldn’t have been able to do it without Jalen Hurts.
During ESPN’s Monday Night Football pregame show last week, college football analyst and former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III sat down with former Eagle quarterbacks Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb along with Hurts.
Griffin III phrased it as the “evolution of the quarterback,” specifically citing Hurts as the “prototype.”
And it was on full display during the waining moments at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Colts held a 13-3 lead heading into the fourth quarter and something clicked for the Eagles offense.
Gone were the inconsistencies and self inflicted wounds (outside of an inexplicable A.J. Brown fumble on an 8-yard pass from Hurts).
Hurts’ value was explicitly displayed on two scoring drives.
First, on the Eagles 5 play, 60-yard scoring drive to cut the deficit to three points.
In a span of three plays, Hurts broke free for a 23 yard scramble that put Philadelphia in Colts territory, and two plays later he delivered a 22-yard touchdown strike to Quez Watkins.
Second, on the Eagles 11-play 75 yard game winning touchdown drive. Some may say the Eagles took the ball out of Hurts’ hands (or arm) in order to come away with the win and to an extent that sentiment rings true.
Eagles 4th Quarter Scoring Drive
|(1st & 10 on PHI 25) J. Hurts – Pass||Incomplete|
|(2nd & 10 on PHI 25) J. Hurts – Pass||Completion to A.J. Brown (8-yards)|
|(3rd & 2 on PHI 33) J. Hurts – Pass||Incomplete (Defensive Pass Interference – 39 yard penalty)|
|(1st and 10 on IND 28) M. Sanders – Run||6-yard gain|
|(1st & 10 on IND 17) B. Scott – Run||3-yard gain|
|(2nd and 7 on IND 14) B. Scott – Run||3-yard gain|
|(3rd & 4 on IND 11) B. Scott – Run||2-yard gain|
|(4th & 2 on IND 9) J. Hurts – Run||3-yard gain|
|(1st & Goal on IND 9) M. Sanders – Run||2-yard gain|
|(2nd & Goal on IND 4) J. Hurts – Run||3-yard loss|
|(3rd & Goal on IND 7) J. Hurts – Run||7-yard GW Touchdown|
Both of those drives convey one notion to me: when it mattered most the Eagles trusted Jalen Hurts to win them the game.
Sure, the arguement can be made that the braintrust of the Eagles offense didn’t want to throw the ball in/near the redzone during that moment. But becasue of who Hurts is as an athlete, independent of him as a thrower, the game was still put on his shoulders.
With an offense that struggled to maintain rhythm throughout the day, when it mattered most, Hurts came through. And how he did it is what makes Hurts the type of quarterback a team can win becasue of.
By no means is Jalen Hurts the perfect quarterback. He doesn’t wow you with off-platform, side-arm throws. There are still holes in his game, like the routine dropping of his eyes to his willingness to check the ball down every once in a while, but he can turn a would be sack into a 22-yard scramble that sets up a 23-yard touchdown pass.
He’s a quarterback who, when call upon, can put an entire offense on his back and will them to victory. And he can do it through the air or on the ground.
(Cover Image Credit: Darron Cummings / Associated Press)