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Philadelphia Eagles season preview: Will Jalen Hurts play in Week 1 against the Falcons?

Pittsburgh Steelers v Philadelphia Eagles
Pittsburgh Steelers v Philadelphia Eagles
Tayyib Abu
ANALYST

Jalen Hurts is now the leading man in Philadelphia. After Carson Wentz's trade to the Indianapolis Colts, Hurts was named the QB1 for the Eagles for the 2021 NFL season.

Hurts didn't need to beat out stiff competition in camp. Former Baltimore Ravens star Joe Flacco is past his best, and Gardner Minshew's trade happened too late for the former Jaguars quarterback to challenge Hurts for the starting role. So the former Alabama and OSU will get the nod when the Eagles take the field on Sunday.

How he plays is another question. Hurts started four games at the tail end of last season. He played okay and will now benefit from that experience.

Rookie head coach Nick Sirianni named Jalen Hurts as the starting quarterback last week. He wants to install his offensive scheme and that can take time for players to master. Utilizing the preseason will benefit Hurts once the regular season starts.

If Hurts' collegiate career is anything to go by, the quarterback won't have much trouble learning Sirianni's scheme. Hurts started at Alabama before Nick Saban benched him. The quarterback then transferred to Oklahoma State. Learning two offensive schemes at a young age will help him in 2021.

Unless something strange was to occur like a freak injury or a bout with COVID, Hurts will start under center on Sunday.

Will Hurts play well in 2021?

Despite his inexperience, Hurts is a cerebral quarterback. He developed that in his stints at Alabama and Oklahoma State. Hurts is a competent decision-maker. That is his primary strength. That trait is a critical ingredient for success in the NFL.

Sirianni coached a quick offense in Indianapolis that masked Philip Rivers' deficiencies. Rivers was competent in throwing in the short and intermediate areas, specifically between the hash marks.

Furthermore, Sirianni relied heavily on pre-snap motion and play-action. The Colts dialed up motion or play-action 62% of the time. Those tactical methods are vital pieces of a modern NFL offense. They also help young quarterbacks assimilate to life in the pro ranks.

All of the above suggests Hurts has the tools and requisite skills to play well in 2021. He must mentally adapt to the pressure and expectation. The opportunity is in front of him. Hurts will start for Week 1. The pressure is on him to perform well every week and make the spot his own.


Edited by Jay Lokegaonkar
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