Extra Points: Hurts Proves he Should be the Starter
Carson Wentz reportedly wants to be traded if he's still a backup quarterback next season.
Based on the way Jalen Hurts has been playing, there will be no shortage of volunteers to drive him to the airport if a deal can be worked out.
It's only been two and a half games, but Hurts has certainly shown the potential to be the Eagles' quarterback of the future. He turned in a terrific effort on Sunday, repeatedly delivering big plays in the clutch during a 33-26 loss at Arizona.
Aside from an early-game mistake - Hurts was called for intentional grounding in the end zone for a safety - the rookie was nearly flawless. While his statistics were terrific - he completed 24 of 44 passes for 338 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions and also ran for 63 yards and a TD on 11 carries - it was the poise and composure under pressure that was the most impressive aspect of his performance.
The only thing brighter than his future was the checkered suit that FOX Sports color announcer Aqib Talib was sporting on Sunday.
Hurts outplayed Cards quarterback Kyler Murray, or as Talib called him, "Calamari." Murray, Hurts' predecessor at Oklahoma, threw for a career-high 406 yards and also accounted for four TDs, but also coughed up a fumble and threw an awful interception in the end zone.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson should be examined for a concussion if he doesn't keep Hurts in the lineup for the rest of the season, however long that lasts. Despite the loss, the Eagles (4-9-1) are still mathematically alive in the NFC East race with two regular-season games remaining.
"We ain't done, yet," Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham said. "There's still a light at the end of the tunnel."
The light might be a little brighter if not for some costly breakdowns by the Eagles' special teams against the Cardinals.
A blocked punt led to Arizona's second touchdown of the game. Cameron Johnston wound up suffering a concussion, and his absence was felt more as a holder than a kicker. Tight end Zach Ertz was pressed into service as place-kicker Jake Elliott's holder and his only play had a disastrous result. After the Eagles tied the game at 26-26, long snapper Rick Lovato's low snap squirted away from Ertz, thus preventing them from taking a one-point lead.
The miscues ruined a solid effort by the Eagles' offense and a respectable outing by an Eagles defense that boasted a secondary filled with third-stringers and former practice squad players such as rookie free agent Michael Jacquet and Kevon Seymour. A year ago, Seymour was working at the Wheel & Tire Exchange store in Charlotte, North Carolina.
They had no answer for Cards wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who caught nine passes for 169 yards and made an acrobatic TD catch, but they did force three turnovers and kept the team in contention to win for most of the game.
More importantly, the Eagles appear to have found a new franchise quarterback.
Wentz has had ample time to prove himself and has failed to do so. There have been seasons where he looked like a star at times, only to be curtailed by injuries. This season, he's just been plain awful. Before Hurts took over, Wentz had thrown a league-high 15 interceptions, suffered 50 sacks and was the NFL's lowest rated quarterback.
If the reports are true and Wentz isn't interested in competing for the job next season in training camp, the Eagles should pursue a trade, assuming it's financially doable.
At the very least, the Eagles would be exciting again and good enough that they wouldn't be stuck with fourth-string TV announcers like Talib.
Some viewers thought he was entertaining and insightful while others leaned more toward irritating. Some took to Twitter during the game to invent a drinking contest that invited people to down a shot whenever Talib said, "man." Good thing I didn't participate because I would have been passed out in the second quarter.
I don't know if my indigestion was caused by Talib's commentary or the three-alarm chili my wife made for dinner.
Or it could have been the calamari.
It definitely wasn't caused by Hurts.