Improving Jalen Hurts in Underrated Area – NBC10 Philadelphia
Jalen Hurts’ improvement in an underrated area in Roob’s observations originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
A critical area of ââimprovement from Jalen Hurts, a key for the Eagles against the 49ers, and high-profile play under the radar of DeVonta Smith.
As the Eagles prepare for their home opener on Sunday, here’s our Week 2 edition of Roob’s 10 Random Eagles sightings!
AN ENCOURAGING SIGN OF INJURY: Jalen Hurts was one of eight QBs on the opening weekend who failed to pass at least 30 yards. And I like it. Because that means he didn’t force anything on the pitch and took what the defense gave him. And he was so precise that he managed to score 32 points without shooting deep. Last year, Hurts had the second-highest 30-yard goals in the entire NFL in the last five weeks of the season, which has a lot to do with that 52% completion percentage. These are fun coins, but they are low percentage coins. He was throwing it deep all the time just because why not? He was trying to make something happen in a dead offense. He showed so much growth on Sunday in terms of discipline and not trying to make a game that wasn’t there. There will be times when the Eagles need deep shots from Hurts and there will be times when receivers are open on the field, and Hurts can make those shots. But why take those risks when you move the ball up and down the field so easily with the short passing game and the running game? There is something to be said for restraint. Hurts deserves a lot of credit for what he didn’t do on Sunday.
THE KEY AGAINST. THE 49ERS: The Eagles were the only NFL team not to allow a play over 18 yards on Sunday. They allowed just two plays on 10 yards after the first quarter. After last year, when the Eagles allowed 62 plays from at least 20 yards (12e– most in the NFL), that was an encouraging sign. Jonathan Gannon’s biggest message to his team is not to let the ball go over your head. Keep the game in front of you. The 49ers had a few big plays against the Lions – the 79-yard pass from Jimmy Garoppolo to Deebo Samuel, the 38-yard run from Elijah Mitchell and a 35-yard pass from Garoppolo to George Kittle. This is a big game attack from the 49ers and they will present more of a challenge on the court than the Falcons. It’s a game I’m really looking forward to. Kyle Shanahan’s offense against Gannon’s defense. I know one thing. If the Eagles limit the 49ers’ big plays, they don’t lose this game.
“LET’S GO TO TWO:” One of the most impressive moments of the Falcons game on Sunday came after Dallas Goedert’s touchdown, after the Falcons were called up for an illegal training penalty on the PAT. With the ball now on the 1-yard line, Nick Sirianni did not hesitate. He left the offense on the field and Miles Sanders scored for two points and a 15-6 lead. Sirianni explained during training camp how he and the offensive coaches had gone through dozens and dozens of match-management scenarios one evening and how to deal with them based on the score and the situation. So when this flag was thrown, Sirianni didn’t have to wonder if he wanted to throw the PAT or go for two. They had. There was no worry about the clock ticking or having to call a timeout. He just knew. It might seem like a no-brainer, but right now every second counts. This is just another example of a rookie head coach in his first game being fully prepared and mentally locked.
THE FIRST TIME : Get this: Sunday’s game was the first season opener in Eagles history where two wide receivers – Smith and Jalen Reagor – caught at least six assists.
JALEN HURTS STAT OF THE WEEK: Hurts has run for at least 60 yards averaging at least 5.5 in four of his five career starts – all four games he started and finished. No other quarterback in NFL history has done this in his first five starts. Randall Cunningham and Tim Tebow each played three games in their first five starts with 60 rushing yards and a 5.5 average. Since opening day last year, only four RBs have had more such games – Nick Chubb (7), Derrick Henry (6), Ronald Jones (5) and Alvin Kamara (5).
THE MIRACLE OF JORDAN MAILATA: It’s crazy to wonder how far Jordan Mailata has come in the last year. He never played a significant game of organized football at any level before September 13, 2020. On September 11, 2021, he signed a four-year extension of $ 64 million. In other words, it was less than a year between the first time he played football and the payment of $ 64 million. That’s crazy.
HAVE YOU NOTICED? One of DeVonta Smith’s most impressive catches on Sunday wasn’t a touchdown or a big win. It was an otherwise unremarkable three-yard landing on a 1st-and-10 in the second trimester. What’s wrong with a three-yard gain? Because he caught the ball when he was about to go out of bounds on the straight sideline, but he tapped his foot to make sure he was in bounds. You only need one foot in the bounds in college, so here’s a kid playing his first game in the NFL – his first game with the two-foot rule in bounds – and he had the presence. of mind to kick that second foot into bounds as he caught the ball. Just another example of how well this kid’s outreach in court.
AN UNDERESTIMATED START OF THE SEASON: Much of the conversation around the Eagles offense this week has surrounded Jalen Hurts, DeVonta Smith, Jalen Reagor, Jason Kelce and Jordan Mailata. But I really liked what I saw of Miles Sanders, who scored 113 yards of scrimmage on 19 touches. Sanders made two of the Eagles’ three longest plays – a 25-yard catch and run and a 23-yard run – and hit all four passes Hurts threw at him. He also became the fastest Eagle of all time with 2,500 yards of scrimmage, achieving it in his 29e NFL game. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have that line in front of him, but it was a terrific opening for Sanders.
HOW MANY BAGS? It’s a little surprising, but the Eagles allowed the 8e– most sacks in the NFL from 2016 to 2020 – 42 per year. They’ve only allowed less than 2.0 per game twice since sacks became an official statistic in 1982 – 23 sacks in 2008 and 28 in 2006. Honestly, after what I saw from Hurts on Sunday – his recognition in the blitz, his ability to evade pressure and his comfort in the short passing game – with that gifted offensive line, I think less than 2.0 sacks per game are on hand this year. The Eagles haven’t made the top 10 for the fewest sacks allowed since 2011, when they were 10 years olde. I’ll be shocked if they’re not back there this fall.
ALUMNI DES AIGLES SHOWDOWN: With Andy Reid’s Chiefs facing John Harbaugh’s Ravens on Sunday night in Baltimore, I remembered a story one of them – I can’t remember who – told me years ago. . It was after the 2011 regular season, and the Ravens were in the playoffs, and for the first time since 2007, the Eagles were not. Reid and Harbaugh spent a decade with the Eagles, and Reid was instrumental in hiring Harbaugh in Baltimore in 2008. They are very close and one evening shortly after the 2011 season ended, Big Red was in his NovaCare complex office. and Harbs was in his office at the Ravens’ facility in Owings Mills, Md., and as they often did, they talked for hours on the phone, talking about life and football as Harbs prepared for the playoffs. They lost track of time and it got later and later, and eventually Big Red decided the phone call had gone on long enough. He told Harbs to stay seated. Andy hopped in his car and headed south on I-95. At one point, very late at night or very early in the morning, he arrived at Owings Mills and these two best friends resumed the conversation in person.
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