Jalen Hurts

NFL analyst calls for Jalen Hurts to be benched

Grab your oven mitts. This take is *fire emoji*

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Jalen Hurts has had his ups and downs this season, but you can’t really argue that he has had a very good season overall. He has led the Eagles to a league-best 10-2 record, accounting for 31 total touchdowns passing and running, second only to Buffalo’s Josh Allen for most in the NFL, all while battling a bruised knee.

Hurts has been at or near the top of the MVP ranks all season long. That said, Hurts did not have a good game Sunday at home against the 49ers. Yes, he threw for 298 yards and didn’t turn the ball over, but his indecision and impatience in the pocket cost his team several opportunities to stay in the game, a 42-19 loss.

Criticizing his play in the game is justifiable. But one NFL pundit – there’s always one, isn’t there? – took it way past justifiable, into the laughable.

Former NFL QB-turned-analyst David Carr was on NFL Total Access on NFL Network Tuesday when the topic of Hurts came up.

“Clearly Jalen [Hurts] isn’t comfortable reading through a defense in a drop-back pass scenario. Some would say he’s not even good at it.

“And I think that when you look at this team, you have to have a serious conversation if you’re Philly, and you have to really say, ‘Is it better for us to play Marcus Mariota right now, and let Jalen get really healthy?’

“I would argue that it does not matter if they’re the number one seed [in the NFC]. Because if the 49ers come into Philly again, they do not care!

“If you’re Nick Sirianni, this is the type of decision and conversation you have to have if you have a big picture mentality. I think you can have that conversation, honestly with Jalen, and you sat him down… that’s all Jalen talks about, is the end result and getting to the Super Bowl and winning that thing.

“The best way we can do it – they didn’t run the ball at all with him. Twice? That’s not it, man. That’s not the winning edge. Put Marcus in there, win a couple games, maybe have the #1 seed still! You might have it. I’d say he’s probably better at playing quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, right now. Right now, he would be more productive.”

He said all this with a straight face, somehow.

Let’s take this steaming-hot take one point at a time. If Hurts isn’t comfortable reading NFL defenses, how has he gone 24-3 over his last two seasons? How is he completing two out of every three passes he’s thrown over that span?

By the way, the 24 wins Hurts has had since the start of last season? One more than Carr had in his entire 10-year career.

It’s apparent that Hurts isn’t 100 percent right now. But which would you rather have quarterbacking the Eagles: an MVP candidate at 70 percent, or Mariota?

I won’t disagree that Hurts, at whatever percent he currently is, needs to improve his play over what he showed Sunday, especially with Dallas and the postseason looming. He needs to remain patient, trust his eyes, trust his receivers, and deliver decisive throws, things he failed to do against the 49ers.

But to bench a player for a subpar game against a top-tier defense? That’s as inaccurate as anything Carr did in his playing career, and that’s saying something.

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