Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles throws a pass in the first quarter of a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field on October 30, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Jalen Hurts came into last season with a lot of questions over his head. His 2021 season had flashes, but there were issues with consistency. But he answered all of those questions last season. When people talk about last season, the first thing they talk about is what he did with his legs. And they are right to praise what he did as a runner. He had 13 rushing TDs in 15 games, and in one of those he was not permitted to do much running. But we also need to talk about what he did with his arm. Because it was tremendous.

That is why it was baffling today to see a Fox Sports talking head, Nick Wright, talk about question marks  about his “ability to consistently throw the ball.” I’m sorry Nick, what were you watching last year? Because clearly, it was not the Eagles.

We should not get annoyed when these guys who didn’t even watch the games say dumb stuff like this. I know we love to say things like how no one likes us, we don’t care. But it is not really true. That is clear by the reaction the viral clip got from Eagles fans. And the annoying part is that people like Wright put this out there, to other people who may not have watched much Eagles, and they start to believe it.

But unlike Nick Wright, I actually watched football last season. So I, and all the other Eagles fans, know the truth. The truth is that Hurts was one of the best pure passers last season, on top of being a major threat to run. And that is not just my opinion, it is what the stats say. So let’s get into those stats, to show just how dumb what Nick Wright said was.

Here are some stats that show Jalen Hurts ability to throw the ball should not be questioned:

 

 

  • He Threw 10 TDS, and Just 2 Interceptions, on Deep Balls

    One of the first things people talk about with QB is how good their arm is. Can they make those deep throws, into tight windows, and elite QB needs to make? Everyone just takes the fact Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, and Justin Herbery can do it as fact. Yet many do not acknowledge Jalen Hurts as part of that crowd. And yet, if you watched him, you would know he could thread the needle on deep throws with the best of them. Just look at the first 3 deep passes Hurts made to AJ Brown vs the Steelers.

    AJ Brown deserves a lot of credit for those catches. But he can’t make them if they are not perfect throws by Hurts. And that became a trend all year. We even saw it in the Super Bowl. Hurts became an expert on placing deep balls in traffic were only his WR could make the play.

  • 71.7% Completion Rate in The Pocket

    Another cliche people always use is calling people a pocket Qb. Because Hurts can run though, they just assume he does most of his work while scrambling. Wrong. In fact, he did some of his best work last year standing in the pocket. He led the NFL in both completion rate (71.7%) and Passer Rating (110.8). Again, this is something people who watched Hurts would know. While he is someone who likes to take off if he sees the hole, he also constantly has his eyes on making a great passing play if it is there.

    And yes, he benefited from having a great line, meaning he often had a clean pocket. But if you give a bad Qb a clean pocket, they still might not make all the throws from there Hurts did. He is not the only Qb with a great O-Line. The Chiefs new look line was pretty good last year too. And yet, is Patrick Mahomes first in these two stats? No. Hurts is.

  • 300 yards in the Superbowl

    Jalen Hurts gave us the best performance ever by the losing Qb in the Super Bowl. Obviously, you would rather say he won. But they lost due to no fault of his own. He immediately made up for his lone mistake by getting the TD back. And he went on to throw for 300 yards, plus that deep TD pass we discussed earlier.

    He was nearly perfect as a passer in the game. Hurts completed 27 of 38 p[ass attempts, threw no interceptions, and finished the game with a passer rating over 100. He went up against Patrick Mahomes, and while his team lost, he looked like the more impressive Qb in the game.

  • The 3rd Best TD/Int Rate

    Last season Hurts threw 22 TDs, and just 6 interceptions. That is 3.67 TDs for every interception. The 3rd best rate in the league, just ahead of Patrick Mahomes. Now Mahomes did have 41 TDS, but Hurt’s other skill kind of limited how many chances he got to throw in the red zone. Because the Eagles were so effective at running in the red zone, why would they do anything else?

    The Eagles were 3rd in the league in Red Zone Scoring percentage. They scored a TD 68% of the time they got into the Red Zone. Hurts ability to throw in the red zone was not why he did not throw there. But he was so good at running there, as were the RBs, there was no reason for him to throw it most days.

    But that should not take away from how good his decision-making was overall. Maybe the most underrated part of his game is how smart he is. It is very rare he makes a throw, and you immediately ask what he was thinking trying to make that throw. That is not to say he is too conservative. As we already said he is willing to throw into tight windows. He just knows when to do so, and is very good at doing when called upon.

  • Was So Good At Throwing Early In Games, They Often Put the Brakes On

    From afar, Hurts counting stats may look less impressive than his fellow elite QBs. But there is a reason for that. The Eagles beat the crap out of teams in the first half. So in the 2nd half, oftentimes they just threw far fewer passes. In the first half of games last year he attempted 273 passes. But in the second half he threw just 167 times. He had over 2,400 passing yards in the first half of the game, but over 1,100 in the second half. 14 TDs in the first half, and 8 in the 2nd.

    That is not to say his performance fell off in the second half. When called upon, he performed great at the end of close games. But he often did not have to. The Eagles’ game plan all year was to get a big lead, then run it down the other team’s throat, And it worked, given they lost just 2 games last season, counting the Super Bowl, when Hurts played.

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