The Eagles had no other option but to turn to Jalen Hurts for Sunday’s matchup against the Saints with Carson Wentz struggling mightily. The decision was a good one as Hurts put together quite the performance to help snap Philadelphia’s four-game skid in shocking the Saints with a 24-21 win.
Hurts rushed for 106 yards, threw for 167 yards, and scored one touchdown while taking care of the football in the win, something Wentz hasn’t been able to do with 15 interceptions to his name this season. The rookie out of Oklahoma clearly gave the struggling Philadelphia offense a spark, and most importantly a win, but head coach Doug Pederson refused to name Hurts the team’s starter for next week’s game against the Cardinals.
“It took everybody in uniform to win this game, not just one guy,” Pederson said when asked why he wouldn’t give Hurts the nod for next week. “I’m going to repeat myself again that it takes a village to get this stuff done, and Jalen was a part of it, yes.
But it took a team effort to win, honestly. Again, I talked about the defense earlier, the plays that they made just time and time again. Again, Jalen was a part of it,” Pederson explained, according to the NY Post.
I get it, Pederson is in a tough spot. Not only does he have a quarterback in Wentz carrying an average salary of $32 million per year sitting on the bench, but he very well could be coaching for his job. If he is coaching for his job, which many believe he is, after the win over the Saints it’s abundantly clear Hurts gives this team the best chance of winning which could mean Pederson gets another season in Philadelphia.
It certainly helps that the Eagles play in perhaps the worst division in the history of sports and shockingly could still win the NFC East despite their 4-8-1 record.
It would make absolutely zero sense to give the ball back to Wentz after Hurts’ performance to keep the Eagles’ season alive with one of the bigger upsets of the NFL season. Pederson knows that and he’ll likely name Hurts the starter in the middle of the week, so it wouldn’t have done any harm to do so right after the biggest win of the season.
UPDATE: As I said he would, Pederson has now come out and named Hurts the starting QB for the Eagles matchup with Arizona.