When will Jalen Hurts be named the Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback?
This is a question Birds fans have been asking for weeks. The offense has shown little signs of life with Carson Wentz as the starting quarterback.
Well, the answer finally came Tuesday afternoon.
Eagles’ HC Doug Pederson is naming Jalen Hurts his new starting quarterback and the rookie will start Sunday vs. the New Orleans Saints, sources tell @mortreport and me. Carson Wentz now will backup Hurts.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 8, 2020
So it’s Jalen Hurts Sunday against the talented Saints defense Sunday at the Linc. It’s a big stage for his first NFL start but when you’ve played for Alabama and Oklahoma you’ve got to be used to some very intense spotlights. He’ll display poise.
— Merrill Reese (@mreeseeagles) December 8, 2020
Why it Hurts being an Eagles fan
From a NJ sports betting perspective, the Eagles are still a big home underdog. The consensus at NJ sportsbook apps was Philly +6.5 as of late Thursday morning. Whether or not the line shifts between today and kickoff is to be determined.
The reality is the Saints and Eagles are heading in opposite directions. New Orleans is the first NFC team to clinch a playoff spot thanks to their 10-2 record. This includes winning the last three games without starting quarterback Drew Brees, who could possibly return this week.
While the Saints are leading the NFC South, the 3-8-1 Eagles are trying to avoid last place in the NFC East. That spot currently belongs to the 3-9 Dallas Cowboys. Remember, it wasn’t all that long ago that the Birds, not the New York Giants, were leading the division.
Philadelphia hasn’t won a game since Nov. 1, a 23-9 victory over the Cowboys. They head into Sunday’s game losers of four straight:
- Giants, L 27-17
- Browns, L 22-17
- Seahawks, L 23-17
- Packers, L 30-16
Wentz’s last touchdown pass came with 12 seconds remaining in the game against Seattle, who was leading 23-9 prior to Richard Rodgers finding the end zone. Basically, it had little impact on the final result.
Jalen Hurts steps in for struggling Wentz
Wentz has 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions with a 57.4 completion percentage this season. He also has been sacked 50 times.
Wentz’s performance in these four games has been flat-out painful. We’re talking to the tune of four touchdowns and three interceptions. And he didn’t toss a TD in two of those contests.
One of them was Sunday’s loss to Green Bay. He completed just six of 15 passes for 79 yards. The Birds offense mustered a total of three points through the first three quarters. Jake Elliott connected on a 52-yard field goal to cap off the game’s opening drive.
Hurts took over for Wentz in the third quarter, and the Birds offense seemed to get a slight boost. Hurts completed five of 12 passes for 109 yards with one touchdown and an interception. The score, a 32-yard-pass to Greg Ward, came with 7:52 remaining.
Fellow rookie Jalen Reagor added a touchdown on a 73-yard punt return.
While the Eagles scored 13 fourth-quarter points versus three for the rest of the game, the team still failed to win.
Will a full week of practicing with the first-string offense help Hurts and the Eagles upset the Saints?
Sure, it’s possible.
Will it happen?
It seems unlikely at this point being that Philly’s problems extend beyond the quarterback position.
However, at list for this week’s game against the Saints, bettors will able to take advantage of some Jalen Hurts props and possibly cash in. Check your NJ sportsbook app of choice closer to the weekend.
What does this mean for NFC East odds?
While there is a lot of excitement regarding Hurts and his NFL potential, don’t expect his name to come up in NFL Rookie of the Year conversations.
For one, there are only four games remaining, and there is no word as to whether or not Hurts will be starting beyond Week 14. Secondly, there are several other standout rookies who have put up some pretty strong numbers over the first 13 weeks. Here is a look at the current Offensive Rookie of the Year odds from FanDuel Sportsbook:
- Justin Herbert -260
- Justin Jefferson +195
- Tua Tagovailoa +2000
- Chase Claypool +2900
- James Robinson +4400
As far as the NFC East goes, Garden State bettors can still wager on the Birds winning the division. Here are the current odds:
Philly would need to win their four remaining games and get some serious help in order for such a scenario to realistically unfold. After this week, the Eagles still have road games at Arizona (6-6) and Dallas before closing things out at home against Washington.
FanDuel has the current Eagles win total set at 4.5 wins with odds of -110. Hey, if they defeat Dallas and Washington, the over will pay out.
However, if Hurts shows he is ready to lead an NFL offense over these next four weeks, Eagles fans may actually have a reason to get excited.