The Philadelphia Eagles were in for a tough test from the start Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are the defending Super Bowl champions and expect to reach that stage again this postseason.
So it was not a crazy surprise that he and his offense jumped out to a 31-0 lead over the Eagles through the first three quarters.
A lot of the negative attention went toward Jalen Hurts, even though he was not the one allowing the points on defense.
Hurts finished 23/43 for 258 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.
Yet he was only able to run for 39 yards and was visibly limping throughout the game.
Hurts was seen wearing a walking boot after the game and revealed he was dealing with an ankle injury for several weeks.
#Eagles QB Jalen Hurts left the stadium in a walking boot because of an ankle injury he’s been battling for weeks. He’s been able to tolerate the pain caused by damaged ligaments, but he clearly wasn’t 100% like earlier in the season when he was dynamic in the run game.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 17, 2022
Learning this knowledge makes it even more clear that the Eagles never stood a chance.
Trying To Hide A Deficiency
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni turned his season around by focusing on the run game.
But the early deficit Sunday meant Hurts had to throw and throw just to attempt a comeback.
Hurts being able to run like he normally does would have changed the dynamic of the offense.
Instead, he was throwing on an injured ankle and was not even able to escape pressure from the Buccaneers defense.
There is a fair point to be made that this was Hurts’ first full season as the team’s starting quarterback.
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) January 16, 2022
So it is a bit harsh to use this one game, where he was injured, to declare him as a bust in Philly.
Yet the lingering problem is how he can perform in the passing game.
He routinely finished games under 200 yards because the running game was stepping up.
Once that was neutralized by Tampa Bay, Hurts was forced to do something that is not his strong suit.
That means the Eagles may be active in the quarterback market this offseason.
Whether that is fair to Hurts or not is up for debate.