Carson Wentz’s brutal day with Commanders shows why Eagles are better off with Jalen Hurts

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PHILADELPHIA − We all know that Carson Wentz has long since left the Eagles, as have the Eagles of Wentz.

But now that Wentz is back in the NFC East with the Washington Commanders, the Eagles will face him twice a season, starting September 25 in Washington.

A comparison is therefore relevant here.

Sure, it’s low-hanging fruit to say the Eagles are better off with Jalen Hurts than Wentz. It’s also low-hanging fruit to come to that conclusion after seeing Wentz’s three-day interception disaster Monday during a commander’s training camp.

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Reporters at that practice described fans booing Wentz and more or less lamenting that the team picks up Wentz’s $28 million contract for 2022. That decision largely forced the commanders to bid farewell to veterans such as Landon Collins, Matt Ioannidis and others because they had to fit Wentz’s contract below the salary cap.

But really, the reasons the Eagles are better off with Hurts go much deeper than a bad day during the first week of training camp.

We saw something of this Tuesday during a steamy morning practice where Hurts connected a deep ball to Jalen Reagor, kept working his top goal in AJ Brown and generally made good decisions with the ball.

Yes, the usual caveats certainly apply in either case.

Wentz is certainly not as bad as his 3 INT day. And Hurts threw one interception in each of the Eagles’ first three practice sessions, including a brutal decision that threw him over his body as he ran to the left.

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Hurts is a student of the game, though, and it doesn’t take much to see that he’s not above criticism. He is also in a much better situation, with better players around him. And he’s in the same system, with the same coaches for the second year in a row.

That matters.

Wentz, meanwhile, is in his third team in three seasons. He was virtually out of Indianapolis last season after a brutal end to the season. That came a year after he reportedly asked the Eagles to trade him mostly for not wanting to compete with Hurts for the runway after being on the bench for the final 4 1/2 games of the 2020 season.

“I think it’s in the details,” Hurts said of his improvement. “I think the details have been fine-tuned and fine-tuned over time. And doing the same attack from year 1 to year 2… installing the same things, adapting, trying to do the things that (the coaches) think they do. are cheapest, you start to fine-tune even more.

‘It just takes time. That will be the case in the coming years.’

Don’t forget, Hurts won’t be 24 until next week. There is still plenty of room for growth. Wentz, meanwhile, turns 30 in December. It is possible that he has already reached his ceiling.

It may seem like Wentz had the better 2021 season than Hurts. Wentz had 27 touchdown passes against 7 interceptions, compared to 16 and 9 for Hurts.

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But look closer.

Their completion rates and passer scores were about the same (62.4% and 92.4 for Wentz, compared to 61.3% and 87.2 for Hurts).

But you can make the argument that Hurts’ running ability should also be factored in. Hurts led all NFL quarterbacks in rushing yards with 784 and scored 10 touchdowns, an Eagles record for TDs by a quarterback. Combine that with his yards passing and TD passing, and Hurts’ total comes to 3,928 yards with 26 TDs.

Add to that Wentz’ rushing yards and TDs and he ends up with 3,778 and 27.

Of course, both teams finished with the same record, at 9-8, but the Eagles made it to the playoffs and the Colts didn’t. And much of it is on Wentz.

After all, the Colts were so disgusted by Wentz’s performance in those last two games, when they only needed one win to make the playoffs, that they traded him to Washington before they even knew who they’d get to replace him. (it turned out Matt Ryan).

Wentz was especially brutal in that final against Jacksonville. He had also missed all week of practice the week of the penultimate game against the Las Vegas Raiders after testing positive for COVID-19. He was not vaccinated.

The intangibles for a quarterback are just as important as the stats.

Hurts also had a brutal final game, throwing three interceptions in the playoff loss to the Buccaneers. But he spent the off season traveling from Texas to California to Philadelphia and in between to work with QB coaches and his teammates.

Surely, in the grand scheme of things, Wentz’ 3 Interception Day will become a distant memory. He will probably come back with some good days and post some impressive stats.

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And Hurts could easily follow up on his strong performance Monday and Tuesday with his portion of struggles, misses and interceptions.

Still, it won’t be for lack of trying, as Eagles coach Nick Sirianni showed by aborting each of Hurts’ interceptions.

“Two of them were bad decisions,” he said. “One was a bad decision in the pocket. One was a bad decision on the way. The other, he just missed the throw and Marcus (Epps) actually made an incredible move. You’re going to miss a few throws.” .. but the ones that you correct really hard are the ones that are the bad decisions.”

Compare that to Wentz. His completion percentage last season, which ranked 25th in the NFL, just ahead of Hurts at 26th, reflects his career percentage of 62.6%.

There is not much room for improvement. And that’s especially true of a new team heading into two straight seasons of seven wins with only Terry McLaurin as the star receiver.

With Hurts so much more is possible.

“Just take steps every day,” Hurts said. “Do it better than last time. It’s simple. I don’t want to make it harder than it is. Just push myself, push the guys around me to be a better leader and a better quarterback for the team.”

Please contact Martin Frank at [email protected] Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.

This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Eagles’ Jalen Hurts Improves as Commanders’ Carson Wentz Has a Brutal Day

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