By Max Harper
Jalen Hurts didn’t have a great game last night:
Only 155 yards on 15-for-25 passing and two touchdowns.
And he gained only 27 yards on the ground on nine carries.
But the Eagles are back on top at 6-0 just two years after going 4-11-1 and hitting rock bottom with Carson Wentz.
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman deserves credit for rebuilding the team on the fly — bringing in coach Nick Sirianni, turning the team over to third-year quarterback Jalen Hurts, and giving him a pair of dynamic weapons in A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith.
“The idea of alignment in an organization is critical,” former Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, now with NBC, told the Boston Globe.
“I don’t think there’s any disconnect in Philadelphia. To me, the personnel people and the coaching staff, they’re aligned. They’re on the same page. That’s one of the most impressive things to me about this team. There seems to be a harmony throughout the organization. They’re a complete team.”
Sirianni designed a scheme that takes advantage of Hurts’s skill set. And Roseman gave Sirianni the receivers to make it thrive — Smith and Brown, plus tight end Dallas Goedert, who can beat one-on-one coverage all day.
“The style of play that Philadelphia has on offense, it really limits you on defense,” NBC’s Tony Dungy said. “Because of their [run-pass option] game, you can’t play a lot of zone coverage. You have to play man-to-man because of their ability to run and [Hurts’s] ability to be a runner.
“So he’s seen a lot of straight, man-to-man, one-on-one, and he’s got receivers that can beat that, and he is making the throws. I just think the combination of his development and their offense, he’s going to put up some lights-out numbers.”
The result is a remarkable, Josh Allen-like improvement for Hurts. He completed just 52 percent of his passes in four starts as a rookie, improved to 61.3 percent last year, and has shot up to 67.9 percent this year. Hurts has always been dynamic as a rusher — he has 266 yards and six touchdowns on the ground this year — but now he has matured into a top-10 passer in most categories.
“There’s no question, that’s the right word. He has matured greatly as a passer,” Garrett said. “You see him standing in and making throws and processing what the defense is doing and going from guy to guy to guy and throwing the ball on time. He’s such a dangerous player because he’s showing everybody that he can do both.”