Over the last few weeks, Tua Tagovailoa and Taysom Hill have earned opportunities to start at quarterback for the Dolphins and Saints respectively because, in part, those franchises wanted to see if each player was qualified to be a starting quarterback in the NFL long term.
It is with that context that I ask why the hell wouldn't the Eagles do the same thing with Jalen Hurts?
Carson Wentz has been an unmitigated disaster for the Eagles all season. That continued in Week 11 when Wentz threw two interceptions (he had a third called back on review) and the Eagles lost to the Browns 22-17. He honestly looked lost during long stretches of the game, making terrible reads and even worse throws in key situations.
Wentz extended his NFL lead for interceptions this season with 14 and is on pace for career worsts in completion percentage, turnovers, quarterback rating and virtually every other important quarterback stat. Why keep trotting him out there for a 3-6-1 team that is now trending toward a top 10 pick instead of a playoff spot?
The Eagles invested a second-round pick in Hurts in the 2020 NFL Draft. He's a mobile quarterback who proved an accurate thrower in Oklahoma's pass-happy offense, completing 69.7% of his passes for 3,851 yards and 32 touchdowns against eight interceptions his senior year. The knocks on him were his height (6-foot-1), inconsistent footwork and throwing mechanics, and his inconsistency dissecting defenses. Why not see how far he's progressed and assess how he'll fair against NFL defenses now?
The Eagles are clearly in need of a new long-term solution at quarterback. They gave Wentz a four-year, $128 million contract in 2019, but there's an opt-out after next season they'll likely exercise. If they keep losing this season, they'll be in a position to draft a quarterback early in the 2021 NFL Draft. Before investing another high pick on a quarterback, they'll want to know what they have in Hurts.
The Saints gave Hill the start over Jameis Winston this week following Drew Brees' injury because coach Sean Payton reportedly wanted to see what he's capable of at quarterback. The Dolphins switched from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Tagovailoa for the same reason. Both have faired well. Although it's too early to say they're the answers for either franchise after this season, they now know what they have in each player and will move forward accordingly.
The Eagles know what they have in Wentz and it's not good. They need to learn what they have in Hurts so they can decide what to do next. This season isn't going anywhere with Wentz under center anyway. Might as well give Hurts a chance to prove himself the same way Hill and Tagovailoa have.