Why 49ers should expect Eagles to use Hurts package Sunday


The Philadelphia Eagles still are looking for their first win of the 2020 NFL season, and the New York Giants are the only NFC team that has scored fewer points. Quarterback Carson Wentz has struggled mightily through an 0-2-1 start, and he likely will be without most of his top receiving threats against the 49ers in Week 4.

Wentz has thrown multiple interceptions in every game thus far, and is on pace for career-worst marks in completion percentage, touchdown rate, interception rate, yards per attempt, yards per completion, passer rating and QBR. Though Eagles coach Doug Pederson vehemently shot down a suggestion of a quarterback controversy Monday, don't be surprised if rookie backup QB Jalen Hurts is more involved Sunday against San Francisco.

The Eagles picked Hurts in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft and slowly have started to incorporate him into their offense over the last two weeks. He got his first touches in their Week 3 tie against the Cincinnati Bengals, rushing two times for 8 yards. He was a tremendous dual-threat QB throughout his collegiate career at Alabama and Oklahoma, and his mobility could cause problems for the 49ers.

Though the 49ers dominated in all aspects against the New York Giants in Week 3, the Giants found some success on runs by quarterback Daniel Jones, who rushed five times for 49 yards. Back in Week 1, Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray rushed 13 times for 91 yards in leading the Cardinals to a win over the 49ers at Levi's Stadium.


Mobile quarterbacks put stress on all defenses, but the teams that have managed to beat the 49ers recently tended to have QBs capable of impacting the game with their legs in addition to their arms.

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Ironically, Wentz is no slouch in the mobility department either, having just rushed nine times for 65 yards and a touchdown in Week 3. You can bet the Eagles will try to use Wentz's legs in the same way the Giants did Jones', but of their two QBs, there's no question that Hurts is the greater mobile threat. In fact, given all of the injuries the Eagles have on offense, it seems like a good bet they'll have a package for Hurts on Sunday.

If he causes the 49ers problems like other mobile quarterbacks have, who knows? He could run away with the job in Philly.

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