Jalen Hurts led the Eagles to a 32-6 win in Week 1 over the Falcons and he impressed an Eagles legend in the process.
On 94WIP with Jon Marks and Ike Reese on Monday, Donovan McNabb said he was “very impressed” by the way Hurts led the Birds’ offense.
Hurts, 23, completed 27 of 35 passes for 264 yards, 3 touchdowns and also ran for 62 yards. It was the best game of what is still a very young NFL career.
“The guy came out and I thought he was poised, I thought he was relaxed,” McNabb said on WIP in what will be a recurring appearance the day after Eagles games in 2021. “I thought he allowed the game to come to him instead of trying to press the issue and be perfect and tried to prove a point. To me, I think when people are going to watch Jalen Hurts, they’re going to see a guy who’s just going to play the game the way the game is supposed to be played.
“Now, there’s going to be some ups and downs. And I think for those out there who do lazy analytical work, they’ll take the negatives and try to blow that up and that will become topic of conversation. But we have to understand, that’s only his fifth start as an NFL quarterback. So pretty much he’s still a rookie and he’s learning this game. But I was very impressed by the way he handled this offense. He recognized what he was seeing from the Atlanta defense and he took advantage of those opportunities that were given to him.”
McNabb pointed out that Hurts came from winning college programs, which has given him a head start because he knows what it takes to win.
In Hurts’ fifth start, he had a passer rating of 126.4. McNabb’s first passer rating that high came in Week 15 of his second season; his 21st career start.
Hurts started the last four games of the 2020 season but by that point the team was in shambles and Hurts was running an offense that was not designed for him specifically. The offense that Nick Sirianni showed on Sunday in Atlanta seemed tailored specifically for Hurts. And it worked.
McNabb also seemed impressed by the showing from Sirianni.
“I think what everyone has been waiting for is the identity of this football team and I think what we’ve seen was a balanced attack by Nick Sirianni, being able to utilize the quick game, get the intermediate game, which obviously opened up more downfield,” McNabb said. “But you have to give credit to the offensive side of things because Jalen Hurts needs to get in rhythm. I thought he got into a great rhythm with the wide receivers. I thought also what they were trying to do was they were trying to get DeVonta (Smith) going and they did a great job with that.
“Now, it also helps that they played against a depleted (team) and an Atlanta Falcons team that’s trying to form something on that side of the coin as well. I was very pleased but I’m expecting a little bit more as the season continues on. But it’s a great start, to start out the 2021 season for this football team.”
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