Jalen Hurts needs to start the rest of the season for one reason.
Because playing Carson Wentz at this point serves no purpose.
Wentz had 12 games to snap out of his funk, and if anything he just kept getting worse.
It’s been painful to watch him scuffling out there.
It’s honestly shocking to see how incapable he's been of finding open receivers, delivering the ball with anticipation, sensing pressure in the pocket, running through his progressions and showing any sort of consistency.
Things that NFL quarterbacks routinely do.
And it’s not going to just fix itself. We’re three-quarters of the way through the season and it’s clear that whatever issues are going on with Wentz aren’t going to magically go away.
Nobody is saying it’s all Wentz. It’s clearly not. When an offense is this bad, it’s never one thing. Playcalling, offensive line, receivers. All factors.
But it’s just as clear that Wentz is a huge part of the problem.
And it’s impossible to deny that when Hurts took the field Sunday at Lambeau something changed.
There was an energy there that we haven’t felt in a long time. All of a sudden, there was life.
Hurts wasn’t perfect. His stats weren’t great.
It’s not about that.
It’s about the spark he gave the entire team when he was out there.
If you didn’t see it, if you didn’t feel it, you weren’t watching.
Considering this was the first extended playing time of Hurts’ NFL career and he didn’t even have preseason games, it was an auspicious debut.
He got the ball down the field more in his first series in the NFL than Wentz has in his last five games.
His 34-yard completion to Jalen Reagor was the Eagles’ longest play to a wide receiver in five games. His 32-yard TD pass to Greg Ward was the Eagles’ longest TD pass to a wide receiver in eight games. He ran for a couple first downs.
He woke the offense up.
The best thing the Eagles can do for Wentz at this point is shut him down, let him catch his breath, let him watch the game from a different perspective.
They keep sending him out there to play the way he’s been playing, it doesn’t benefit anybody.
And playing Hurts these last four games gives the Eagles the opportunity to get a pretty good sense of what they have in the 22-year-old rookie.
None of this means Wentz is finished. None of this means he won’t play for the Eagles again. It doesn’t mean he won’t play the way he did the last few years, when he was the 6th-ranked QB in the NFL.
In fact, unless Hurts lights it up the last month, I would expect Wentz to be No. 1 going into the 2021 season. No matter who the head coach is.
This franchise has too much invested in Wentz not to give him every opportunity to find his way back to being the player he used to be.
A lot is going to change by then. New players, new coaches, full offseason. Maybe it all helps Wentz regain his confidence and regain his form.
But let’s be honest. The Carson Wentz of 2020 is a lost cause. The best thing the Eagles can do for him and for the franchise is to get Hurts as much playing time as possible these last four games and then try to repair the offense over the next eight months.
For now? It’s really simple.
Hurts has to play. Because Carson can’t.
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