Philadelphia Eagles need Jalen to hurt his leg in the knockout round

The post-season NFL is here with 14 teams vying for the Vince Lombardi trophy.

The Eagles are part of the field, a long shot in betting terms, or playing for house money as many say. With that, this is the perfect time for them to reveal and unleash a secret weapon.

Jalen is in a lot of pain.

Hurts is a double-threat quarterback who has been largely inactive in recent weeks, due to an ankle injury sustained during the team’s week 12 loss to the Giants.

The second-year signal caller can wreak havoc on defense with his arms and legs, but since the ankle injury we haven’t seen much of the latter.

In three games after the ankle injury, Hurts dashed for just 89 yards on 17 attempts, which is 29.6 yards per game. Before the injury, Hurts ran 695 yards, or 57.9 yards per game.

“Jalen is feeling pretty good,” Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said Wednesday. “But I know last week off that really helped him heal and get better and better and get 100 per cent closer to that.”

If he does a 100% kill, then he will be an important part of the rush attack. In the first game against the Buccaneers, the team ran the ball 19 times, but 10 of those times came from Hurts.

This time around, you can expect that to change.

Miles Sanders had nine 56-yard attempts, all coming in the second half, with no other Eagles running to make a shot in the game.

Result: Tampa Bay had the ball at 39:56 versus Philadelphia’s 20:04.

This time around, I expect the Eagles to incorporate more Sanders, Jordan Howard, and even Boston Scott in addition to what the Hurts give you in the running game.

Not only can the injury be an important factor in the running game, but he has continued to improve as a passer since returning from that ankle injury. Hurts was very efficient, completing 54 of 81 passes (66%) for 709 yards and three touchdowns.

“He’s definitely gotten better during that time, which doesn’t surprise me at all because Jalen is a pupil of the game,” Sirianni said.

In the first game, Hurts struggled as a passer, completing only 12-26 passes in 115 yards, but has grown by leaps and bounds since that game.

“I think you’re just seeing him getting closer and closer to the ceiling,” said Sirianni. “Yes, he is definitely better and he will continue to get better because he is a human being and as a player.”

But now, it’s time to prove on the pitch that he has improved and developed as a midfielder. If people still have questions about Hurts as the defenders of the future, he can put those doubts to rest with a big game against Tom Brady and the Bucs.

That’s a tall order for a quarterback heading into his first playoff game, against the defending Super Bowl champion’s defense.

Anything is possible and Hurts has shown he can beat the odds in the past, but winning this game may just be his biggest achievement to date.

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Huynh Nguyen

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