The future is certainly sunny in Philadelphia for Eagles rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts.
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Hurts led his team to an upset win over the New Orleans Saints, 24-21, in his first career NFL start on Sunday while showing glimpses of potential stardom.
He completed 17 of 30 passes for 167 yards and one touchdown and did not throw an interception or get sacked. He often used his legs to escape the pocket and ran for another 106 yards on 18 carries.
The Eagles jumped out to a 17-0 lead by halftime and held on for the three-point victory.
.@JalenHurts delivers a strike to Jeffery on 4th down!#NOvsPHI | #FlyEaglesFly
📺: FOX pic.twitter.com/o6GFAFOG14
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) December 13, 2020
After the game, Hurts’ mind was already on Philadelphia’s next opponent, the Arizona Cardinals.
“We’re very excited. We’re happy we got a W today against a really good team, but we’re going to go back to work,” Hurts said in his postgame press conference. “We got a 24-hour rule on this thing and we clearly understand that. So a lot to work on, a lot to build on and I’m excited to go practice, honestly, and get ready for the next game.”
Hurts, a second-round pick in last April’s NFL Draft out of Oklahoma, was named the starter after coming off the bench to replace Carson Wentz in a loss last week against the Green Bay Packers.
“[Wentz] had a few tips for me. A few little things to kind of point out here and there” Hurts said when asked about having Wentz to help him from the sideline. “Certain looks, seeing the space of the defense and stuff, so he was very helpful this week.
“As far as the team, the guys just told me to ‘be you. Go out there and be J Hurts and everything else will take care of itself.’ We all had each others’ back — that’s the beauty about all of this.”
Hurts’ journey to becoming a starting quarterback in the NFL has been quite eventful. He was named a starter at Alabama as a true freshman and led his team to two consecutive national championship game appearances, losing his first and being replaced at halftime of the second by true freshman Tua Tagovailoa during the epic 2018 title game.
Hurts played behind Tagovailoa the following year while completing his degree, and then transferred to the University of Oklahoma for his final year of eligibility. He finished second in Heisman Trophy voting while in Norman, Okla., as he made it back to the College Football Playoffs for a fourth consecutive time. However, he lost again.
Through all of the twists and turns, Hurts has remained grounded by his faith in God.
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand”
– John 13:7
Just let God work his magic 🤗
— Jalen Hurts (@JalenHurts) September 16, 2018
Hurts — whose Twitter banner photo says, “Be who God called you to be” — wrote about his faith in a Player’s Tribune article after leaving Alabama.
“I understand that God put those obstacles and challenges in my life for a reason,” Hurts said. “He wanted me to feel the pain I felt for a reason. He wanted me to understand the importance of never losing faith — and of always staying true to myself. He had NOT brought me this far just to leave me there.”
He continued later, “I know everything will unfold according to God’s timing. I am blessed to be where my feet are; my trust is in His hands.”
Now in the NFL, Hurts continues to trust in God’s timing and focus on his next obstacle: helping to get Philadelphia to the playoffs. The journey continues on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET as the Eagles (4-8-1) travel to Arizona (7-6).
– Jalen Hurts thanks God as he joins Eagles, QB Carson Wentz
– Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts making Heisman push while accepting God’s timing
– Eagles QB Carson Wentz strengthens faith in Christ amid trials of NFL life
– Centered in Christ, Dolphins rookie Tua Tagovailoa gets win in first NFL start
– Eagles coach Doug Pederson says football isn’t most important in his life