It’s OK to admit it.
There were plenty of reasons to be scared of the National Football League’s best, most explosive offense. The Miami Dolphins, with their blinding speed and Hawaiian quarterback, were set to shatter the Eagles season by feasting on a decimated, patch-work defensive secondary and send the area’s non-Phillies psyche swirling down the drain.
No true Philadelphia fan could truly erase that possibility for their minds.
We should have known better.
As the postgame fireworks went off and the Eagles took their gorgeous Kelly green uniforms into the locker room, there was time to reflect on just what we’re seeing.
Is it possible that Jalen Hurts is underpaid? Earlier the summer, Hurts signed the largest contract in NFL history. Since then, a succession of quarterbacks have incrementally leap-frogged that mark. Not one of them is as valuable to their team as Hurts has been.
With Hurts as the starter, the Eagles have had the best regular-season record in the NFL every week since opening day last year.
The Eagles have had good quarterbacks before.
Remember Sonny Jurgensen? Roman Gabriel? There was Ron Jaworski. Randall. Rodney Peete. Donovan. Michael Vick. Heck, even Carson Wentz flashed the potential to be listed among the greats.
Something about Hurts seems different. In the best way.
Maybe we’re too close to things but there are things that Hurts does that most quarterbacks can’t do.
And we’re not talking about the Brotherly Shove.
Hurts has an air about him. He’s different. His whole, all-encompassing focus on winning football games and nearly nothing else has infected his teammates and this town.
There’s no flash, no drama. Hurts just works and works some more.
“I’m happy how we responded, especially coming off of last week,” Hurts said after the Miami game. “It was a great opportunity against a great team out there. I have a lot of respect for them as a team. I think we played really good complementary football.”
Not a wasted syllable there. Don’t bother even looking for one.
Hurts isn’t being curt. He’s not trying to hide anything. He’s just wired that way. No nonsense.
That quality shows up most on the field.
Asked whether he was injured during a game when he had moments where he was visibly limping, Hurts was practically chatty.
“I’ll be fine,” Hurts said.
And the Eagles will be, too.
Recent quarterbacking history in this town saw a very talented potential franchise quarterback disintegrate before our eyes as mistakes became mountains in his mind.
There’s no chance Hurts will spiral down that same path. Hurts never changes his demeanor, good or bad, hot or cold. It’s that quality that makes his teammates want to break through walls for him.
He’s accountable. To himself first. To his teammates always.
If you look hard enough, you can even find some quiet humor in his matter-of-fact explanations.
“We had some negative plays, obviously with the fumble by me,” Hurts said. “We can’t have that. I must be living bad with the other one, the tipped ball. I’m just happy with how we played together, how we persevered, and we found ways to respond.”
No, Jalen, we must be living good.