PHILADELPHIA (CBS)- After an offseason of waiting, head coach Nick Sirianni finally named Jalen Hurts the Eagles starting quarterback this week. While the move was expected from the moment Carson Wentz was traded to Indianapolis earlier this year, Sirianni was adamant about it being a competition for the starting job between Hurts and Joe Flacco.
The second-year quarterback impressed enough in camp and limited preseason action to win the job and now has the chance to prove he can be a viable long-term starting option in the league. NFL on CBS analyst Tony Romo says Hurts has the chance to do just that.
“Jalen Hurts has an opportunity to show his ability and you’re not afforded that many in the NFL. But he showed a lot of flashes last year and he has a chance to be very good,” Romo said on a conference call.
Still, the overall expectations for the team aren’t very high. Oddsmakers have the Birds favored to win fewer than 5.5 games and miss the playoffs. ESPN’s Football Power Index has the Eagles near the bottom of the league in projected record (6.9-10.1) and gives them just a 19.2% chance of making the postseason. It looks like a long fall is in order in South Philly. But, according to Romo, that might not be the case.
“We heard in the offseason, the owner Jeffrey Lurie talk about how they were after last season having to start over I guess you could say. I actually think this team still has a lot of talent and they hired a great coach,” Romo said. “I think this organization is really well built.”
Romo then took things one step further and, while acknowledging it would be an uphill battle to do so, the Eagles could “surprise” a lot of people.
“I think the Eagles are going to be a surprise team. If you go in and think they’re really not ready, they could shock a lot of people and go 10-6 or 11-5 very quickly,” Romo said. “That’s an uphill battle right now but I still think they have a lot of talented players and the coaching staff is good. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Eagles have a great season this year.”
Hurts and the Eagles can surprise people starting in Week 1 when they’re listed as 3.5 point underdogs as they travel to Atlanta to face Matt Ryan and the Falcons on Sunday, September 12.