It’s still a loss. But in a season full of lots of ugly defeats, this one was different for the Philadelphia Eagles, who fell to the Arizona Cardinals 33-26.
Making his second start in place of benched Carson Wentz, rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 63 yards and another TD.
Despite the loss, Hurts ignited the Eagles, who are suffering from a long list of injuries. He became the first Eagle with three passing TDs and one rushing TD since Nick Foles in 2013.
Along with the excitement of Hurts’ play comes a bubbling quarterback controversy. On Monday, head coach Doug Pederson announced Hurts would start in Week 16 when the Eagles visit the Dallas Cowboys. Opening lines at Pennsylvania online sportsbooks list the Eagles as two-point favorites.
Eagles Twitter reacted.
Betting splits for Eagles vs. Cardinals
Sunday morning betting splits from FanDuel for Eagles vs. Cardinals:
- 58% of the money was on the Eagles (+6.5) to cover the spread
- 82% of the money was on the Eagles (+220) moneyline
- 72% of the money was on the over (49.5)
Betting splits from BetRivers:
- 67% of the money was on the Cardinals (-6) to cover the spread
- 59% of the money was on the Cardinals (-275) moneyline
- 82% of the money was on the over (49.5)
What a shock: Wentz doesn’t want to be a backup
On Sunday morning, Adam Schefter reported that Wentz isn’t interested in being a backup and would want to move on if Hurts continues to start.
Carson Wentz doesn’t want to be a backup?
— Brenden Deeg (@BrendenDeegNFP) December 20, 2020
Hurts shines in second start
Recap Jalen Hurts’ performance today pic.twitter.com/ga7sE28TQ1
— christy (@christynhicks) December 20, 2020
“No QB can score points with this team.”
“The offensive line is terrible.”
“Doug Pederson’s play calling is the biggest problem.”
“Jalen Hurts isn’t ready.”pic.twitter.com/kY4jPhVWXY
— Joe Giglio (@JoeGiglioSports) December 20, 2020
List of players to throw for 500+ yards and rush for 150+ yards in their first two starts:
• Jalen Hurts
— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) December 21, 2020
Wentz after watching Jalen ball out: pic.twitter.com/UKlGri1B0v
— Jack Stone (@flapjacksevens) December 21, 2020
Questioning effort from Jeffery and Goedert
Rumors swirled before this season about Wentz and receiver Alshon Jeffery‘s strained relationship. The now-healthy receiver had two catches for 63 yards and drew two pass interference calls against Patrick Peterson.
Alshon Jeffery when Carson Wentz isn’t his QB: pic.twitter.com/wL8mWebQq4
— Conor Myles (@ConorMylesNFL) December 20, 2020
When Hurts’ last-second Hail Mary hit the turf, there were questions about tight end Dallas Goedert‘s awareness/effort. Take a look:
Is Goedert serious? pic.twitter.com/eFembIiwzF
— Jack Fritz (@JackFritzWIP) December 21, 2020
Aqib Talib in the booth
Hurts wasn’t the only rookie attracting attention on social media. Aqib Talib, a former All-Pro cornerback, was a commentator and got mixed reviews.
What we see vs. what Aqib Talib sees 😂 pic.twitter.com/VVXkbvdK3k
— Tony Clements (@TonyClementsTC) December 20, 2020
Give whoever put Aqib Talib on commentary a raise, @NFLonFOX
— Kazeem Famuyide 🍎 (@Kazeem) December 21, 2020
Lead image credit: AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin