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Alabama in the Pros

Jalen Hurts returns Philadelphia Eagles to NFL playoffs for 2021 season

Jalen Hurts (#1) attempts a pass for Eagles in 2022 game versus Washington
Geoff Burke - USA Today Sports

People have opinions about Jalen Hurts, but one cannot question his will to win.

Nick Saban saw his importance at the University of Alabama.

RELATED: Jalen Hurts shows he’s a man of the people after almost being hit by a railing full of rowdy fans

Hurts did not have what most viewed as the “best mechanics,” but he led the Crimson Tide to a Southeastern Conference Championship and the College Football Playoff National Championship Game as a freshman. He took the Tide back to the CFP national title game during his sophomore season. Hurts entered the 2018 SEC Championship Game in the second half to deliver Alabama to a 35-28 comeback victory at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

He knows how to win, no matter what it takes to accomplish it. Hurts took his mindset to the University of Oklahoma and continued winning.

He earned a Big 12 Championship, Heisman finalist status, and made it to the CFP.

The Philadelphia Eagles saw value in him during the 2020 NFL Draft. Hurts received a phone call from the team in the second round.

He backed up Carson Wentz as a rookie, but the native Texan endured criticism in his first season as the starter.

RELATED: The NFL world reacts to Mac Jones’ performance against the Jaguars

People did not think his skills would translate to success in the National Football League. He remained confident, earned the respect of his teammates, and crafted a relationship with his new head coach. Nick Sirianni is heading to the playoffs in his first season because of Hurts.

After missing the postseason in 2020, Hurts has the team back on the league’s biggest stage.

He guided the Eagles to a 20-16 victory in Sunday’s matchup against Washington, improving its record to 9-7. Philadelphia has locked up one of three wildcard spots. He is not the most polished product, but Hurts’ numbers indicate he is a quality starter in the pros.

He is a 3,000-yard passer (3,144) in his first season with 26 total touchdowns.

Hurts recorded a passer rating of 100 or better in six games. He had six matchups with 2+ touchdown passes. Hurts posted a passer rating of 90 or higher in the Eagles’ three-game winning streak to clinch a playoff berth. He is what the city and team needed at quarterback.

Hurts is about to make this postseason exciting.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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