Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts will start in back-to-back games after Doug Pederson opted to keep faith with the rookie.
Hurts – making his first start in place of embattled quarterback Carson Wentz – fuelled the struggling Eagles to a 24-21 upset of the New Orleans Saints in the NFL on Sunday.
The 22-year-old went 17-of-30 passing for 167 yards and a touchdown, while he ran for 106 yards on 18 carries as Wentz watched from the sidelines in Philadelphia.
His performance helped the Eagles snap a four-game losing streak, while the Saints had their nine-game winning run ended in surprise fashion.
While head coach Pederson refused to commit to starting Hurts post-game against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 15, he confirmed his decision on Monday.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) December 14, 2020
“After going through the film and really looking back even to last week and the preparation and everything, I’m going to continue with Jalen this week as the starter,” Pederson said.
“There were there were a lot of positives coming out of the football game. I just didn’t want to say, ‘hey, it was all about one guy’, because you guys know me and my answers … have always been about the team, and really that was a team win yesterday.”
Pederson added: “There’s no issue with Carson and I. I look at maybe what I do or how I call a game, maybe I can approach it a little bit differently moving forward that way.
“But that’s something that I haven’t — listen, teams have a lot of film on your starter. They have ways to prepare for your starter. They can take away certain things, and we’ve got to be able to compensate for that. But there’s been no issue between us.”
Hurts joined Lamar Jackson as the only players since at least 1950 to have 100-plus rushing yards in their first career start at quarterback, per NFL Research.
Selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Hurts became the second quarterback in history to beat a team on a nine-game regular-season winning streak in his first career start, according to Stats Perform. The other was Ron Jaworski in 1975.
The Eagles (4-8-1) are third in the NFC East, behind the Washington Football Team (6-7) as they prepare to face the Cardinals (7-6) in Arizona on Sunday.