Which Jalen Hurts will we see when the Eagles open up in the postseason?

Thoughts on the health of Jalen Hurts, the ironic fact of Jason Kelce and the real Eagles single-season receiving record holder.

Here’s our bye week edition of Rob’s Ten Random Notes for the Eagles.

1. The biggest question facing the Eagles a week before they start playing the postseason is what kind of Jalen Hurts should we expect? Will it be the guy we saw against the giants who was so limited in everything he did? Will it be the Jalen Hurts we saw before the injury in Chicago? Somewhere in between? Here’s why I think it will be fine. By the time the Eagles play next weekend, Hurts will be five weeks away from suffering a shoulder injury on December 18th. I don’t think anything happened in the Giants game to go back in a big way. The Eagles went into that game with one goal: to win the game with the least amount of energy expended while keeping the offense as vanilla as possible and protecting Hurts as much as possible. While he was credited with nine rushing attempts, four were kneeling attempts, and in the others, he was as careful as he could be while playing professional football. It was heartening to see Hurts practice throwing Friday, and he still has another week to rest, heal, and recover. Hurts and Nick Sirianni are getting fuzzy on purpose, but my hunch is that we’ll see a very close approximation of the Jalen Hurts we saw in the first 13 weeks of the season by next weekend. And if they are going to make a deep playoff run, the Eagles need Jalen Hurts who has all of his abilities at his disposal. When he does, this crime is practically unstoppable. When he doesn’t, we know what that looks like, too. The pains will not be 100 percent. But I’d be surprised if it wasn’t soon.

2. The Eagles have never lost at home in the semi-final (or “division”) round. They went 5-0 over the Vikings in 1980, the Falcons in 2002, the Packers in 2003, the Vikings in 2004 and the Falcons again in 2017. They went 3-7 in the Conference Semifinals on the road with the wins coming. Pittsburgh in 1947, Chicago in 2001 versus the Giants in 2008.

3. Congratulations to AJ Brown for surpassing Mike Quick’s club record for yards in a single season, but let’s not forget that Ben Hawkins is still the Eagles’ true single-season record holder and has been for 55 years. Hawkins led the NFL with 1,265 yards in 14 games in 1967. That’s 90.4 yards per game, and that’s the highest in Eagles history. Kwik was second at 88.1 while Brown was third at 88.0. Pete Behaus (87.4), Terrell Owens (85.7 in 2004) and Pete Retzlaff (85.0 in 1965) are also rushing 85 yards per game or higher. The Browns hold the record for most yards, but when it comes to yardage per game, the most accurate representation of a player’s performance, Newark, NJ, is still the best in Eagles history.

4. Jason Kelsey earned his fifth first-team All-Pro honor this week, which is awesome. What’s even more remarkable is that he didn’t get his first season until his seventh season. As a sixth-round draft pick from Cincinnati, Kelsey entered the league without any hype, reputation, or name recognition. Guys like that are routinely ignored in the Pro Bowl or All-Pro voting early in their careers because unlike first-round draft picks everyone has heard about for years and entered the league as high-ranking rookies, it takes years before the NFL even notices. With them. Kelce is one of only two players in NFL history to make five All-Professional teams despite not making any in his first six seasons. The other was Bears quarterback Chuck Hawley, a rookie in 1958 and a five-time pro from 1966 through 1970. Kelsey is literally one of the best football players of all time.

5. Over the past 30 years, the Eagles have been 2-12 in the postseason against Hall of Fame quarterbacks (or future H-of F QBs) and 14-4 against non-Hall of Fame quarterbacks. The only Hall of Fame QBs they’ve beaten over that span in the postseason are Brett Favre in the 2003 Conference Semifinals and Tom Brady in Super Bowl LII. The only non-Hall of Fame QBs to lose to are Kerry Collins of the Giants in the 2000 wild card round at the Meadowlands, Brad Johnson of the Bucs for the Vet in the 2002 NFC Championship Game, and Jake Delhomme of the Panthers in Link at the 2003 NFC Championship Game and Tony Romo at the 2009 Wild Card Game at AT&T Stadium. The only Hall of Fame locks they get to see in the postseason is Tom Brady and you likely already put Patrick Mahomes in that category as well.

6. If the Eagles face the Chargers in the Super Bowl, Cameron Decker will be guaranteed a Super Bowl ring before the game even begins. Decker, who made a game-winning field goal for the Cards in his only game as an Eagle, finished 21-for-22 for an NFL-best 95.5 percent. This is the highest field goal percentage by an undrafted rookie in NFL history. The previous record was 93.8 percent by Michael Badgley, also of the Chargers, in 2018.

7. The Eagles have not had a 100-yard receiver in their last 14 postseason victories. The last time they had one was a 58-37 win over the Lions in 1995, when Fred Barnett caught eight catches for 109 yards.

8. In the 47 years before Chip Kelly hired Jeff Stotland as the Eagles’ offensive line coach, the Eagles had two first-team players – Shaun Andrews in 2006 and Jason Peters in 2011. -Line coach, the Eagles had nine first-team offensive linemen Peters once, Evan Mattis once, Jason Kelsey five times and Lynn Johnson twice. The Eagles are the only NFL team to have three different All-Pro offensive linemen since 2013, and the total of nine All-Pro offensive linemen since 2013 is also the highest in the NFL. Stotland is a satyr deity.

9. In the Eagles’ last eight home playoff games, their quarterbacks have thrown 11 touchdown passes and one interception – Michael Vick’s INT end of the Packers’ wild card loss in 2010. This is one of 228 postseason pass attempts (by Donovan) McNabb, Jeff Garcia, and Michael Vick, Foles, Carson Wentz, and Josh McCown).

10. I was pleasantly surprised that James Bradbury got Darius Slay approved by the pro team. Although he generally didn’t face the opposing team’s best receiver, he played better, was more consistent and deserved it. Since Week 10, Slay has allowed 24 completions on 32 targets for 298 yards and three touchdowns with a no-INT. That’s a 134.6 opposing passer rating, and it was the second-worst in the league among starting basemen over the last eight weeks of the season. For the full season, Bradbury had an opposition passer rating of 49.4—second best in the league—and Slay finished at 79.9, which ranked 27th out of 91 cornerbacks (minimum 30). The Eagles definitely need to slay the first half in the postseason rather than slay the second half.

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