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Is Justin Fields better than Jalen Hurts?

Jalen+Hurts+All-Pro+Reels%2C+CC+BY-SA+2.0+%2C+via+Wikimedia+Commons
Jalen Hurts All-Pro Reels, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
By Brian Koefoot–

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is under criticism for the past few weeks. Is he a good NFL quarterback? During that same period, Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields has been discussed similarly. Is he a good NFL quarterback? Both of these young, talented quarterbacks will be compared to each other. However, Justin Fields is a better quarterback than Jalen Hurts.

Coming out of college, Justin Fields and Jalen Hurts had similar traits. Both players had excellent athletic ability with the capability to extend plays. Both players were powerful runners who put up significant numbers in the weight room. With their performances in college finished, Justin Fields was given a higher prospect grade than Jalen Hurts. Fields had a rating of 6.45 while Hurts’ was 6.14

Fields had positive remarks on his ability to pass the ball. Lance Zeurlein, draft analyst for NFL.com stated, “ [he] makes quality reads when deciphering high-low concepts” and “[has] plenty of zip for long, field size throws.”

Zeurlein admits, however, he’s not perfect.

According to Zeurlein, Field’s passing ”needs to release [the] ball earlier on anticipatory throws.” 

Jalen Hurts had more negative passing comments than Justin Fields. Zeurlien stated, “good accuracy on intermediate passes” but also” has issues sustaining rhythm as a passer with so many off-schedule throws.” 

The two reviews of Jalen Hurts that I would like to focus on are that he is “quick to drop his eyes when pressure mounts” and “more likely to avoid pocket than climb, scan, and throw from it.” This means he is not comfortable in the pocket, and when he does not have his first read, he will take off running. He still does this regularly when the slant route is covered. 

The first debate between these two quarterbacks is who is the better runner? The easy answer is Justin Fields. He had a faster 40-yard dash than Hurts and had a higher athleticism score at the NFL Combine. Fields ran a 4.44 40-yard dash at Ohio State’s pro day. Hurts ran a 4.59 at the NFL combine. On top of the speed advantage, Fields had an athleticism score of 99 at the combine to Hurts’ 90. The stats from the 2022 season supports the argument Fields was a better and more efficient runner. Fields had 160 carries for 1,143 yards in 15 games. He also was second place all-time in single-season rushing yards by a quarterback. Hurts had 165 carries for 760 yards. Fields had an average carry of 7.1 yards to Hurts’ 4.6. This supports the argument that Fields is a more explosive and more efficient runner than Jalen Hurts.

The second debate between these two quarterbacks is who is the better passer. The stats would say Jalen Hurts. Hurts threw for 3701 yards with 22 touchdowns and six interceptions. Fields had 2,242 yards with 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Hurts has elevated his game as a passer this year and has looked much better with accuracy and keeping his eyes downfield. Fields has also made improvements as a passer but still needs to work on a couple of flaws in the offseason.

A massive difference between these two quarterbacks is the supporting cast. The Chicago Bears were the worst team in the NFL this year with a 3-14 record while the Eagles lost the Super Bowl with a 14-3 record. Justin Fields is better than Jalen Hurts but Hurts’ all-pro supporting cast makes him look like a superstar. The Eagles have five players who made the Pro Bowl on offense to the Bears’ zero. Hurts has a Pro Bowl receiver in A.J. Brown and a Heisman Trophy winner in DeVonta Smith. His running back Miles Sanders, who had over 1,200 yards rushing this season, was also a pro bowler. Three of his offensive lineman were also in the Pro Bowl. It is easy to be a game manager quarterback with a stacked offense like the Eagles. 

I personally could throw for 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns with that offensive line and receivers. If a quarterback has all day to throw the ball, he will have better stats than a quarterback who does not. 

Justin Fields had one of the worst offensive lines in the league. His number-one receiver was Darnell Mooney who was out the last five games of the season. His number two receiver Chase Claypool is better known for Tik Tok dances and celebrating in the two-minute drill than catching a football. An argument that all Fields does is run is incorrect because he has to do that or else he will get sacked. 

As of right now, Jalen Hurts looks like a better quarterback than Justin Fields. However, in the next few years, the Bears should upgrade their offensive line and receivers. A fair comparison should be made most likely next season. 

 

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