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Jalen Hurts Touted as MVP, Gardner Minshew Blasted by Fans for Eagles' Loss to Saints

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 1, 2023

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew (10) passes in the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in Philadelphia, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The Philadelphia Eagles offense sputtered en route to a 20-10 home loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

The Eagles turned to backup Gardner Minshew to call signals with starting quarterback and NFL MVP candidate Jalen Hurts out for the second straight week because of a sprained right shoulder.

Simply put, this was a day to forget for Minshew. The fourth-year pro completed just 18 of 32 passes for 274 yards, one touchdown and one backbreaking interception returned for a touchdown. He was also sacked six times.

With New Orleans up 13-10 with 5:27 left, Minshew tossed a pick to Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who strolled in for a touchdown for a 19-10 edge.

New Orleans Saints @Saints

Lattimore gets with the pick-6 in his first game back 😤<br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NOvsPHI?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NOvsPHI</a> on Fox <a href="https://t.co/wAw6OfOxt1">pic.twitter.com/wAw6OfOxt1</a>

The Eagles were unable to cross midfield in response, and the Saints ran out the clock when they got the ball back.

It was a rough day for Minshew, who overthrew pass-catchers and generally did not have a good command of the offense.

The Eagles went three-and-out on their first four drives and didn't get a first down until there were 12 seconds remaining in the first half. Philadelphia only had 61 first-half yards

The second half was certainly better, with Minshew notably finding A.J. Brown for a 78-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 13-9.

Philadelphia Eagles @Eagles

ZOOM ZOOM<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NOvsPHI?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NOvsPHI</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FlyEaglesFly?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FlyEaglesFly</a> <a href="https://t.co/BrpzW0iO1J">pic.twitter.com/BrpzW0iO1J</a>

But the Eagles' final four drives ended with a punt, the aforementioned pick-six and a pair of turnover on downs.

Philadelphia clearly misses Hurts, who led the Eagles to a 13-1 record before suffering a sprained right shoulder that has kept him out for two weeks. Hurts has 35 total touchdowns (22 passing, 13 receiving) in addition to 3,472 passing yards and 747 rushing yards.

Without Hurts, the Eagles have lost two straight at the Dallas Cowboys (40-34) and now at home to a 7-9 Saints team.

Minshew has certainly seen better days since entering the league with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019 out of Washington State. He entered Sunday with a 63.0 percent completion rate and 43 passing touchdowns to just 14 interceptions.

This week ultimately ended up being a rough outing, however, and it served as a reminder of how valuable Hurts is to the team.

Shane Haff @HAFFnHAFF_TPL

Remember when people said the Eagles could make the playoffs with Gardner Minshew as the starter? Yeah, I would just settle for a 1st down. Jalen Hurts really looking like a system QB about now huh?

MarkMaske @MarkMaske

The Eagles lose to the Saints and again fail to clinch the NFC East and the NFC's No. 1 seed. Jalen Hurts looks more and more valuable with each game that he misses.

Linda Cohn @lindacohn

If Jalen Hurts doesn't win MVP I don't know what else the voters need to see after watching Minshew misery today.

Glen Macnow @RealGlenMacnow

Just a terrible game by Minshew and Eagles O Line. Now they need Hurts to come back next week (fully healed or not) to lock it up. Really harmful win when they had the chance to clinch.

Jon Johnson @jonjohnsonwip

And that's why Minshew is a backup. Up to Steichen to stop calling plays as if Hurts was in game.

Eliot Shorr-Parks @EliotShorrParks

Minshew is short on that 4th down. Another clear play where Hurts is very much missed. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Eagles?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Eagles</a>

Matt Ford @fordm

Every Minshew drive makes the case for a Jalen Hurts MVP title that much stronger.

Jeff Kerr @JeffKerrCBS

The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Eagles?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Eagles</a> are throwing the ball way too much with a QB that can't evade pressure.<br><br>This isn't Jalen Hurts back there. <br><br>Gardner Minshew has been sacked 3 times.

Jeff Mans @Jeff_Mans

They should give Jalen Hurts TWO <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFL</a> MVP's for carrying this <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Eagles?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Eagles</a> team all year. I don't know if they win the NFL South with Gardner Minshew at QB.

Jeff Kerr @JeffKerrCBS

Gardner Minshew strengthens the MVP case for Jalen Hurts every time he throws the ball. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Eagles?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Eagles</a>

Rod @rodimusprime

These Minshew games shouldn't cost Hurts the MVP they should certify Hurts as the MVP.

Philadelphia closes the regular season against the New York Giants next week. A win will clinch the NFC's No. 1 seed and home-field advantage until the Super Bowl.

Like the rest of the Week 18 slate, the day and time has not been set as of yet.