The 2022 season has been a tough one for Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are currently 2-5 on the season as their offense has been arguably the worst unit in the NFL and their defense hasn’t been much better without T.J. Watt anchoring the pass rush. In Week 8, the Steelers will face off against Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Things aren’t going to be getting any easier in Week 8 as the Steelers will be heading on the road to face the Philadelphia Eagles. Philadelphia is on the opposite end of the spectrum from Pittsburgh as they are the last remaining undefeated team in the league at 6-0 and rank near the top of every statistic offensively and defensively.
A big reason for their turnaround has been the performance of starting quarterback Jalen Hurts. There were some questions the last two seasons about whether or not Hurts was a franchise quarterback, but he has put a lot of those doubts to rest with his performance this season.
When doing his Tuesday press conference, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had some high praise for the quarterback that his team is going to attempt to slow down on Sunday afternoon.
“They’re unbelievably efficient in terms of maintaining possession of the ball and it starts with their quarterback, Jalen Hurts,” Tomlin said. “Man, I’ve just got so much respect for him and the way he plays the position. His intangible quality, his leadership skills, his prudent decision-making, his prudent use of mobility at the position. It’s all really good, and that’s why they have very little negativity in their offense. They utilize his mobility schematically in situational moments. It’s challenging for the defense on possession downs in a tight red. I think he’s got six touchdowns via the ground.”
“So, that turnover component and his prudent decision making, his ball security and the ball skills in that secondary are the reasons, significant reasons, why they are an undefeated group.”
Hurts is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks currently in the NFL. His legs were the only reason that he was able to find success in the first two seasons of his career, but in 2022, he has taken a major step forward with his passing offense.
The former second-round pick has completed 66.8 percent of his passes for 1,514 yards, six touchdowns and only two interceptions. He has improved across the board and is still as dangerous as ever running the ball.
In six games, Hurts has racked up 293 yards on 77 carries, adding another six rushing touchdowns. He is tied for second in the league for rushing touchdowns as he is a legitimate weapon for the Eagles to use in the red zone and around the goal line.
The addition of wide receiver A.J. Brown has certainly helped. Hurts is surrounded by a great group of skill position players along with DeVonta Smith, tight end Dallas Goedert and running back Miles Sanders. A strong offensive line is also protecting him and he is taking full advantage, turning in the best season thus far of his career.