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Opportunities are Dwindling for Jalen Hurts

The Eagles second-year QB is going to be a one-and-done starter unless things change quickly

LAS VEGAS - Time is running out on Jalen Hurts but not when it comes to playing for the 2021 Eagles.

The second-year quarterback remains the best option for a poor football team in a transition year with aging backup, Joe Flacco, here as injury insurance.

As far as Gardner Minshew, that bridge might get crossed only if Nick Sirianni believes his own reputation is taking on too much water.

A bridge is exactly that, however, something that gives you passage over an obstacle. Once you get to the other side, exciting new possibilities could open up.

The stark reality for this team these days is the belief that the future at the game's most important position is not in the building right now and that thesis was only furthered by a 33-22 loss to the Raiders on Sunday.

RELATED: Eagles Suffer Another Embarrassing Loss, This One to Raiders

The current Eagles regime evaluates QBs by looking at them with four traits in mind.

The first two are the necessities - accuracy and decision making. The third - off-schedule ability - is the icing on the cake. The final part of the equation is arm strength and is more of a bar one must clear to play in the NFL.

From an obvious standpoint, Hurts reaches the bar in one category: his ability to create when things break down.

Despite some outside noise on Hurts' arm strength, the Eagles aren't concerned with that understanding that the only time the really big arms like Aaron Rodgers are showing off is in Hail Mary situations.

Jalen Hurts talks after loss to Raiders

Jalen Hurts talks after loss to Raiders

Deep balls in the NFL are generally about getting the football out on time and ball placement, sort of an amalgamation on the first two traits Philadelphia has defined as musts.

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DeVonta Smith's case of the drops Sunday was about more than getting his hands on the football. It was about the QB making things just a little harder on a WR that wasn't having his best night.

MORE: Fletcher Cox Expresses his Frustration

Hurts didn't say a lot after the latest setback. He's shown an admirable ability to stay on an even keel through good times and bad but he did talk about consistency when ruminating about what's holding the offense back.

"It’s that consistency," he said. "Playing at a high level on a consistent basis and doing it all the time. I know this is the NFL, everybody’s got talent. Everybody can go out there and ball, but when we eliminate the self-inflicted wounds and the things that are self-imposed, we’re going to roll."

We've been promised that roll for weeks, however, and the more troubling - dare say consistent pattern - has been getting torched in the meaningful portion of games before padding the stats when it doesn't really matter.

In the end, that's enough for the apologists to point out raw numbers once the smoke of another disappointing result has dissipated.

"Consistency. Making the plays when the plays are there for me to be made, making the plays when it doesn’t look to nice, still finding a way to get it done," Hurts said on what needs to happen. "So, got another week, another opportunity. I put the 24-hour rule on this one as well and we’ll move on. We have a big one in Detroit."

The Eagles have their eyes wide open now and Hurts' opportunities are dwindling.

For now, Sirianni has continued to stay optimistic but the patience is starting to dwindle at least a bit.

"We gotta get him in some situations where he’s staying in the pocket," a theme Sirianni has started to express consistently. "We gotta be able to move him enough to be able to hit some things down the field.

"I gotta look at the tape. I thought he played average to above average (Sunday) if I had to say right now. I think he can make all the throws and make them accurately … You’re going to have some missed throws when you throw 34 attempts … That’s any quarterback."

-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.