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Eagles 2021 season simulation predicts which QB will fare better – Jalen Hurts or Gardner Minshew?

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The Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback situation appears to be set in stone – at least for the first week of the season.

Eagles coach Nick Sirianni named Jalen Hurts the starter for the team’s first game of the 2021 season against the Atlanta Falcons. Hurts was given the starting job but might have some pressure on him to perform well since second-year quarterback Gardner Minshew II is now backing him up.

Philadelphia acquired Minshew from the Jacksonville Jaguars after Urban Meyer named Trevor Lawrence the starter for that team.

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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) prepares to take the field against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) prepares to take the field against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field.
(Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

How will the Eagles fare with Hurts at the helm? Could Minshew possibly play better this season?

Wolverine Studios, which is the developer behind Draft Day Sports: Pro Football 2021 and the upcoming Draft Day Sports: Pro Football 2022, simulated the season to see who would fare better. The company creates simulation games that allows fans to manage everything about a franchise – from the roster and salary cap to drafting players and free agency.

The company used its simulation engine, which is in the final stages of pre-release testing and used a community-created mod as a starting point. The company put players on the proper teams, adjusted the schedule and turned off injuries for the simulations.

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“The one constant in all of the simulations we ran was that the Eagles are not looking like a very good football team. The problems extend beyond just the quarterback position but we did find a varying level of results between the two quarterbacks,” Wolverine Studios president Gary Gorski said. “We started with Hurts and he averaged six wins on the season. An improvement from the prior campaign but not much of one. As a starter we project just under 4,000 passing yards on the season with an average of 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Hurts is also good for a small handful of rushing TDs as well we project.

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

“Can Minshew provide some magic as a possible alternative? We say probably not. Our simulations show the Eagles with fewer wins on average, roughly four wins for the season to be exact and Minshew putting up numbers that are not as good as Hurts. In our simulations, Minshew averaged only around 3,500 yards with 16 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.”

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According to the simulation, it looks the Eagles are in for another tough season. Philadelphia finished with only four wins in 2020 and led to the firing of Doug Pederson.

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