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Cam Heyward Compares Jalen Hurts To Tua Tagovailoa

While the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense will be facing a different team this week, their outlook and their strategy may be similar. After falling to Tua Tagovailoa’s Miami Dolphins Sunday night, they’ll get a shot at redemption against a similar quarterback and offense in Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Speaking to reporters Thursday, Cam Heyward outlined the similarities between Tagovailoa and Eagles’ QB Jalen Hurts.

“I would say he’s similar to Tua in some ways,” Heyward said via Steelers.com. “They’re both really good mobility wise and RPO games. Throwing the ball down field to some pretty talented receivers.”

Hurts is among the most athletic and best running quarterbacks in football, able to extend the play and break contain to either throw downfield or scramble for yards. Like Miami, the Eagles’ defense offers plenty of pre-snap motion and window dressing to stress and hold defenders while packaging multiple options into one play. Few teams have as many RPOs, run-pass options, as the Eagles, and Hurts rarely has just one place to go with the ball on early downs. He’s having a career year completing nearly two-thirds of his passes while taking great care of the football, just two interceptions across six games. From an interception percentage viewpoint, only Daniel Jones and Tom Brady have a lower/better percentage than Hurts.

But Hurts is at his best as a runner and Heyward knows that’s among the Steelers’ biggest challenges this week.

“I think he does a really good job of running the ball. Six touchdowns rushing out of their 13 is a pretty good number for what they’re trying to do.”

Philadelphia leads the league with thirteen rushing scores, the rare offense that focuses on the ground game more than moving the ball through the air. Hurts is responsible for nearly half of those touchdowns. Five of his six scores have come at or inside the opposing three-yard line. In fact, Hurts leads the NFL in carries inside the three (ten) and touchdowns inside the three (five) either through designed runs or quarterback sneaks.

After a hot start, Pittsburgh minimized Tagovailoa’s impact, holding him and the Dolphins to just three points after a 13-point first quarter. They’ll need to carry their gameplan over to begin Sunday’s game against the Eagles, though as we’ve pointed out, Philadelphia is at its most dangerous in the second quarter.

Look for a full scouting report on the Eagles tomorrow on the site.

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