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July 25, 2022

What they're saying: Jalen Hurts and Carson Wentz are tied in The Athletic's quarterback rankings

It's been a while since the Jalen Hurts vs. Carson Wentz debate was re-litigated. A new QB ranking from The Athletic will add fuel to that fire. Let's just get after it and see what the national media is saying about the Eagles and the NFL...

The Great Philly QB Debate 🏈

Mike Sando | The Athletic

Here's something that will get Eagles fans riled up! The Athletic, based on voting from 50 NFL coaches and executives, did a tiered quarterback ranking heading into the 2022 season. The two names Birds fans will immediately look for are Hurts and Wentz. Well, they're right next to each other on the list, as Hurts and Wentz are tied for 20th in the rankings, both being in the "tier 3" of QBs. 

This is an excerpt of what was said about Hurts: 

Hurts jumped 10 spots from last season, the largest year-over-year gain (Burrow climbed nine spots). Some of that was because Hurts debuted so low as a player with minimal experience and a modest pedigree, but voters also admire Hurts for his approach to the game despite seeing limitations that most feel will prevent Hurts from climbing into Tier 2.

“He is a poor man’s Baltimore guy (Jackson) because he can’t run that fast, but he’s so serious about his job, and he’s physically and mentally tough,” an offensive coach said. “He will play very, very consistent. He just won’t be a good enough passer over time to get out of the 3s.” [Athletic/$]

I think the Eagles would take the poor man's version of an MVP this fall.

Conversely, this is what was said of Wentz:

Wentz went from the Eagles to the Colts to the Commanders in 13 months. His average tier vote has fallen for the fourth consecutive year, from 1.84 (ninth) in 2018 to 3.36 (20th) this year.

“He’s got two fingers on the Tier 3 ledge,” a quarterbacks coach said. “How many more chances can you get? He has to be praying to the football gods, saying, ‘Thank you, again,’ because not many people get this many opportunities to prove themselves. I’m just about ready to pull the trigger on him as a 5 after the Jacksonville game and that interception from the end zone against the Titans in a huge game. You can’t make those decisions.”

You can make those decisions if you’ve already earned $100 million, as Wentz has, and if a team like Washington is eager to hand you another $28 million for this season, which will be the case.

“No one thinks it because he’s a small-school kid, but he was like the God at North Dakota State, everyone told him how great he was,” a defensive coach said. “And then he has some success as a rookie and they win the Super Bowl and it’s like Wentzylvania and the team’s like, ‘Oh, we’ve got it figured out,’ and I don’t know that he had it figured out. I don’t know that he has gone through that process and understood how to be a professional, make himself better. He thought it just happened. I just I don’t think the kid ever looked internally and said, ‘It’s my fault, I have to do this better, I have to prepare differently.’" [Athletic/$]

Those two signal-callers being in Tier 3 feels pretty fair. Back in May, I did a tiered QB ranking list of my own. My first two tiers were "QBs Who Make You Win" and "QBs You Win Because Of." My third tier was "QBs You Win With" and that included Hurts, Wentz, Mac Jones, Kirk Cousins and Jimmy Garoppolo. 

3-for-4? ⛰️

Mike DeCourcy | Sporting News

The NFL offseason is a time ripe for lists, rankings and similar evergreen content. Sporting News put together a Philly Sports Mount Rushmore, giving nods to Bobby Clarke, Mike Schmidt, Julius Erving and Allen Iverson. No Eagles! There isn't a clear-cut explanation in the article why that's the case, but the writer did bring up the ol' snowballs and Santa Claus bit for some godawful reason:

Philly fans at a 1968 Eagles game really did boo Santa Claus. Well, not the real thing of course, but rather an Eagles fan who happened to be dressed as Santa and was drafted to fill in for the snowed-in Santa who’d been hired to appear.

They threw stuff at the fake Santa, as well. [SN]

Hilarious, man!

Putting aside some of the issues of Mount Rushmore to begin with, you can't leave an Eagle off something like this. There are four major sports in Philly. One player from each team is the move: Clarke, Schmidt, Erving and Chuck Bednarik would be my choices. I almost said Nick Foles, but Bendarik is an all-time great who played on two championship teams and also went to college in the city at Penn. 

Streaming Wars 📺

The NFL unveiled its new streaming service, NFL+, on Monday. It will allow users to watch local broadcasts, including nationally televised games, on phones and tablets. Additionally, it provides video of out-of-market preseason games (no one cares?) and radio broadcasts for every game this season. It's $4.99 per month or $39.99 per year. There's a premium version as well ($9.99 per month or $79.99 per year) that includes access to All-22 film. 

This isn't a big deal, but I imagine it's a precursor to the NFL moving its Sunday Ticket package away from DirecTV to a streaming platform such as Prime Video or Apple TV+ sooner rather than later.

You should be able to pay a certain amount of money ($20? $30?) to watch a specific game out of market or at least pay a reduced fee to get all the out-of-market games for a given team. I'm sure Philly ex-pats would rather get Sunday Ticket at a reduced fee (my in-laws in Arizona come to mind) rather than buying the entire package. 

A lot of those blackout TV broadcast rules are strange. Look at this example: I was in Florida for Christmas last year. The Eagles played on December 26. I had NFL Sunday Ticket, but couldn't stream it down there given that my home address is in Philadelphia and because Birds games are blacked out on Sunday Ticket in Philly. I had to go find a random bar that had Sunday Ticket, tell them that I'm a deranged human being and to put at least one TV on the Eagles-Giants game. I ate and drank for four hours and it was their while, but I wouldn't have hated hanging in my rental spot for the game and jumping into a pool at halftime to cool off. 

As traditional cable packages continue to break down, those avenues should be pursued as the NFL devises its television future. 

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