December 16, 2022
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is the toast of the city currently, but the way this fan base has gotten behind QB1 certainly isn't shared by the entire national media. NBC Sports' Chris Simms, a former quarterback journeyman, has been skeptical of Hurts' play over the years. That hasn't stopped even with Hurts's MVP-worthy play in 2022.
Simms was on television discussing Hurts' MVP chops and went in on how he doesn't compare to the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Joe Burrow:
Chris Simms on Hurts: “There’s just no way he’s more valuable than Mahomes, Allen, or Burrow, no way. If Minshew is in, the Eagles are still damn good. I’m sorry.” 😳 pic.twitter.com/2T6EGwgmO5— SPORTSRADIO 94WIP (@SportsRadioWIP) December 16, 2022
Simms touches upon the "scheme vs. player" debate that has raged on as of late. Here's an excerpt of what Simms said:
It's an incredible system that that coach has never even ran before, but they had to run it, because they couldn't run their system with Jalen Hurts. It's the best offensive line in football, it's the best defensive line in football. If not for the 49ers, they're the best defense in football. It's the best rushing attack in football. It's arguably the best duo at receiver not named Waddle and Tyreek Hill in football, and it's not far off from them. It's a really good tight end in Dallas Goedert when he's out there.
I feel like it's setting up where the quarterback of the best team is going to win the MVP. And I want to go, there’s just no way he’s more valuable to his team than Mahomes, Allen, or Burrow, like no way. Those teams are not the same teams if they don't have them at quarterback, where I'd go if you put Gardner Minshew on the Eagles they'd still be really damn good. I’m sorry.
I don't think you're actually sorry, Chris!
This whole argument is such BS. There's never been a more prime example of this being both the scheme and the player. Hurts is the scheme. The Eagles' offensive identity is predicated on having an elite rushing quarterback who's developed into a pinpoint thrower from the pocket on go routes and balls down the seam. This scheme can't be replicated with any other QB in the league. That's not to say that Hurts is the best overall quarterback, but Hurts is such a unique talent who the Eagles' coaching staff has perfectly tailored their system around.
Hurts is playing like the MVP. Nick Sirianni should be the Coach of the Year. Shane Steichen should without a doubt be a head coach elsewhere in 2023. All of these things can be true.
Gardner Minshew is one of the league's best backup QBs, but you have to be full of it to believe that Minshew could replicate Hurts' offensive power and a 12-win campaign. The Eagles' gameplan on the ground begins and ends with Hurts. Miles Sanders is having a career year with clutch performances, but the presence of Hurts transforms the run game. Sanders isn't averaging over five yards a pop with 11 TDs if Minshew is the dude under center.
Mahomes does not get, nor has he ever gotten, this chatter around him despite having won a championship with one of the greatest offensive coaches ever, one of the best tight ends ever and perhaps the greatest speed threat in league history. Mahomes is obviously awesome and doesn't deserve that labeling, but Hurts should receive that same courtesy.
Josh Allen had his host of early career doubters, much like Hurts. I don't see anyone worrying about that now. Allen's development in Buffalo felt like a true outlier, but Hurts is making a similar gigantic leap this season.
Burrow is an incredible quarterback, but I don't see many takes about how a trio of uber-talented skill position players makes his life a lot easier.
A parade down Broad Street is all that matters for Eagles fans, but seeing their guy prove national pundits wrong time and time again while capturing the MVP award would make for some classic Philadelphia bravado.
Do you know what Simms and I have in common? Neither of us has ever been a top-40 quarterback in the NFL.
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