Philadelphia Eagles: Jalen Hurts has already proven Chris Simms wrong

(Photo by Robert B. Stanton/NFLPhotoLibrary)
(Photo by Robert B. Stanton/NFLPhotoLibrary) /

Contrary to what some may believe, having the 20th best quarterback in the NFL is pretty good.

Don’t believe me? Well, allow me to extrapolate on my point, if only for a moment. As things presently stand, there are 32 teams in the NFL, and outside of an improbable expansion to something like 40 teams, that will remain the case for a long time. With the knowledge that exemplary quarterback play alone doesn’t make or break a team’s playoff hope, having the 20th best quarterback in the NFL could very well result in a Super Bowl win.

Why, you may ask, am I pontificating about the merits of having the 20th best quarterback in the NFL? Honestly, I’m not really sure. According to NBC’s Chris Simms, the Philadelphia Eagles don’t have the 20th best quarterback in the NFL; that honor goes to Cam Newton (laugh if you want). They don’t have the 32nd best quarterback (Teddy Bridgewater), 34th best quarterback (Tua Tagovailoa), or even the 40th overall quarterback (Case Keenum). As crazy as it may sound, the Eagles actually don’t have a single quarterback on Simms’ top-40 list, not Joe Flacco, not Gardner Minshew, not even Jalen Hurts.

Needless to say, that already looks like a pretty hilarious mistake.

The Philadelphia Eagles definitely have at least one starting-caliber quarterback.

In the NFL, there are a lot of ways to evaluate a quarterback.

There are overarching measurables like QBR and passer rating, efficiency metrics like touchdowns-interception ratio, even stats like total yards, passing yards, and rushing yards, which don’t technically help you determine how much or little a quarterback played into their team’s win but are valuable to the fantasy football crowd.

How, you may ask, did Jalen Hurts fare in each of these respective categories in his first win for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2021? Well, allow me to compile them for you.

From a QBR/passer rating standpoint, Hurts was on fire, finishing out the week with the 11th (72.8) and fifth (126.4) best marks in the league. He recorded three receiving touchdowns versus zero interceptions –  tied with Matthew Stafford and Patrick Mahomes for the third-best mark in the league behind Jameis Winston and Russell Wilson – and even finished out the week with the 10th most fantasy football points of any player in the league regardless of position (28.76) largely off the strength of his 264 yards through the air, and 62 yards on the ground.

Jalen Hurts? Fantasy football star? Who could have seen that one coming?

While Hurts didn’t turn in a perfect game, as he failed to convert a makeable fourth down and notoriously underthrew a pass to Zach Ertz with quite a bit of meat on the bone, he thoroughly outplayed former league MVP Matt Ryan on his home field and played a very active role in the Eagles’ first win of the season.

Fun fact: Hurts now has more wins than 27 of the quarterbacks on Chris Simms’ top-40 list. Hmm… interesting.

Heck, Hurts even finished out the week with the third-highest completion percentage in the NFL, arguably the biggest knock detractors held over his head during the offseason. Factor in Hurts finishing with the second-highest ranking of any quarterback in the league according to PFF, and what are you left with? Well, I’ll tell you what it doesn’t leave you with: The at-best 41st ranked quarterback in the NFL.

Nick Sirianni has found a role for JJ Arcega-Whiteside. dark. Next

Will Jalen Hurts always play as well as he did in Week 1? No. Unfortunately, Nick Sirianni can’t schedule the Atlanta Falcons for the next 16 games of the regular season, and the team’s sky-high hype will surely fall back to earth a bit when they take the field against a loaded San Francisco 49ers’ defensive front. But even when the feast turns to famine, it’s clear Hurts is far from an above-average backup quarterback and fully deserves a full season to prove his mettle with the Philadelphia Eagles at the very least. Best case scenario: He’s a darn franchise quarterback, and Chris Simms has to talk about him for a very long time. A real win-win, if you will.