This was my opinion before the week against WFT and god it feels good to have reason, the thing is, I didn´t want to have it because that means that this team needs to make a serious decision for the future, and if they take the bad one, we might have to see some dark years coming. Let me hear your opinion.
I wanted to share this, before the game against Washington, so it could be a read you make with the most possible objectivity and not after celebrating clinching the playoffs or after a loss against a bad football team.
I want you to know that in the NFL, the most important position in the field is the QB. You can have a bad defense, a bad coach, bad receivers or a bad offensive line, but if your quarterback is ELITE, you always have a chance to win games. The key in all of this is the elite category. We know that there is only a few QB´s who can be called elite, maybe 5. Let´s say Brady, Mahomes, Allen, Rodgers and Wilson. Those are the only ones, that doesn´t matter who they go against, they have a chance to win, and you feel like if you need a score, you are going to get it no matter what. These types of QB´s are obviously not easy to get, but if you do it, then you have a 10-15 year window to win multiple super bowls if you make the right moves. (Drafting, Free Agency, etc.) Now, I show you how important is to have an elite QB, with a list of the last 15 QB who have won the SB.
2020 Tom Brady
2019 Patrick Mahomes
2018 Tom Brady
2016 Tom Brady
2015 Peyton Manning
2014 Tom Brady
2013 Russel Wilson
2012 Joe Flacco
2011 Eli Manning
2010 Aaron Rodgers
2009 Drew Brees
2008 Ben Roethlisberger
2007 Eli Manning
2006 Peyton Manning
2005 Ben Roethlisberger
So, as you can see, of the last 15 years, only 4 times a QB, who was not seem as elite won, and I could make a case that maybe Eli Manning was not elite, but those years were Eli´s good prime years, and that the playoffs that Flacco and Foles played, those were elite type of performances. Also our 2017 Eagles, had Wentz playing elite football in the regular season.
In shorts words, history says, you need an Elite QB more time than not, to win a Super Bowl.
Ok, so now we go with another obvious truth of the NFL. In this day and age, you need to have a really good passing game to win the whole thing. You might win a lot games a la Baltimore Ravens style, running in almost every play combined with a good to great defense. The problem is you get to play the best teams in playoffs, the ones who have the players and coaches to stop your game if it depends in the success of the running game. That´s why is super rare to see a team winning the Super Bowl, while being better at running than passing.
To put this in perspective, I show you a list of the last 15 teams who have won the SB.
2020 Tampa Bay (passing offense)
2019 Kansas City (passing offense)
2018 New England (passing offense)
2017 Philadelphia (passing offense)
2016 New England (passing offense)
2015 Denver Broncos (passing offense)
2014 New England (passing offense)
2013 Seattle (running offense)
2012 Baltimore Ravens (running offense)
2011 New York Giants (passing offense)
2010 Green Bay Packers (passing offense)
2009 New Orleans (passing offense)
2008 Pittsburgh (passing offense)
2007 New York Giants (passing offense)
2006 Indianapolis Colts (passing offense)
2005 Pittsburgh Steelers (passing offense)
Again, of the last 15 teams who have won the SB, only two won with what I would call, a running oriented style of offense, and you can make the argument that the 2013 Seahawks won with the Legion of Boom in his prime and a Russel Wilson who started to become the elite QB he is. And the 2012 Baltimore Ravens won with an incredible balance, a great Joe Flacco in playoffs, a great running game headlined by Ray Rice and an incredible defense with players like Ed Reed, Ray Lewis and Haloti Ngata.
Of course the other teams who also won SB´s, had good defenses or good running games also, but their path to winning was attacking through the air.
Now, I will get to my point. Before you even say something, just finish reading. You might think Hurts is a good QB or that he might become a franchise Quarterback, but I´m here to open your eyes. He is not. Period. He hasn´t shown at any level, college or NFL, that he has what it takes to pick apart a defense through the air. He lost his job in Alabama because in the national championship against Georgia, Georgia´s defense was focused to stop the run and they challenged Hurts to beat them with his arm. He lost that battle and Saban benched him for Tua in the halftime, rest is history.
You might want to say that at Oklahoma he showed some progress, but the truth is that he played in a conference where defenses doesn't ´exists, with Cedee Lamb as his best WR and with a scheme made for him with a coach who is recognized as an offensive genius (I defer) in Lincoln Riley, who has developed two #1 overall picks as QB´s. That´s the best support that he has ever had, and against LSU, he could not keep up with Joe Burrow´s offense. I will say to be fair, that LSU offense was in a whole other universe and that the Oklahoma defense never had a chance.
The next step is to recognize what he was as a prospect and what he is now. Of course we don´t have any information of the teams boards of that class, but almost all scouts and rumors said that he was seen as a 3rd round prospect, with a limited ceiling because of his lack of passing talent. See that I´m saying passing talent and not arm talent. Because if you don´t have a special arm, there are going to be some passes that you will not make. But there a lot Qb´s without a special arm that play a good to average passing game. Cousins, Garoppolo, Brady now, Brees before retiring, etc. But Hurts doesn´t read the game well, doesn´t throw with anticipation and he has shown that he can´t make consistent accurate passes, the same things he had as a prospect. He has legs and toughness and that is fine, but those things do not define an Elite QB.
With Hurts as your starting Quarterback, to win the SB you need a great defense, and that is difficult to build, but even if you made it, then you have a window of about 2-4 years to win, because year after year you would need to pay the QB, your defensive stars and the offensive line. If you have Mahomes, Wilson, Rodgers, Brady you have an easier way to win, you only need to pay him and a handful of your stars, the important ones. With those guys you don't have the pressing need to have a great defense or running game. With the Qb´s like Hurts you must have a great defense, a great offensive line or both at the same time.
Having Hurts as your Qb is hoping the stars align once in 15 years. Getting yourself an Elite Qb is hoping he does not get injured because at least 10 of the 15 years, you will have a chance to win the SB.
What we do after realizing Hurts is not the answer, well that´s the tricky part. Trading for an elite veteran QB does not do it for me, because you are sacrificing the infusion of talent two or three years and also you don't have the 10-15 years window of winning because of the age of the QB.
To me the draft is the answer, not this year, next year, in my opinion Bryce Young is the real deal, and I would do anything it takes to get him. Sacrificing two years for a window of 10 to 15 years of winning is worth it to me.