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Eagles sneak criticisms are disrespectful to Jalen Hurts

Don’t hate the player, or the game

Minnesota Vikings v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Eagles are 3-0, are coming off a dominant win on national TV, and all the NFL media can talk about with them is the same damn thing we talked about last year. And in the offseason. And we’ll probably talk about it more this offseason.

Are we really doing this again?

I wrote about this at length in February, the cries to ban the Eagles sneak are stupid for a lot of reasons. Actually all of them, the only reason to want it outlawed is because you don’t like it. No other reason holds water.

One hole to poke in the ban argument that I talked about in February and has really come to the forefront is that other teams predictably now run the sneak and no one gets pissed about it when they succeed, only when Jalen Hurts does. And crucially, no one succeeds at it like Jalen Hurts does.

Further, college teams run the sneak. They too fail at it sometimes. It is not an automatic play. Partly because college football doesn’t get the attention that the NFL does, but also because it’s not automatic in college, there has been no outcry for the NCAA to ban it. If the play is so unfair in a game with professional grown men, you would think the NCAA would want it out of their game with amateurs who are 19, 20, 21 years old. But they don’t.

So really this is just everyone losing their minds over how good Jalen Hurts is. So just say it. We will respect that. We will disagree with it, because it’s a stupid argument, but we will respect it. “I really don’t like how good Jalen Hurts is at this” is and sounds more rational than silly suggestions that “they should limit the number of times a team can do it” or not calling what is clearly a football play “not a football play.” Or Chris Simms calling for headhunting.

I’m old enough to remember when Tom Brady was getting praised for his ability to sneak.

What he does have is what McDaniels characterized as tremendous leg strength, which allows Brady to get low and drive forward, and a sense of how to manipulate his frame to gain decent leverage as he follows his linemen.

Even if the sneak itself suggests football at its most primal, teammates and coaches say that Brady relies more on the qualities that helped him become among the most productive passers in history — vision, anticipation, preparation — than any physical attribute.

Tremendous leg strength. Knows how to manipulate his frame and get leverage. Football at is most primal. Relying on vision, anticipation, preparation. Sounds a lot like Jalen Hurts and the Eagles sneak to me!

Don’t let Sam Howell cook

Every few years we get a decent QB to emerge out of the 5th/6th/7th rounds of the draft, such as Tyrod Taylor (6th), Gardner Minshew (6th), Brock Purdy (7th). We rarely see them coming as NFL players.

Just about every year in the draft there is a 5th/6th/7th round QB who a segment of media analysts and wannabe analysts think could be the steal of the draft. Those players never are. 2022’s was Sam Howell (this year’s was Dorian Thompson-Robinson, while 2021 didn’t have one because they all went in the 1st round.)

Howell had an impressive freshman season at North Carolina in 2019, and followed that up with a strong sophomore season that had him high on pre-season draft watch lists. But he lost his WR1, WR2, RB1, and RB2 to the draft. That quartet accounted for 67% of Howell’s completions and 66% of his yards, and both RBs had over 1100 rushing yards.

You will not believe this (you will) but after that exodus in talent Howell struggled in his junior season. His completion percentage dropped 5 points, his yards per attempt dropped by 1.5, he threw a career low TDs and career high INTs. He declared for the draft anyway. The wannabe QB experts had him as a top 50-ish pick, which probably contributed to his decision, just as it did QBs like Andre Woodson (198th in 2008), Jevan Snead (undrafted in 2010), Brett Hundley (147th in 2015), Brad Kaaya (215th in 2017), among others. Howell was the 144th pick in the draft, and while it’s still early that might have been a reach. In four starts he has seven turnovers and 22 sacks. Always be weary of the QB who bloomed early.

Also the man does not eat any other protein but chicken. Weirdo.

Waiting all day for Sunday afternoon, or night… or Monday

The rest of the Eagles schedule after Sunday: 4:05, 4:25, 8:20, 1:00, 4:25, bye, 8:15 (MNF), 4:25, 4:25, 8:20, 4:25, 4:30 (Christmas), 1:00, TBD that will probably be 1:00 because it’s against the Giants, who stink. In May, the lack of 1 pm games was quirky. Now, in the thick of the season, I like it? You can watch the chaos of Red Zone for three of the seven commercial free hours of NFL football as an appetizer. You can sleep in if you want to. You can get a bunch of stuff done in the morning and early afternoon. The downside is we will be getting a lot of Jim Nantz/Tony Romo and Joe Buck/Troy Aikman, but I’ll take that trade off.

Plus, with so many national games, a lot of people will have the chance to lose their minds about Jalen Hurts’ sneaks!

College Football Week 5 Watch List

I can’t not start with USC at Colorado until that gets out of hand, so roughly the end of the 1st quarter? But then it’s a perfect channel surfing SEC games day. We’re now in conference play, where the potential draft picks really start to stand out. I’m keeping an eye on pretty much anyone on defense, and of course, Georgia players. Texas A&M-Arkansas, Florida-Kentucy, Georgia-Auburn, LSU-Ole Miss, South Carolina-Tennessee.

Texas A&M: DT McKinley Jackson #3, EDGE Shemar Turner #5

Georgia: WR/PR Ladd McConkey #84 (probable), DT Nazir Stackhouse #78, CB Kamari Lassiter #3, LB Smael Mondon #2, LB Jamon Dumas-Johnson #10, RG Tate Ratledge #69, C Sedrick Van Pran #63, WR Marcus Rosemary-Jacksaint #1

Auburn: CB DJ James #4, CB Nehemiah Pritchett #1

LSU: DT Maason Smith #00, EDGE Mekhi Wingo #18, DT Jordan Jefferson #99, LB Omar Speights #1, CB Zy Alexander #24

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