Back in June, the dog days of the NFL calendar, former Giants and Buccaneers quarterback and current NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms didn't include Jalen Hurts on a list of the NFL's Top 40 quarterbacks, a stinging indictment of the Eagles starting QB's skill level heading into Year 2.
Plenty of fans were perturbed with his choice, which he defended without much apology at the time.
"There’s just nothing that I ever saw that led me to think he’s an NFL starting quarterback," Simms said back in June. "And, listen, I hope he proves me wrong. And if he proves me wrong, I'll be on here to go, 'Way to go, Jalen Hurts, you made Chris Simms look like a dumb idiot, way to go.' I hope that's the case, I do."
Fast forward to the Eagles' 32-6 romp over the Falcons, and Hurts' historic start to the season, and it's time for Simms to fess up.
All credit to Simms, he indeed owned up to being wrong in his evaluation of Hurts - after Week 1, at least - on the latest episode of his Unbuttoned podcast and admitted he had the Eagles QB way too low:
"I'm gonna sit here and tell you when I'm wrong. I don't think I'm gonna be right about every evaluation. I do 97 zillion f***ing evaluations throughout the year. Okay, every now and then I'll be 969 zillion correct and one wrong.
"I'm just kidding. He looked really good. He looked good in the preseason, just in the 10 snaps, I liked the way it looked.
"The way he controlled the football certainly was good. The ball placement throughout the day - I don't go, 'Wow, what a laser,' or, 'Wow, what a spiral,' but the ball is always right there, where it needs to be.
"And then his ability to make plays outside the pocket, like the touchdown right before the end of the first half, that's special what he brings to their football team.
"I'm rooting for Jalen Hurts. I know everyone thinks since I didn't make him in my Top 40 - yeah, it looks like I'm wrong right now. And I'm going down on Philly sports radio and saying, 'Yeah, I messed that one up.' He looked really good."
You've got to at least give Simms credit for not being afraid to admit he was too harsh on Hurts. Simms actually said in the rest of the segment that he thinks he underrated a large chunk of the Eagles roster, and their offensive and defensive lines in particular. I think that's true of a lot of analysts.
And, of course, it's important to remember that this was just one week in a 17-game season. Hurts looked dynamic and sharp on Sunday in Atlanta, but the Falcons seem to be truly awful. Hurts will have a much tougher test against a loaded 49ers defense in Week 2, and there's a possibility he won't be lighting it up as much as he did on Sunday.
But if nothing else, Hurts absolutely proved he's a Top 40 quarterback, and clearly a starter-caliber QB, in the NFL.
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