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Which quarterback has most to prove in Conference Championship games?

Each of the four quarterbacks has a lot to play for—and a lot on the line—this weekend.

NFL: NFC Divisional Round-New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

If you were tracking it with your eyeballs, the way the narrative shifted on Dak Prescott from the trouncing of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Dallas Cowboys collapse at the hands of Mr. Irrelevant and the San Francisco 49ers would have been enough to give you whiplash.

Prescott went from the player no team was looking forward to playing after he accounted for all five of the Cowboys touchdowns against the Buccaneers to the guy the Cowboys social media team was singling out to shoulder the blame for Dallas’ loss to San Francisco.

You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the butt of every Stephen A. Smith joke about the Cowboys for the next seven months.

Needless to say, the way narratives can shift all within the outcome of a weekend, each of the four quarterbacks suiting up on Sunday has plenty to play for, but which player needs this one the most?

This leads us to today’s Question of the Day...

Which quarterback has the most to prove in Conference Championship games?

In what might be the most intriguing matchup of the Sunday’s slate, Joe Burrow has an opportunity to convincingly snatch the title of “Best Quarterback on the Planet” from Patrick Mahomes with a victory on Sunday. It’s true that Mahomes is playing through a nasty high ankle sprain suffered in last week’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but if Mahomes is healthy enough to play, the Chiefs are an even better version of themselves from a year ago—but that’s probably true for the Bengals as well. Regardless of the outcome, the winner of this game heads into the Super Bowl as the favorite.

On the NFC side of the ball, consider the play of Brock Purdy: at times, he’s a turnover waiting to happen, but at others, he’s the steadied hand moving the 49ers offense down the field in chunks. As the third-string quarterback on his own team, Purdy has a chance to add “NFC Champion” to his impressive run as the team’s starter, and it makes the QB room in San Francisco a set of musical chairs this offseason.

Jalen Hurts, in my opinion, has the most to play for on Sunday with just one year left on his rookie deal.

The Eagles window feels dependent on the level of quarterback play they can count on from Hurts on any given week. Of course, the Eagles’ bread and butter is their ability to run the football, and their 32 rushing touchdowns (first in the NFL) is a reflection of their attitude when it’s time to score. But when the Eagles decided to put Hurts under center, they drafted DeVonta Smith with the tenth overall pick in 2021, and they traded significant draft capital to bring in A.J. Brown. The Eagles have provided Hurts with every weapon at skill positions a quarterback could ask for—and maybe the best offensive line in the NFL. If he can’t help get the Eagles over the hump this year, it’s possible Philadelphia, with the tenth overall pick in this upcoming draft, might consider if there’s a quarterback in this upcoming draft that could help get them over the hump.

Your turn.

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