Going into the 2021 season, Jalen Hurts took over as the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Even though the young quarterback was put on the hot seat right away, he proved vital to Philadelphia’s success, leading them to the playoffs.
The Eagles have now put all of their faith in Hurts, as shown by trading for Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Brown. On paper, Head Coach Nick Sirianni is coaching a team that can make some noise in the NFC. However, it will come down to Hurts at the end of the day.
While Hurts might not be a favorite to win the MVP Award, he shouldn’t be counted out of the running. Aside from throwing the ball efficiently, Hurts can use his legs to change the game – a tool not many quarterbacks have in their toolbox.
If Hurts can lead the Eagles to an NFC East title and run in the playoffs, the voters will have no choice but to consider him to win the MVP.
How Jalen Hurts Can Win The MVP Award
Hurts led the Eagles to a 9-8 record last season that ended with them losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card Game. Though he couldn’t get them the win, Hurts had a successful season.
In 2021, Hurts completed 61.3% of his passes and threw for 3,144 yards, 16 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. It doesn’t pop off the page, but Hurts didn’t pass as much as the rest of the NFL. He ranked 21st in pass attempts (432) and fifth in yards per completion (11.9).
Running the Ball
Part of the reason for his lack of passes was that Hurts often ran the ball. He led the Eagles in rushing with 139 carries for 784 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Along with leading all quarterbacks in rushing, Hurts also ranked sixth in touchdowns, seventh in first downs gained (56), and fourth in yards per carry (5.6).
Weapons at His Disposal
Hurts has plenty of weapons at his disposal that will help him reach his full potential. Adding Brown this offseason was massive for the Eagles, as he had back-to-back 1,000 receiving yard seasons before injuries last year limited him to 869 yards.
Paired up with Brown is DeVonta Smith, who led the team with 916 yards and five touchdowns. Dallas Goedert is a reliable tight end who was right behind Smith with 830 yards and four touchdowns.
When looking for a comparison for Hurts, one quarterback comes to mind: Lamar Jackson. Both quarterbacks have similar skillsets and had similar stats to start their careers.
In Hurts’ first 19 starts, he completed 59.1% of his passes and threw for 4,063 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. Running the ball, Hurts had 185 carries for 1,056 yards and 13 touchdowns.
In Jackson’s first 19 starts, he completed 63.8% of his passes and threw for 3,646 yards, 30 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. On the ground, Jackson had 259 rushes for 1,533 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Hurts had more passing attempts during that span, but Jackson had more rushing attempts. When Jackson won the MVP in 2019, he had over 3,000 passing yards, over 1,000 rushing yards, 36 passing touchdowns, and seven rushing touchdowns.
That’s not entirely out of the scope for Hurts, who just received some upgrades on offense.
Currently, on Caesars Sportsbook, Hurts is listed at (+3000) to win the MVP Award.
There are 12 other players ahead of him that are favored to win.
If Hurts can replicate Jackson’s stats from 2019, along with the success Jackson had with the Baltimore Ravens, the award is essentially a lock for him.
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