After yet another stellar performance where he accounted for three touchdowns and no interceptions, Jalen Hurts has taken over as the frontrunner for MVP.
On the season, Hurts is up to 3,157 yards on 68% completion, 32 total touchdowns (22 passing, 10 rushing) to 3 interceptions to go along with 686 rushing yards. All numbers are either a career-best or well on their way to a career-best. His completion percentage is up 7% from 61% in 2021. He’s just surpassed his passing yards total from last year in two fewer games, thrown 6 more touchdowns, and reduced his turnovers from 11 to 5 this year thus far. In every way, he has improved and it shows on the stat sheet as well as on the field.
You can see it as plain as day.
But of course, there are a few haters, and former Penn State linebacker and current Cowboys stud pass rusher Micah Parsons isn’t really buying into the hype around Hurts. If you haven’t heard about his comments, check out my fellow team member’s article on the matter and how the Eagles have responded.
Pretty much, Parsons is skeptical on whether or not Hurts is the reason the Eagles are 12-1 or if it’s to the credit of the overall scheme, defense and the weapons around Hurts.
“Is it Hurts or the team?”
“It’s system and team”
-Cowboys DE Micah Parsons not believing in Jalen Hurts MVP? 🤔
Eagles-Cowboys in 10 days
🎥 VonCast pic.twitter.com/AkSCjIMXNl
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) December 14, 2022
Piggybacking off of Micah Parson’s comments, NFL analyst Chris Simms chimed in on Hurts’ impact on the Eagles on Thursday.
Chris Simms on Hurts being MVP front-runner: “They have the best O-Line in football, 2nd best WR duo, a great TE.. There’s just no way he’s more valuable than Mahomes, Allen, or Burrow, no way. If Minshew is in, the #Eagles are still damn good. I’m sorry.” pic.twitter.com/B6qfzihrBn
— Eagles Nation X:(12-1) (@PHLEaglesNation) December 15, 2022
I do believe that the system and scheme have been a big help in Jalen Hurts’ improvement in 2022. Of course, adding A.J. Brown to the offense to replace Jalen Reagor is going to help the quarterback. Having the league’s best offensive line is going to help. Having a head coach who schemes around your strengths as a runner will help. But to go 12-1, you need a very good quarterback who can beat you in a multitude of ways which Hurts can do.
The Eagles are not where they are without Hurts. Could they still be very good, sure. But 12-1? No. There have been countless moments where Hurts has kept a drive going just on his own talent. He is as deserving of MVP as any other player in the NFL.
But for him to do that, he’s going to have to beat out Patrick Mahomes. And Mahomes is having an incredible season. Mahomes is the better passer and I think we can all agree, Mahomes at this point in time is the better quarterback. But the MVP award doesn’t always go to the most talented player and as the season goes on, Jalen Hurts’ path to his first MVP award is becoming more likely even if Mahomes has better passing numbers.
Here’s a look at Mahomes and Hurts’ stats on the season:
Mahomes has attempted 123 more passing attempts than Hurts, so of course he is going to have more yards, passing touchdowns, and interceptions than Hurts. We know that. But the award is for who is most valuable to their team and in his role with the Eagles as a more balanced attack with a dominant running game, Hurts is playing his role to perfection.
While he certainly isnt going to catch Mahomes in touchdowns or yards, his rushing ability, lack of turnovers, and overall record are Hurts’ path to his first MVP award. Is it enough? We’ll have to see but to discredit what he’s become in his second full season, the criticism he gets is unjust. No disrespect to Gardner Minshew, but this is not the same team without Hurts at the helm.
As for Parsons’ comments, we saw how Hurts responded to Demarcus Lawerence’s comments before their Week 6 matchup, it will certainly be interesting how he comes out when the two teams matchup in just nine days.
Featured Image: Monica Herndon/Philadelphia Inquirer