February 6, 2023

Hurts So Good – Making Jalen Hurts’ MVP Case

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) runs in for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. The Eagles defeated the Colts 17-16. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

After last Sunday’s 48-22 win over the New York Giants Jalen Hurts has officially become the betting favorite to win the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award. Hurts has passed Patrick Mahomes to become a -160 favorite.

Even though he is now the favorite, some people do not believe he should be the MVP.

So, let us look at his case for the coveted award.

12-1 Record

When discussing MVP in the NFL the first thing people talk about is the team’s record. Even though wins are a team stat, we have seen that having great Quarterback play impacts wins more than just about any other position in all of sports. While there is still a month of the season left, the Eagles currently have the best record in the NFL at 12-1. The team who has the second-best record, the Minnesota Vikings, was beaten easily by Jalen Hurts and this Eagles team.

A big knock against Hurts and this team when it comes to the record is the strength of schedule. Entering the season the Eagles had what was projected to be the 3rd easiest schedule in all of the NFL. This is the stat that people who want to minimize Hurts and the Eagles’ success this season will usually bring up. While that stat can help you try and project how the team will play in an upcoming season, those numbers can easily change. Look at the Eagles, for example, coming into the season people saw the Eagles as an 8-10 win team as their over-under for wins was 8.5 or 9.5 depending on what sports books you looked at. Now the Eagles are 12-1 and are a way better team than what was projected.

The way you should judge the schedule is by the strength of the schedule at the end of the season. While we are not yet at the end of the season, currently the Eagles have played the 14th easiest schedule in the NFL. That’s a pretty big jump from 3rd easiest in the pre-season. Currently, the Kansas City Chiefs have played the easiest schedule in the NFL with a opponent winning percentage of 31.7%. So who has had a “cupcake” schedule?

The Eagles also have more wins against current playoff teams than any other team in the NFL according to the 94 WIP Midday show. While Hurts hasn’t had a chance to go up against The Chiefs or Bills, he has beaten more good teams than any QB in the NFL.

More Than a Passer

Jalen Hurts passing stats alone will not blow you away. Currently entering week 14 Hurts has thrown for 3,157 yards, 22 touchdowns, and only 3 interceptions. Hurts is also completing 68% of his passes. While these stats are good, and are already better then his stats from all of last year, they are not going to blow you away. While if you look at Patrick Mahomes he has thrown for 4,160 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. Mahomes is also completing 65.8% of his passes. Theres no debate that Mahomes is the best Quarterback in the NFL passing the ball. But its not all about passing stats.

When discussing stats for Hurts you have to include his running stats. So far this season Hurts has run for 686 yards and 10 touchdowns. Hurts total offensive numbers this season have been 3,843 yards and 32 touchdowns. Mahomes does have 2 rushing touchdowns on the season so his total touchdowns would be 35. While Hurts’ rushing stats are great, the impact he has with his legs is almost unmatched.

The biggest and most important difference between Hurts and Mahomes this season has been turnovers. Hurts this season has 3 total turnovers while Mahomes has 11 total turnovers. In week 13 alone Mahomes had as many interceptions as Hurts has had all season to this point. Hurts has been amazing taking care of the ball this season which has helped the team immensely. Very rarely does Hurts put his defense in a bad spot by committing a bad turnover. While total yards and touchdowns are comparable, the biggest difference is turnovers.

“Its The Team”

Cowboys defensive player Micah Parsons sent Eagles’ twitter a blaze this week with some comments he made on Von Miller’s podcast. Parsons asked the question “Is it Hurts or is it the team”. He later compared Hurts to the 49ers 3rd string now starting Quarterback Brock Purdy by saying the 49ers have a great team so Purdy looks great. While Purdy has done a great job so far since Jimmy Garoppolo got injured, putting Purdy and Hurts this year in the same sentence is disrespectful to how well Hurts has played so far this season.

There is no doubt that the Eagles have a great roster filled with offensive and defensive talent. Miles Sanders and AJ Brown both have over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns while Devonta Smith is also on pace for 1,000 yards. But since when does having a talented team make the Quarterback less valuable? When Patrick Mahomes won MVP he had Tryreek Hill and Travis Kelce to throw the ball to. Aaron Rodgers had Devonte Adams and Aaron Jones. Having top weapons around you has not stopped other Quarterbacks from winning MVPs in the past, and it shouldn’t stop Jalen Hurts.

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