Jalen Hurts: Soaring for 2023 NFL MVP

John Mellencamp may be a modern day Nostradamus. Although, even he could’ve never imagined Hurts would be this good. From being benched at halftime of the College Football National Championship, to losing the Super Bowl in its final act, Jalen Hurts has faced his fair share of adversity. Now, he quarterbacks the NFL-leading Philadelphia Eagles and is well on his way to winning his first MVP trophy.

Adversity Fuels Success

So much for a Super Bowl hangover. The Philadelphia Eagles are 10-1 and in position for another run to the big game. Quarterback Jalen Hurts is the catalyst behind Nick Sirianni’s offensive genius.

The former second-round pick has become the NFL’s most unstoppable dual-threat. The “Brotherly Shove” is one thing, but the fourth-year gunslinger has been inevitable all on his own this season. He’s the NFL’s version of Thanos and far and away the MVP of the league’s 104th season.

Hurts’ prowess inside the pocket has taken his game to another level this season. However, it's his knack for creating in the second act of a play separates from him from many other NFL quarterbacks.

The Oklahoma (by way of Alabama) product now has the highest passer rating in the NFL this season when tied or trailing at 136.6. Over the last two weeks, he's taken punches from two of the games greatest knockout artists (Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen), and come away with the win. In fact, the Eagles quarterback has now gone 33-of-46 for 449 yards, 7 touchdowns, and a 142.1 passer rating when tied or trailing over the past four games. He's also added 61 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground in that same span. Hurts has been colossal when the going gets tough.

Most impressively, Hurts has shown incredible improvement and poise when pressured this season. He ranks in the top-4 in the NFL in yards (848), touchdowns (7), passing grade (64.8), adjusted completion percentage (73.3), and 1st downs (46), when under duress.

Stats Don’t Paint The Full Picture

On the surface, Hurts’ raw numbers don’t look as impressive as last season. He’s completed over 68% of his passes for 18 touchdowns while adding 410 yards and 11 scores on the ground. However, its his elusiveness and agility combined with his vision and decision making that make him one of the league's greatest dual-threats. After all, Hurts recently became the first quarterback in NFL history with 10 rushing touchdowns in three straight seasons.

Moreover, Hurts is on pace to shatter Cam Newton’s record for most rushing scores in a season by a quarterback. He’ll break the mark in the coming weeks as the Eagles famed “Brotherly Shove” is the league's best goal-line play.

Beyond the statistics, the former second-round pick has become the heart and soul of the Eagles. His leadership, both on and off the gridiron, has been instrumental in Philadelphia’s success. Hurts’ calming presence, even in the most demanding moments, is a defining trait. While other quarterbacks crack under the pressure, the Houston native thrives.

Winning Isn’t Everything, It’s the Only Thing

It's not always the prettiest, but no matter the situation Jalen Hurts finds a way to keep his team in football games. Hurts has the mythical clutch gene possessed by so many of the game's greats. The legendary ability to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Hurts's ability to perform under pressure has been the highlight of his 2023 campaign. He's been the catalyst behind the Eagles seven comeback victories this season, and showcased his coolness when his team is up against it with three game-winning drives in the fourth quarter so far. Philly's favorite son has generated a league-high 35 EPA when the Eagles have less than a 50% win probability this season. His passer rating spikes in these critical moments, perfectly illustrating a signal-caller who thrives when the going gets tough. In essence, he's the definition of clutch.

It's as if Jalen ingests some of Michael's secret stuff before every game. He's got the moxey, the mojo, the unforgettable mentality seen in the greats that define the history of sports. Hurts has now gone 25-2 as a starting quarterback in the past two seasons. Only four other quarterbacks have achieved that feat in NFL history: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Jim McMahon and Patrick Mahomes. Additionally, he’s seventh all-time in wins in a quarterback's first 45 career starts with 33 and has now won 14 straight games against teams with a winning record - tying a mark set all the way back in the 1950s.

In a league filled with the most spectacular athletes on the planet, Jalen Hurts stands above the rest. His impact and indelible influence on every game embodies what the MVP award signifies. As the season progresses, Hurts' blend of stellar play, leadership and clutch performances continue to strengthen his candidacy. At +150 odds Jalen Hurts is the play to become the first Philadelphia Eagle to win MVP since Norm Van Brocklin in 1960. After the roller coaster that was Carson Wentz, even the most ardent of Eagles fans can attest, sometimes love don't feel like it should, but Hurts so good.



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