Eagles QB Jalen Hurts Named ‘Dark Horse’ for Major NFL Award

Jalen Hurts

Getty Eagles QB Jalen Hurts calls out the signals during Philadelphia's wild-card playoff loss to Tampa Bay in 2021.

The Philadelphia Eagles are suddenly a trendy pick to win the NFC East. And to possibly make a lengthy postseason run after a flurry of activity this offseason. The Eagles are – dare we say it? – stacked and the national media is starting to notice.

One factor helping them is the benefit of playing in the worst division in football, the NFC East. The other one? His name is Jalen Hurts. The second-year starter has weapons all around him: A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert, Quez Watkins, Miles Sanders, plus the league’s best offensive line. And a talented supporting cast like that has some people picking the Eagles quarterback to win the MVP trophy.

Hurts’ odds for the award keep going up with most sportsbooks putting him at 40-1. Those odds were enough to get NFL Media’s Adam Schein to jump on the hype train. He called Hurts a “dark horse” MVP candidate:

I really like Philly this year. And I am a believer in Hurts’ smarts, leadership, arm and athleticism. I know he can win. We saw it in college — and down the stretch last season, as Hurts won five of his final six starts.

With A.J. Brown joining the offense — and with Haason Reddick, Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean joining the defense — the Eagles have a real chance to win the NFC East. Hurts’ completion percentage needs to rise, and I believe it will. Just quickly get the ball to Brown and let him do the YAC work.

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Hurts’ Teammates Expecting Big Things

It can be very hard to read Hurts as an outsider looking in. His voice rarely fluctuates when he’s talking, whether it’s about football or life in general. And his nuanced mottos – “be a coffee bean” remains our favorite – paint the portrait of someone who never gets rattled.

According to his teammates, Hurts acts the same way in the huddle. And they love him for it.

“Always confident, he’s always that leader,” Quez Watkins said, “and coming into this year, he’s going to continue to be that leader and that guy for us.”

“Jalen’s been a pretty consistent guy since he’s been here,” Jason Kelce said. “He’s a hard worker, very much had the right mentality. We’ve talked about that since he was a rookie, and you still see a guy that’s hungry and itching to get out there and win some football games.”

Eagles Set the Foundation in 2021

Hurts said the “foundation was set” last season following their unexpected playoff appearance. While the Eagles didn’t get out of the wild-card round, it was a learning experience and a chance for them to grow some roots under their new quarterback. Now, in Year 2, Hurts has set the bar higher: it’s time to rise up.

“Learn the system and build on the things that we’ve done,” Hurts told reporters on May 4. “So I think the message has been simply the only direction is to rise and we have a lot that we want to achieve here in this organization, on this team, from the top down – and it doesn’t happen overnight and we know that this is the spring part of it, and invest in every day, same old thing.”

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