HomeDa Birds NewsIs Jalen Hurts the MVP Favorite After Win against Bills?

Is Jalen Hurts the MVP Favorite After Win against Bills?

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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts entered Week 12 of the NFL season as the odds-on favorite to win NFL MVP, but he partially felt like a placeholder with no clear-cut top candidate for the honor. But after Hurts led the Eagles to a comeback win against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, he’s emerged as the undisputed front-runner for MVP.

In Sunday’s 37-34 overtime win, Hurts wasn’t perfect, as he lost a fumble and was intercepted during an ugly first half. But before the night was over, the Eagles erased a 10-point halftime deficit for the second consecutive week, moving to 10-1 and becoming the first team in the NFL to clinch a playoff berth. Despite having two turnovers, Hurts still managed to throw for three touchdowns and rush for two more, including a 12-yard walkoff scamper in overtime.

The second straight comeback against a team that entered the season with Super Bowl aspirations felt like the type of moment some voters will point to at the end of the season when it comes time to determine who should be MVP. Should MVP be such a narrative-based award? Perhaps not, because it can be argued that Bills quarterback Josh Allen outplayed Hurts Sunday. But there’s something to be said for the culture of finding a way to win late that seems to exist with Hurts under center for the Eagles.

Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles came back for a victory against the Buffalo Bills in Week 12. 

© Bill Streicher, USA TODAY

While receiver A.J. Brown has seen his production dip over the past two weeks, we penned a column earlier this month suggesting that he, Miami Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill, Cleveland Browns pass rusher Myles Garrett and Pittsburgh Steelers pass rusher T.J. Watt deserved to be at the forefront of the NFL MVP race.

But whether MVP should be a quarterback-exclusive award or not, it’s essentially turned into that. Since Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson won MVP in 2012, there’s been a decade straight of quarterbacks winning the award. Even in a year like 2016 when most people would acknowledge receiver Julio Jones was the best player on the Atlanta Falcons, it was quarterback Matt Ryan who won MVP.

Related: ‘DPOY Bland!’ Slay Puts Rivalry Aside, Picks Cowboys CB for Postseason Award

Hurts probably had a better back-of-the-football-card MVP case last year when he tossed 26 touchdowns to six interceptions. He’s been picked off 10 times in 11 games this season. Still, Hurts now has 18 touchdown passes, and a staggering 11 rushing scores. Cam Newton set an NFL record for the Carolina Panthers with 14 rushing touchdowns in 2011, a mark that Hurts nearly matched last year with 13. He’s on pace to blow by the record a year later, and that may be what puts him over the top after he finished second to Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in MVP voting last season.

Right or wrong, it often feels like the MVP is awarded to the quarterback of the team with the best record. The Eagles have lost just one game this season, and increasingly appear headed for the top seed in the NFC. And if Hurts puts together a couple more performances like Sunday, he may very well become the first Eagle to win MVP. He certainly is the favorite right now.

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