December 12, 2022
With the way this Eagles season is transpiring, I'm running out of superlatives for quarterback Jalen Hurts. He's the MVP favorite. The Eagles are NFC favorites. QB1 dazzled in both the passing and running game against the Giants at the Meadowlands on Sunday.
Once more, Jalen Hurts did not simply win the week in Philly sports, he won the week in the NFL and is, really, winning this entire season. The 12-1 Eagles are the story of the sport in 2022 and their stoic quarterback is destroying defenses every which way. Play the pass and he might eclipse 150 yards on the ground. Play the run and he's going to have a three-TD game through the air.
The Eagles are the league's best team and their quarterback's dynamism is blowing up Twitter with highlights and creating nightmares for opposing defensive coordinators.
Hurts has obviously incredible this year, but how does that stack up to great seasons from Eagles QBs in team history?
Let's take a look...
Given that the Eagles have yet to reach the postseason (though they clinched a spot), I'm only going off regular season performance. Nick Foles' 2017 playoff run is the apex of Eagles QB play, but that three-game sample won't factor into this. I'll pick a single quarterback's best season to go off. I'm not going to throw three McNabb seasons on here. This is my top five in some order:
• 1980 Ron Jaworski
• 2004 Donovan McNabb
• 2013 Nick Foles
• 2017 Carson Wentz
• 2022 Jalen Hurts
Jaworski finished third in MVP voting that season in which the Birds reached the Super Bowl for the first time ever. Jaws threw for 3,527 yards, 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while leading the NFL in adjusted yards per pass attempt. Adjusting for an era where the passing was nowhere what it is now, that's pretty damn good.
McNabb produced the best season of his career as the Eagles went 13-3 on the way to another Super Bowl berth. No. 5 was ruthlessly efficient. He was the first QB in NFL history to throw at least 30 touchdowns and fewer than 10 interceptions in a season (via Stathead).
Foles turned in one of the biggest "WTF?" performances I've ever seen in my time watching the NFL in 2013. A second-year third-round pick came off the bench to go 8-2 while famously throwing for 27 touchdowns against just two interceptions. Under head coach Chip Kelly, Foles led the NFL in touchdown rate, yards per attempt, adjusted yards per attempt, yard per completion and passer rating. Among QBs who've made at least 10 starts in a given year, Foles' passer rating of 119.2 is the fourth-highest total ever, only trailing seasons from some guys named Aaron and Peyton (via Stathead). Not too shabby and a precursor to the magic that would come four years later.
As we know, Wentz would've won NFL MVP in 2017 if not for his season-ending, career-altering injury against the Rams in Los Angeles in December. Despite missing the final three games of the year, Wentz still finished third in MVP voting. He led the NFL in touchdown rate and QBR.
That leads us to Hurts. None of them won league MVP. None of them were as lethal with their legs as they were in the pocket. Only McNabb has matched that 12-1 start. It's not recency bias and it's not hyperbolic to say he's had the best season of them all. It's not a proclamation that he's the best quarterback in franchise history. He's yet to have the playoff heroics of Foles. He hasn't put up consistent greatness for a decade like McNabb. This is really close between Wentz and Hurts, but I lean towards the guy currently under center for the Birds. His versatility puts him ahead.
My ultimate rankings:
Plenty can change between now and Week 18, but just like this year's MVP award, this distinction is Hurts' to lose.
Won the Week 2022 Tally:
Howie Roseman: 6
Jalen Hurts: 5
Bryce Harper: 4
Rhys Hoskins: 4
Rob Thomson: 2
J.T. Realmuto: 1
Haason Reddick: 1
Eagles fans: 1
A.J. Brown: 1
Nick Sirianni: 1
Avonte Maddox: 1
Kyle Schwarber: 1
Tyrese Maxey: 1
Tobias Harris: 1
Joel Embiid: 1
Ray Didinger: 1
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports
Add Shamus' RSS feed to your feed reader