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December 11, 2022

Jalen Hurts' five best plays against the Giants

Jalen Hurts is playing like the league MVP. Here are his best plays from the Eagles' dominant win over the Giants.

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Jalen-Hurts-Throw-Eagles-Giants-Week-14-NFL-2022.jpg Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports

Eagles QB Jalen Hurts looks to throw downfield against the Giants Sunday in East Rutherford, NJ.

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts continues to build his strong MVP case, delivering a win over the Giants in a game stuffed with highlight-worthy plays. Hurts is up to 32 total touchdowns this season (22 passing, 10 rushing) as the Eagles cruise to a league-best 12-1 record. 

I usually do the "three pivotal plays of the game" after Birds games, but, really, this game was over in the first quarter and that's because of Hurts' brilliant play both in the pocket and with his legs. Head coach Nick Sirianni always stresses that he wants the Eagles to be "multiple" and no one can be a threat in both the passing game and running game quite like Hurts right now.

Eagles fans are watching a special season from Hurts, one that rivals what I saw Carson Wentz in 2017 and Donovan McNabb in 2004. 

Here are the best of the best from another great performance from QB1...

Making the extraordinary look ordinary

Faced a third down on the Eagles' first offensive drive, Hurts hit wideout DeVonta Smith for a big seven-yard gain on a 3rd and 6:

That's not a play that will set the world on fire. That's not the play from this afternoon that will be shown on "Good Morning Football" and ESPN for the next 24 hours, but it's an encapsulation of the little improvements Hurts has made in 2022 to take the leap from a pretty good QB to one of the NFL's best. 

Against the Giants in North Jersey, the spot where Hurts played the worst game of his career in 2021, he showcased all the goods that will land him a monster contract extension with the Eagles this offseason. 

The Crimson Connection

Hurts found Smith once again in the first half, this time for a wild 41-yard touchdown pitch and catch:

That's an "oof" moment from Giants safety Julian Love. Maybe in a different era of football, Love lays Smith out, but that isn't what happened, as Hurts perfectly hit Smith in stride, as the receiver was agile enough to go up, snag that thing and get into the end zone.

This was the play against New York that really had me thinking, "Man, this is so different from anything I've seen from this team in years."

When I watched that instant-classic Bills-Chiefs playoff game from last season, I thought those two teams were playing an entirely different sport than the rest of the league with their offensive firepower. I couldn't have imagined the 2021 Eagles in a game like that. The Birds, however, are playing that exact sport in 2022, with the ability to go toe-to-toe with any offensive unit out there. 

Too, too easy

On Hurts' second touchdown pass of the day, he stood tall in the pocket and found A.J. Brown wide open for an easy-as-anything TD:

Sometimes the easiest solution to football domination is having a star QB and a star receiver. On top of plethora of other ways the Birds are crushing opponents, that's been the case for the Eagles in 2022. 

Ground attack

Hurts may be labeled a "running back" some NFL pundits who didn't even deserve to have a platform, but I've already gone through all the huge plays he made through the air at the Meadowlands, to say nothing of the way he sliced and diced the Titans last week.

Hurts, of course, is as electric in the running game as any QB in the league this year. Huge runs like this linger in the minds of any opposing defense, especially as Hurts' turns himself into a better and better passer from the pocket:

You play the run, Hurts will beat you in the passing game. You play the pass, the Birds will run the ball down your threat. Domination. 

Vick vibes

Whenever I think of a quarterback draw, I think of Michael Vick's TD run against the Giants in the iconic Miracle at the New Meadowlands game. Hurts put his own touch on that with this 10-yard score at the same stadium Vick once pulled that off:

Obvious take: being that strong and that fast gives you an advantage over everyone. 

tl;dr... Hurts proved himself to be the NFL's best running QB in 2021. That's the case for 2022 as well, but he's established himself as one of the passers, flat out, no qualifiers, too. 

I weep for whatever defensive coordinator has to plan for Hurts and this offense. 

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