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January 26, 2023

Tyrone Johnson: Eagles fans know this team is special, even if award voters don't

Eagles diehards know there is something truly remarkable about this team.

All week on 97.5 The Fanatic I have been talking about how we know better than the national media when it comes to our local teams. I am being proven right day by day and I can’t wait for the game Sunday because the Eagles are going to win. 

It was announced that Jalen Hurts was a finalist for both NFL MVP and for Offensive Player of the Year. This isn’t a surprise to anyone who has watched him all season in Philadelphia. 

It must hurt the nepo-baby (Chris Simms) who claimed this week that Daniel Jones was a better passer. Yes, after the Eagles won 38-7 and Jones passed right to Bradberry for a big interception. How is he allowed to talk about sports when he knows less than the average snapping turtle? Let’s hope the Giants are as mixed up as that guy and give Jones big money this offseason. 

There is still business to be taken care of this week with the 49ers and then hopefully the Super Bowl, but what a rise for Hurts. At the start of last season, he had to prove he was an NFL quarterback. Now he is being compared to Michael Jordan by his coach and nobody blinks. 

As an aside, by the end of this season, LeBron James will be No. 1 in points and No. 4 in assists in NBA history. We may need to discuss not making Jordan the gold standard in sports. 

Back to the Eagles. It is just amazing what is happening, and I am enjoying every part of his journey. Saturday night against the Giants, Jalen Hurts raised his record this season to 15-1. We need to take a moment to recognize that. 15-1!! The Eagles basically never lose when he is under center. This is already the 4th best season in modern Eagles’ history and there is a lot of meat left on the bone. 

The Eagles dominated the Giants and once again look like the best team in the NFL. The Giants were the “hot” team and had become media darling and the Eagles outplayed and outcoached them. You wouldn’t know it though because when the AP Coach of the Year finalists came out, Nick Sirianni, the owner of the best record in the NFL was somehow missing

As we went over in previous weeks, most pundits had the Eagles second in the NFC East, and none had them with the best record in the NFL. Literally, zero “experts” thought the Eagles were as good as they turned out to be. Are they suggesting that the team coached itself? 

They can’t use the talent argument — they didn’t think the team was that talented. Doug Pederson, Brian Daboll and others coached teams that surprised the pundits, but so did Sirianni. Kyle Shanahan was a finalist too, let’s see if Sirianni can beat two of them in two weeks. At the end of the day, the accolades don’t matter if we recognize that Sirianni is great at his job and is among the league's best coaches. The national media is just missing it, again. 

There is a lot of talk about how good the 49ers' defense is. They are very talented, and Nick Bosa was named a finalist for defensive player of the year. One thing should jump out to all of us though. The 49ers had 44 sacks in the regular season, and Nick Bosa had 18 of them. That team number is good enough to be tied for the 10th most in the NFL. It’s a cute little number. By comparison, the Eagles' defense had 70! 

You can miss me with pressure rate or any metric that you want to try to use. The Eagles actually got to the quarterback 26 more times than “the best defense in football.” If you ask quarterbacks if they would rather be pressured or tackled to the ground, we know what they would choose. Hurries are nice, sacks are game-changing. Haason Reddick was not named a finalist despite leading the team with 16 sacks. We know how good he is, and it is a good thing because nationally they seemed to have missed it. Again, we know better.

We also know how good Brandon Graham is. We know that he played only one full game last year due to a torn Achilles at the age of 33. We also know that Graham had a career-high 11 sacks at the age of 34 after coming back from that injury. It is a good thing that we know because when the AP announced the Comeback Player of the Year award finalists, Graham was not anywhere to be found. Saquon Barkley was nominated after playing 13 games last year. What did he come back from? Geno Smith had a nice year out in Seattle. At the same time, he didn’t play much last year or in previous years because he wasn’t good. This isn’t the most improved player award. What did he come back from exactly? Graham was more deserving than two of the three finalists. 

There are too many examples to count. You guys know more than the people who talk down to us from hundreds or thousands of miles away. 

We know the Eagles are the best team in football and Sunday at 3 p.m., they will prove it again.

Tyrone Johnson is the host of "The Best Show Ever?" on 97.5 The Fanatic, airing Monday through Friday from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

You can follow him on Twitter: @TyJohnsonNews