Entering Sunday’s regular-season opener, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is the most popular bet to win the 2023 NFL MVP at multiple sportsbooks. After finishing second in MVP voting last year and leading Philadelphia to a Super Bowl appearance, Hurts is poised for an exceptional season. Let's delve into the five reasons why Hurts has a strong chance of taking home the prestigious MVP award.
1. Dynamic Supporting Cast
Philadelphia had the NFL’s most explosive offense in 2022, and this year, they have only gotten stronger. General Manager Howie Roseman made some impressive additions, bringing in Rashaad Penny, Olamide Zaccheaus, and D’Andre Swift. With star power at every position and a formidable wide receiver duo, Hurts will have a top-tier supporting cast. Not to mention, the Eagles boast the best offensive line in the league, providing Hurts with ample protection and opportunities to shine.
2. OC Brian Johnson
The Eagles' first-year offensive coordinator, Brian Johnson, shares a unique bond with Hurts, having known him since the quarterback was just four years old. This longstanding relationship gives Johnson an unparalleled understanding of Hurts' strengths and abilities. Johnson plans to utilize the running backs more in the passing game and ensure that Hurts remains accurate and efficient in critical moments. With Johnson's guidance, Hurts is primed to deliver exceptional performances in high-stakes games.
3. NFL's Toughest Schedule
The Philadelphia Eagles face a daunting six to seven-week stretch of games against playoff-caliber opponents, starting in Week 9. During this challenging period, Hurts will go head-to-head with the Cowboys twice, as well as the Chiefs, Bills, 49ers, and Giants. If he can emerge victorious against top-tier quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Dak Prescott (twice), Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Brock Purdy, and Kirk Cousins, Hurts will have a strong case for MVP honors. Conquering such a tough schedule will undoubtedly elevate his standing among the league's elite.
4. Destructive Defense
While Philadelphia's defense may have some vulnerabilities up the middle, they make up for it with their ability to create turnovers and apply constant pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The Eagles' defense is designed to help Hurts by providing him with early leads and numerous opportunities to score points. This advantageous setup will allow Hurts to showcase his skills and put up impressive numbers that catch the attention of MVP voters.
5. History Favors Jalen Hurts
History has shown that the MVP award predominantly goes to quarterbacks, with only a few non-QB winners in recent years. Since 2003, the MVP award has been won by non-quarterbacks just three times, and all three were elite, All-Pro running backs. Furthermore, in the past 16 seasons, 15 MVPs were quarterbacks. However, if Hurts can maintain his health, efficiency, and elite performance while leading his team to victory, he can defy the odds and secure the MVP title.
In conclusion, Jalen Hurts has all the tools necessary to make a strong MVP case. With a dynamic supporting cast, the guidance of OC Brian Johnson, a challenging schedule, a defense that sets him up for success, and a favorable historical context, Hurts is poised to have a sensational season. Keep an eye on this talented quarterback as he strives to etch his name in NFL history as the 2023 MVP.