As much as it bristles Eagles fans to make the comparison, Jalen Hurts’ transcendent 2022 season has some similarities to Carson Wentz’s career-best year back in 2017. Both Wentz then and Hurts now had bust-out seasons in their second full year as full-time Eagles starting quarterback. Both led his team to the best record in the NFC, largely due to quantum leaps in their level of play year over year.
But it looks as though there could be another parallel coming: neither QB winning the league’s MVP award, in spite of dominant seasons, due to a late-season injury.
In the span of a few hours Monday afternoon, seemingly out of nowhere, Jalen Hurts went from a better than even-money favorite to win the award to second-best, having been overtaken by Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes.
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Soon after the odds changed, the news broke that Hurts suffered a sprained shoulder in Sunday’s game against the Bears, leaving his status for Saturday’s showdown with the Cowboys in Dallas in doubt.
Hurts didn’t play his usual mistake-free game Sunday against the Bears in the Eagles’ 25-20 win – he threw two interceptions, or one fewer than he had thrown all year to that point – but he did throw for 315 yards and run for 61 yards and three touchdowns. In other words, he did more than enough to keep his lead over Mahomes, who needed overtime to beat the league-worst Houston Texans.
While Hurts’ season is one of the best in team history for a quarterback, it likely won’t be enough to this point to pry the MVP honors away from Mahomes, who is on a pace to set an NFL record for total yards (passing plus rushing), and has the Chiefs at 11-3 and in the hunt for the #1 seed in the AFC playoff race.
Here were the NFL MVP odds (via PointsBet) early Monday afternoon:
• Jalen Hurts, Eagles -130
• Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs +120
• Josh Allen, Bills +1000
• Joe Burrow, Bengals +1000
• Justin Jefferson, Vikings +10000
• Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins +10000
• Justin Herbert, Chargers +10000
A few hours later, here are the now-current NFL MVP odds:
• Mahomes -130
• Hurts +110
• Allen +1000
• Burrow +1000
• Jefferson/Tagovailoa/Herbert +10000
Wentz, was the unanimous front-runner for league MVP in 2017 when he tore his ACL in the team’s 13th game, an injury which ended his season and seriously changed his career trajectory. Hurts’ injury isn’t nearly as severe, but any missed games could cost him a shot at being just the second league MVP in franchise history.