It wasn’t an aesthetically pleasing performance Thursday night, but the Philadelphia Eagles are 8-0.
The Eagles, who were heavily favored to knock off the Houston Texans in a blowout win, found themselves locked in a 14-14 tie at halftime.
The second half was a completely different story. Philadelphia’s defense kicked things into another gear, holding Houston’s offense to just three points while forcing two turnovers.
Jalen Hurts put the team’s offense on his back, putting together a pair of decisive scoring drives to give the Eagles a two-goal lead. His final stat line was brilliant: 21-for-27 (77%), 243 yards and two touchdowns. He also avoided the turnover error, finishing with zero in the 29-17 victory.
Hurts’ heroics were essential in leading the Eagles to victory, and in Skip Bayless’ mind, his play throughout this season should have him at the top of the MVP conversation.
“He could have improved in a couple of years as much as I’ve seen anybody improve at this level of football,” Bayless said of Hurts. “I just think he’s been the MVP so far, and I can’t even do it with the numbers, because Josh [Allen’s] the numbers are a little better. I’m looking at intangibles. … That Sunday night [against Dallas] it was his game of the year so far. Thus he reached 8-0. Cooper Rush got them back to 20-17, and he’s good to go [the] defense to stop Jalen Hurts. And they couldn’t in three straight thirds, and he made the plays.
“That killed my Cowboys’ chances, because then they took it to the house and then he hit DeVonta. [Smith]and hits AJ [Brown], and it’s TD, and it’s basically game over at that point. They are intangible. It has changed the look of the Eagles on the football field. … More than that, off the field Carson was everything [Wentz] he just wasn’t born to be. I’m talking extreme leadership, where he walked in the door and started taking over the team. They just believe in him, they love him, they want to play for him. … You can just see, when they get in trouble, he just responds.”
Shannon Sharpe didn’t deny Hurts’ intangibles, but argued that Allen should be the MVP favorite over Hurts.
“Right now, I think that’s Josh Allen’s prize to lose,” Sharpe said. “Doing what he did — the winning games against the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs — I think that puts him ahead because we see how well Patrick Mahomes is playing, we see how well Lamar Jackson is playing, and he went to the Houses of ‘those guys and he beat them both. I got one on Allen, two on Mahomes and three on Hurts.
“I understand people are going to say, ‘Well, Jalen Hurts is undefeated.’ At the end of the day, that’s still a statistical award. It’s about numbers, and when you look at the numbers, Allen and Mahomes have played one less game, but still they have more passing touchdowns, more passing yards. Hurts and Allen are tied in completion percentage. Mahomes leads in touchdown passes with 20, Allen is right behind him with 19. Average yards per game passing: Allen has 314, Mahomes is 308 and Jalen Hurts is 11th with 255. The Eagles are 28th in passing percentage … they only pass the ball 49% of the time … and the league average is 58% of the time.”
Does Jalen Hurts deserve MVP honors after leading the Eagles to an 8-0 start?
Shannon Sharpe shares who his NFL MVP is.
Hurts has completed 68.2% (163 of 239) of his passes on the season, totaling 2,042 yards, 12 touchdowns and two interceptions. His 107.8 QBR is third in the league and he has totaled 326 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. He is also second in passing yards per attempt with 8.5 and third in interception rate (0.9%).
On passes that have traveled at least 25 yards through the air, Hurts has completed 61.5% for 329 yards, with four TDs and no interceptions for a 145.0 rating. The only player better than him in those categories: Josh Allen.
Allen has 2,198 yards through the air with a completion rate of 65.5% (173 of 264). He has thrown 19 touchdowns to six interceptions and rushed for two more on the ground, tying him for the league TD leaderboard with 21 total.
Allen is also 30 yards ahead of his nearest competitor in total yards per game (357.7). Entering Week 8, Allen also led the NFL in passing TDs (five) and passer rating (117.9) in the two-minute drill, and had the most total yards (2,237) than 26 teams, and touchdowns (19) than 29 teams.
While Hurts and the Eagles took care of the Texans on Thursday night, Allen and the Bills will travel to New York to take on the Jets at 1:00 PM ET Sunday on CBS.
Get more from the National Football League Follow your favorites for information on games, news and more