Hurts puts MVP talk behind him, focuses on NFC title game

Jan 24, 2023, 11:07 PM | Updated: Jan 25, 2023, 1:09 pm
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, left, looks on after talking with New York Giants quar...

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, left, looks on after talking with New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) following an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in Philadelphia. The Eagles won 38-7. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

              Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts reacts after throwing a touchdown pass to wide receiver DeVonta Smith during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the New York Giants, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
              Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts runs for a touchdown against the New York Giants during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
              Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni calls for a time out during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Asked about being an NFL Most Valuable Player finalist, Jalen Hurts revealed, “I didn’t know.” Nick Sirianni pounded his fist on a table in mock disgust and cracked “Oh man!” when queried about his finalist snub for Coach of the Year.

In other words, individual awards don’t mean a whole lot this week in Philly.

Not when there’s a Super Bowl to win.

The trophy is within reach for the Eagles as they head into the NFC championship game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Sirianni and several Eagles stumped for Hurts to win MVP in the wake of The Associated Press award finalists being announced Wednesday. Hurts took a moment to soak in having his name in the mix with fellow quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Joe Burrow as a candidate for the NFL’s highest individual prize. No Eagle has won MVP since QB Norm Van Brocklin in 1960.

“I think it’s a cool honor,” Hurts said. “I don’t really have much to say about it. I’m at a loss of words, to be honest.”

Hurts put up numbers in the regular season worthy of such consideration: Philadelphia went 14-1 in his starts and he had 3,701 yards passing, 760 yards rushing and 35 touchdowns combined. He led the Eagles to the top seed in the NFC and a playoff victory over the New York Giants.

“I hope Jalen wins it,” Sirianni said. “You want that for your players. He’s had a great year.”

The funny thing is, Hurts’ MVP push may have been aided by results in the games he didn’t play. The Eagles went 0-2 when Hurts sat out two late-season games because of a sprained right shoulder. The message was clear as they stumbled behind backup Gardner Minshew — what kind of team would they be without Hurts?

“I think he should win it,” tight end Dallas Goedert said. “I think he’s been the biggest piece of what we’ve done this year.”

Hurts is still achy in his right shoulder — he told FOX Sports before the win over the Giants that he was “nowhere near 100%” — but it didn’t show on the field. He went 7 of 7 for 89 yards in the first quarter, threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score in the 38-7 romp.

Hurts brushed off questions about his health again Wednesday.

“I’ve felt better, but it doesn’t really matter,” Hurts said. “I’ve got to get it done.”

Much has been made of the fact that 49ers QB Brock Purdy is just a 23-year-old rookie as he makes only his second career postseason start. Hurts, though, is just 24 and playing in his first NFC title game.

No one on the Eagles expects the moment to swallow Hurts. Hurts wore a Michael Jordan “I’m Back” shirt into Lincoln Financial Field for the season finale, in a nod to both of their comebacks (Hurts from the shoulder injury; Jordan from retirement). Sirianni hasn’t been shy about comparing Hurts’ competitiveness to Jordan’s famed fierceness. Jordan, of course, won six NBA championships. Hurts so far has an NFC East title.

“The things that Michael Jordan, you were able to see a lot of things about him in ‘The Last Dance’ about his competitiveness and about just his desire and will to win,” Sirianni said. “So when you make that comparison, you think, the first thing, as good as he’s played this year, as well as he’s run the football, as well as he’s thrown the football, reading defenses, accurate throws, as well as he’s done all that, what you notice first about him is his will to win, his competitive drive.”

Modest at the podium, Hurts has a different fire in the locker room and on the field.

“I try and set the pace, set the temperature of the room,” he said.

That’s one reason why he’s an MVP candidate. He also is in the running for Offensive Player of the Year. Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen was a finalist for AP Assistant Coach of the Year.

New York’s Brian Daboll, Jackonville’s Doug Pederson and San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan are the finalists for AP Coach of the Year award. Sirianni went 3-0 against Daboll and the Giants this season. Sirianni beat Pederson and the Jaguars in October.

There’s only one more name on the list to knock off.

“Those awards are nice. I’m really happy for Jalen and Shane that they’re on that,” Sirianni said. “But we have obviously much bigger things ahead and on our sights than individual awards.”


AP NFL: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]
1 month ago
Joe Jarzynka...
Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]
1 month ago
FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...
Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]
1 month ago
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...
Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]
1 month ago
FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...
Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]
1 month ago
FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...
Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]
1 month ago
Hurts puts MVP talk behind him, focuses on NFC title game