AP NFL awards: Jalen Hurts is an MVP finalist, proving doubters wrong

by Jacob Fuller

Rob Issa, FISM News

Jalen Hurts entered the 2022 NFL season with plenty to prove because there were doubts about his ability to be the franchise quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.

The questions have been answered.

Hurts — along with Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes — was named a finalist for The Associated Press 2022 NFL Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year awards.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen and Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow also are finalists for MVP. All other awards have three finalists.

“His body of work speaks for itself,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said.

He’s had a phenomenal year. Now, I get to watch it, I’m biased, right, and I get to watch every one of his games and correct every one of his games. Obviously, I know there are other players that have been playing good as well. Again, I think Jalen is going to say the same thing. Yeah, awards are nice, but we have much bigger team goals in mind. And I hope Jalen wins it, right, because you want that for your players. He’s had a great year. But I know there are other people deserving as well. He’s just going to continue to go about his business and get ready for this next game.

The Eagles host the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game on Sunday.

Hurts had 3,701 yards passing, 760 yards rushing, and 35 touchdowns combined passing and rushing. He’s in line to get a lucrative contract extension and nobody is doubting his ability to be a No. 1 QB anymore.

He was humble about the recognition.

“Put the work in, I think it’s a cool honor. Don’t really have much to say about it,” Hurts said. “I don’t know, I’m at a loss for words, to be honest.”

The award winners will be announced at the NFL Honors show on Feb. 9.

Jefferson, a unanimous choice for All-Pro, led the NFL with 128 catches and 1,809 yards receiving.


Mahomes already has the 2018 NFL MVP award on his trophy case. Mahomes led the Chiefs to a 14-3 record. They’ll host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday in the AFC title game.

Mahomes has a high ankle sprain but practiced Wednesday and plans to play.

“The last few days have been an all-day thing,” Mahomes said, “where you’re doing treatment and rehab and watching film. You’re trying to make sure you’re prepared for the Bengals, a great football team, mentally and physically.”


The finalists for Defensive Player of the Year are 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa, Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones, and Dallas Cowboys edge rusher Micah Parsons.

Brian Daboll (Giants), Doug Pederson (Jaguars), and Kyle Shanahan (49ers) are the Coach of the Year award finalists.

Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III, 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, and New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson are the finalists for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Jets cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson and Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen are the finalists for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey, and Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith are the finalists for Comeback Player of the Year.

Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, and Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen are the finalists for Assistant Coach of the Year.

Sirianni jokingly slammed his hand on the table in disgust when asked about being snubbed for Coach of the Year.

“Oh, man,” Sirianni said. “Yeah, that’s something I can’t control. Those awards are nice and everything like that. I’m really happy for Jalen and Shane that they’re on that, but we have obviously much bigger things ahead and in our sights than individual awards.”