Rob Issa, FISM News
Both quarterbacks that will lead their teams into Super Bowl 57 on Feb. 12 had to overcome their own share of adversity in the lead-up to the big game, but neither did it alone.
Patrick Mahomes battled through a badly sprained ankle to play in the AFC championship game and lead his team to the Super Bowl. Jalen Hurts overcame doubts about his ability to become one of the best players in the NFL and help his team reach the Super Bowl.
Both quarterbacks pointed to their Christian faith after their big victories Sunday.
MAHOMES THANKS GOD FOR HEALING
Following Kansas City’s 23-20 victory over Cincinnati on Sunday, Mahomes praised God for helping him deal with the injury.
“First of all, I want to thank God,” Mahomes told CBS in a postgame interview on the field. “He healed my body this week to battle through that. He gave me the strength to be out here.”
Mahomes has already been an NFL MVP (2018) and won one Super Bowl (2019-2020) and lost another (2020-2021). He’s a major reason why the Chiefs have been among the league’s most successful teams since he became the full-time starter in his second season in 2018.
“My goal is to win the Super Bowl and obviously the AFC Championship is something that I’ll forever remember,” Mahomes said. “But, to me, the job’s not finished.”
HURTS QUOTES JESUS
After the Philadelphia Eagles beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-7 in the NFC championship game, Hurts was asked to reflect on playing for a 4-win team his first season. The Eagles drafted Hurts in the second round in 2020. He began his NFL career as a backup behind Carson Wentz.
“My first year here (people) probably didn’t even want me drafted here,” Hurts said. “It was probably one of those things. But it always handles itself.”
Asked to clarify what he meant, Hurts pointed to a Bible verse.
“It was a big surprise to many,” Hurts said about coming to Philadelphia. “My favorite verse, I went through a lot of stuff in college and it kind of stuck with me, John 13:7: ‘You may not know now but later you’ll understand.’ Hopefully people understand.”
Jesus made that statement to Peter because he washed his disciples’ feet after the Passover meal in preparation for his crucifixion. Peter questioned why Jesus was going to wash his feet. Jesus explained that later he would understand.
The Eagles were criticized for selecting Hurts in the second round of the NFL draft instead of using that pick to take a player at a position that would benefit the team immediately. Philadelphia already had a starting quarterback in Wentz, who had signed a long-term contract.
Hurts was first used as an all-purpose player at running back and receiver before he eventually replaced Wentz at quarterback in the final month of a dismal season. Wentz was traded to Indianapolis a few months later and Hurts became the starter for 2021. He led the Eagles to a playoff appearance but there were plenty of question marks about his future.
The Eagles were uncertain he would be the franchise QB going forward but built a team around him for the 2022 season to best give him a chance to succeed so they could determine what they want to do for 2023 and beyond. Hurts made the most of the opportunity.
He developed into a finalist along with Mahomes for the NFL Most Valuable Player Award and Offensive Player of the Year Award.
“He’s always here,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said of Hurts.
Whether that’s in the weight room, whether that’s in the training room, whether that’s in the film room, this guy is obsessed with getting better. He’s obsessed with getting better. The thing I really admire about that is that he doesn’t allow the highs or the lows of the season dictate his next move. He is so even-keeled and so locked in. That will to win. Again, it’s all that, it’s all him being here, him leading his teammates, him connecting with his teammates, all those different things. … It’s probably hard for me to completely explain exactly how obsessed he is, but I think that’s why he is like this, ‘I’m going to get better from this.’ It’s an excitement. He’s special.