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Naming MVP and more in Eagles bye week awards


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Naming MVP and more in Eagles bye week awards


Things are going well.

The Eagles are working to get better on their bye week and they already have a 6-0 record and are the NFL’s only undefeated team. And looking at their schedule coming back from the bye, they have a chance to add a lot more wins.

The Eagles are 4th in the NFL in points, 6th in points allowed. They’re also 3rd in yards and 4th in yards allowed. And they’re first — by a long shot — in turnover margin.

But let’s hand out some individual awards after the first six games:

MVP: QB Jalen Hurts

Not only is Hurts the Eagles’ MVP through six games, he’s a legitimate candidate to win the NFL MVP. According to FanDuel, Hurts has the second-shortest odds to win MVP at +450. The only player with shorter odds is Josh Allen at +125. Hurts is ahead of Patrick Mahomes (+500).

His passing numbers won’t wow you. But Hurts has completed 66.8% of his passes for 1,514 yards with 6 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions. His passer rating is 98.4. And then if you add what he’s done on the ground — 293 yards, 6 touchdowns — and you have a player who has accounted for 12 touchdowns and 2 turnovers. Not only is Hurts playing efficiently, he’s been playing at a really high level. The Eagles aren’t just winning with Hurts, they’re at times winning because of him. And that’s a big step forward for the third-year quarterback.

Top offensive player: WR A.J. Brown

This award could have gone to Lane Johnson, because the Eagles’ right tackle is playing at a ridiculously high level and means so much to the team. But it’s hard to give this to anyone other than Brown, who has completely transformed the Eagles’ passing offense. He’s a big reason why Hurts finds himself in the MVP race. Through six games, Brown already has 33 catches for 503 yards and 2 touchdowns. That puts him on pace for a 94/1,425/6 season. That would smash personal bests in receptions and yards and would undoubtedly send Brown to his second-career Pro Bowl.

The Eagles were able to acquire Brown on draft night. They had to give up a first-round pick and then handed Brown a $100 million contract. But at the bye week, Brown has been worth every bit of that.

Top defensive player: OLB Haason Reddick

A few choices here. The Eagles have a couple cornerbacks in Darius Slay and James Bradberry who are playing great. Both are legitimate Pro Bowl candidates. But I just can’t overlook Reddick, who has done exactly what the Eagles expected when they signed him to a three-year, $45 million deal this offseason. Through six games, Reddick already has 4 1/2 sacks, 3 TFLs, 6 QB hits, 3 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries. The Eagles had just 29 total sacks last season and desperately needed some pass rushers to bolster that unit. They added Reddick and he has been great.

Comeback player: DE Brandon Graham

There were plenty of reasons to doubt Graham coming into the 2022 season. After all, he turned 34 in April and was coming off an Achilles injury that ended his 2021 season during the second game of the season. These days, Graham isn’t a starter and he isn’t playing as many snaps as he once did, but he’s still a really important part of the Eagles’ defensive rotation. And he certainly doesn’t look like a 34-year-old coming off a major injury. Through six games, Graham already has 3 sacks, 15 tackles, 7 QB hits, 3 TFLs and a forced fumble and won an NFC Player of the Week award. This is Graham’s 13th NFL season. He previously said he wanted to play 15 in the NFL and that’s starting to look doable.

Top offensive rookie: TE Grant Calcaterra

There aren’t very many candidates for this one so Calcaterra wins it by default. If the Eagles needed Cam Jurgens to play, I’m sure he’d hold his own. But we haven’t seen it yet. Calcaterra has played in just four games and has just one catch. But it was a 40-yarder against Washington. Calcaterra wins this by default but at least he’s getting his feet wet at the third tight end.

Top defensive rookie: DT Jordan Davis

The Eagles’ first-round pick from Georgia has been as advertised. The 340-pound defensive tackle is a run-stuffing machine and has really solidified the middle of the Eagles’ five-man front. The next step for Davis will be playing in more four-man fronts, but at least he’s been productive over the center. Through six games, his stats won’t blow you away. He has 12 tackles and 1 TFL. But make no mistake about it: Davis is playing very well and is clogging the middle. His is a thankless job.

Biggest Year 2 jump: LG Landon Dickerson

Sure, DeVonta Smith is probably a better player in Year 2. But he set the bar very high as a rookie. Dickerson, meanwhile, came on strong in the second half of his rookie season and picked up where he left off in Year 2. While he’s been dealing with some injuries in the first six games, he’s been downright dominant at times.

Unsung hero: LB Kyzir White

The Eagles undoubtedly have some star power on their defense. Guys like Reddick, Fletcher Cox, Graham, Josh Sweat, Slay and Bradberry all get talked about a ton. But White has quietly been one of the best free agent signings of the offseason. The Eagles’ linebackers are playing very well this season and White has been the more consistent of the two. He’s here on a (pretty cheap) one-year deal but it might be time to start thinking about an extension.

Top assistant coach: OL coach Jeff Stoutland

This award is Stoutland’s for as long as he stays here. It seems like at least once a game the Eagles remember they can simply ram the ball down their opponent’s throats and they do. No matter who is in there on the offensive line. Sua Opeta? Sure, no problem. Jack Driscoll? Left or right side is fine. And when all the starters are out there, watch out. The Eagles’ biggest strength is their offensive line. They obviously have good players but Stoutland helps every single one of them live up to their potential.


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