Sunday was a reunion of sorts between Hurts and Brian Daboll, Alabama’s offensive coordinator in 2018 when Hurts was the starter before being benched for Tua Tagovailoa in the second half of that season’s national championship game against Georgia. Ironically, it was Hurts’ issues opening defenses up with his deep passing that left his starting role vulnerable to Tagovailoa.


Over the weekend, Hurts and Mahomes delivered the two best deep throws of the weekend. Mahomes shoveled a no-look outlet pass to Jerick McKinnon who scampered 56 yards for a score, while Hurts split the Giants’ defense with a hole-in-one deep ball to Devonta Smith on a fourth-and-7 that dropped between two defensive backs. After Week 14, Hurts has passed for more touchdowns on throws of 25 air yards or more than any NFL signal caller except Geno Smith. It feels like Hurts somehow stole Russell Wilson’s deep passing accuracy and refuses to give it back.

The prophets who put money down on Hurts’ 40-to-1 or +4000 odds to claim his first MVP before the season should take a bow. But they’re not the only ones about to get paid. Hurts’ rookie contract will finally expire in 2023 and this performance has likely moved him up a few NFL tax brackets. He is evolving at a quantum pace and hurtling toward his first MVP in the meantime. Hurts has hurdled every speed bump obstructing his path to the top and there aren’t many left that can slow him.