Minnesota Vikings star Justin Jefferson took home the award Offensive Player of the Year, marking the third time in four years, the honor has gone to a wide receiver. Jefferson finished the year with 1,809 receiving yards to go along with 8 touchdown grabs. He also saw six games with at least 10 catches and four games with at least 150 yards. Jefferson's 4,825 receiving yards through his first three seasons surpassing the previous record held by Randy Moss, who had amassed 4,163 yards in the same amount of time.
It's certainly hard to argue with Jefferson winning Offensive Player of the Year, but I am going to and I will advocate for Jalen Hurts.
Jalen Hurts Should Have Won Offensive Player of the Year
Jalen Hurts was on the short list to win league MVP for starters. Now he didn't have quite the numbers to beat out Mahomes in the MVP category, but that owes more to Mahomes having a monster year through the air with 5,250 yards and 41 TDs than it does Jalen's shortcomings.
In addition to being one of the top quarterbacks in the league, Hurts boasts a stellar ground game. His 760 yards on the ground was good enough for second on the team, and his 13 rushing touchdowns were the most. If you add that to his 22 passing touchdowns this season, that makes Hurts responsible for 35 touchdowns on the season. Hurts also led an offense that gained the second most yards in the league.
We saw first hand how important Jalen Hurts was to this Eagles team when he was out with a shoulder injury and back Gardner Minshew had to step in for two games. The result was the Eagles lost both games and what should have been a relaxing final week of the season for the Philadelphia starters turned into a must win to secure the No. 1 seed and a first round bye.
At the end of the day, you can't deny Justin Jefferson getting the top offensive award the league has to offer. He was integral to the Vikings' success this year. Last year OPOY winner Cooper Kupp had Matthew Stafford throwing to him and 2019 winner Michael Thomas had Drew Brees throwing to him. Justin Jefferson had Kurt Cousins tossing him the ball. Talk about doing a lot with less. At the end of the day, Justin Jefferson is very deserving of the award. But was he more valuable to the Vikings than Hurts was to the Eagles? I'm not so sure. If Jalen Hurts gets the chance to hold the Lombardi Trophy and possibly the Super Bowl MVP trophy Sunday, I'm not so sure he'll care about missing out on being named Offensive Player of the Year.
MORE: The Eagles Should Make Jalen Hurts Their QB of the Future -- It's Time To Pay the Man
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