Patrick Mahomes vs. Jalen Hurts: Story from the tape as Chiefs and Eagles QBs face off in Super Bowl 2023

Super Bowl LVII is a highly anticipated game for many reasons – 57, if you count. One of the best reasons to connect, however, is the pair of starting quarterbacks. Not only do the Chiefs arguably have the contemporary face of the league in Patrick Mahomes, who is making his third Super Bowl appearance in just five seasons as a starter; but the Eagles have one of Mahomes’ newest challengers for the upcoming rising superstar in Jalen Hurts, a finalist for NFL MVP at 24.

Together, Hurts and Mahomes have already made history, as they will be the first pair of African American QBs never go to a Super Bowl. But they are also impressive talents on their own. As we prepare to see them battle it out on the biggest stage to close out the 2022 season, here’s everything you need to know about their respective journeys:

The basics

Jalen hurts

24 3rd 6-1



2020 (2.53)

Patrick Mahomes

27 6th 6-2


Texas technology

2017 (1.10)

Physically speaking, you might be surprised to learn that Hurts and Mahomes are of similar height, at least on paper: neither boasts the towering height of counterparts like Justin Herbert (6-6) or Josh Allen (6-5). In reality, the Eagles QB is a bit stockier, but more than that he tends to play lower to the ground, evoking a running back’s posture as a refined, hard-nosed ball carrier.

Hurts and Mahomes are certainly making the most of their “average” builds in this position. Hurts’ powerlifting background has been well documented, and he plays with visible strength as a stack pusher on frequent QB stealths or red zone carries, even though he lacks the oversized mass of doubles. past threats like Cam Newton. It wasn’t until this year that he also showcased a high-end passing touch down, abruptly erasing concerns dating back to college about his natural ability to put enough speed on throws all over the court – probably one of the reasons he slipped deep in the second round of the 2020 draft.

Mahomes is a much less natural runner, although he still excels as a scrambler in an upright stance. His bread and butter is, well, the kind of quarterback no one else can pull off consistently – an exceptionally athletic blend of a point guard’s instincts and a stopper’s flexible arm angles. -short. Much of his acting seems – and sometimes is – off-script and out of structure, but Mahomes’ genius lends his natural gifts to crafted creativity, which ends up being so unusual it’s just appears hectic. The tools were all there when he was drafted 10th overall in 2017; he just needed a trainer and a setup to unlock them properly.

Career numbers

Jalen hurts








Patrick Mahomes








It’s a little unfair to pit Mahomes’ numbers against, well, any QB who isn’t already geared up for a future Hall of Fame jacket. But the basic career benchmarks tell a few different stories: No. 1, again, Mahomes’ production was absolutely insane. It’s no exaggeration that he’s already a Hall of Fame contender after just five years as a starter. Hurts just finished an MVP-caliber season, for crying out loud, and yet his career-high assists are 19 scores short of what Mahomes kicked off This year, his own (second) MVP campaign. 2, Hurts’ numbers suffer a bit from the 19 games he has started between 2020-21. That’s not to say they don’t matter, but they do deserve some context: Four of those departures came at the very end of Doug Pederson’s tenure as head coach, when the Eagles finished 4-11- 1 before a major transformation; and 15 came during Nick Sirianni’s first year as head coach, when the game changed hands midway through the year and the entire squad was markedly less talented.

Playoff numbers

Jalen hurts







Patrick Mahomes







If you want another reason why Mahomes already has a strong case for being Hall of Fame bound, here we go. In five short years as a starting QB in the NFL, he’s essentially already compiled a full season of MVP-caliber numbers, not to mention a whopping three Super Bowl berths. The intriguing thing with Hurts is that, despite his meteoric rise as a passer in 2022, he’s still on the hunt for a truly memorable playoff performance. His first post-season game came in the Eagles’ 2021 Finals, a crushing loss to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in which the Tampa Bay forward quickly made him uncomfortable (and almost ruined his passer rating above). This year, Hurts went 2-0 while relying more on his legs, guiding heavier game plans while a sack-happy defense had after the Giants and 49ers. He thinks he’s more involved in the air this time around, against KC’s secondary.

best season

Jalen Hurts (2022): 3,701 yards (66.5 percent completion), 22 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 101.5 rating, 760 rushing yards, 13 touchdowns, 14-1 record

Patrick Mahomes (2018): 5,097 yards (66% completion), 50 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 113.8 rating, 272 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns, 12-4 record

Considering Hurts only played three years and started full-time for two, it was a clear answer for the Eagles QB. He’s been reasonably effective in 2021, his first time as Philly’s QB1, delivering steady ground production while too often failing to find a rhythm in the air when it mattered most. This year, he looked like a totally different QB from the jump, showing improved arm strength, as well as confidence and aggression pushing the ball down. This could be seen in his modest but effective stats, which are far more special when you consider the fact that he also performed as a near-no. 1 ball carrier.

Mahomes may have just played his best season, casually eclipsing 5,000 yards and 40 touchdowns in his first year without the electric Tyreek Hill as No. 1 receiver. But it’s going to be tough for him to top the dynamism of his debut as a starter, when he sent bomb after bomb to Hill and Co., introducing the NFL to its high-octane gun.

worst season

Jalen Hurts (2020): 1,061 yards (52% completion), 6 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 77.6 rating, 354 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns, 1-3 record

Patrick Mahomes (2021): 4,839 yards (66.3 percent completion), 37 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 98.5 rating, 381 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns, 12-5 record

Hurts had just entered the scene in 2020, his rookie year, and while he offered flashes of life to a then-struggling Eagles offense, he was also at his most inaccurate, much preferring to flee the trouble scene rather than working through progressions as a setter. Much of this probably stemmed from circumstance, but it was still a completely mercurial start.

In the spirit of fairness, perhaps we should have highlighted Mahomes’ own rookie season, when he played just one game in Week 17 as Kansas City rested. No matter how you slice it, the two-time MVP just hasn’t had a “bad” year so far, at least by normal QB standards. His 2021 campaign was still well above average; it just saw him lean into his “backyard” tendencies a bit en route to more choices.

Super Bowl History

Patrick Mahomes

LIVE (2019)

F, 31-20

286 2 2 78.1

Patrick Mahomes

LV (2020)

L, 31-9

270 0 2 52.3

Mahomes clearly has the upper hand here, at least in terms of pure experience. But the numbers might be a little startling if you’ve gotten used to only browsing garish brands so far. We could excuse both picks against the 49ers due to nerves in his Super Bowl debut – Mahomes and the Chiefs won, after all, and he enjoyed Super Bowl MVP honors after helping guide 21 unanswered points . But he had virtually no response the following year, throwing another pair of interceptions in the face of relentless pressure from the Buccaneers behind a shoddy line. All that to say Mahomes may be otherworldly, but he’s not immune to a mistake or two on the big stage, which should cheer Hurts and an Eagles team that displayed a busy front four and secondary this postseason.

Fun facts

What are the full names of these QBs? How much did they earn? Here’s some other random information:

  • Full names: Jalen Alexander Hurts, Patrick Lavon Mahomes II
  • Career income: $4.6 million (Hurts), $78.2 million (Mahomes)
  • Birthplace : Houston, TX (bad), Tyler, TX (Mahomes)
  • Childhood homes: Channelview, TX (bad), Whitehouse, TX (Mahomes)
  • Other university sports: Powerlifting (Hurts), Baseball (Mahomes)
  • Favorite foods: Crawfish (hurts), ketchup (Mahomes)

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