For Jalen Hurts, This Is All Routine

The Eagles QB knew he’d get to this place—MVP candidate for a Super Bowl favorite—just as surely as he knew no one else believed it. The MVP candidate is everywhere, but

while everything is different now, it’s always the same him. His face is blank and expressionless, whether on the mirrors lining a wall in a small space adjacent to the Eagles’

locker room, or on the TV nearby, where he’s building a candidacy no one else expected. It’s always the same look with Jalen Hurts, even after touchdowns: stoic, intense,

firm and unfeeling; his countenance so consistent that it might seem like an act, an I-work-too-hard reply to the what’s-your-biggest-weakness question at a job interview. But

here he is now, the real him—same face, same demeanor, same everything—sitting atop a swivel chair on a Friday afternoon in mid-December. For a man whose own brother refers

to him as “The Robot,” even a routine haircut is anything but. Because this is Hurts, the doubted-but-never-deterred Eagles quarterback, his eyes scan for holes in his preferred

fade. They spot tiny imperfections, mistakes the size of a needlepoint, while signaling the makeup of a man who wears a cloak of self-assuredness. Hurts doesn’t simply get his

hair cut; he directs the barber like he orchestrates the lethal offense of a Super Bowl contender. Right there. Little higher. At this point, it’s two days before Hurts and

the Eagles will play the Bears in Chicago. Win and Philadelphia will move closer to locking up the NFC’s No. 1 seed. Everything—his fade, his season, his career—is going exactly

as planned. At least for another 48 hours.