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Alabama in the Pros

Will Jalen Hurts end a 40-year drought for Alabama football?

Jalen Hurts (#1) runs for a 26-yard touchdown for Eagles versus Vikings on Monday Night Football
Eric Hartline - USA Today Sports

Alabama fans will be glued to televisions Saturday, hoping the moment has arrived.

Richard Todd is not the greatest quarterback in Crimson Tide football history, but he has carried the program for 40 years in one category. Todd is the lone former Alabama signal-caller to win an NFL playoff game as a starting quarterback.

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He did it for the New York Jets in 1982, earning a 17-14 victory over the Los Angeles Raiders. No other quarterback for the Tide has won a playoff game as a starter, but Saturday could see a change. Jalen Hurts leads the Philadelphia Eagles into the NFC Divisional Round against the New York Giants. The matchup will air on FOX as the Eagles enter as the No. 1 seed. Hurts finished his collegiate career at Oklahoma, but he spent his first three years at the University of Alabama — earning his bachelor’s degree. 

Hurts assisted the Tide to two Southeastern Conference Championships (2016 and 2018), including a 26-23 comeback victory over Georgia in the 2018 SEC Championship Game. He paced Alabama to a College Football Playoff National Championship in 2017 and garnered several individual accolades. Hurts has played like the Most Valuable player in the National Football League, totaling 3,701 passing yards and 35 total touchdowns. He is the leading candidate in the MVP race, and his legend will grow more if he leads the Eagles to a victory over the Giants. Droughts have to end at some point, and Hurts looks to end a 40-year one for Alabama.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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