By Quetzalcóatl Flores (@Quetzalcoatl_)
Now Arizona Cardinals QB sensation Kyler Murray was a year ago overrated. He seemed like an ordinary “running quarterback”, risking the ball in an offensive system without credibility from the hand of a head coach. most famous for the interior views of his home that for his blank in the NFL
In his third season as the Cardinals’ starting QB, Kyler Murray is showing improvement over last season, which as we know started irregularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, coach Kliff Kingsbury and his team were finally able to have a fit preseason, in which the offense had a chance to work smoothly, unlike in 2020 when Murray did not have time to build the necessary chemistry with his newcomer. acquired WR DeAndre Hopkins.
An atypical 2020 season
Last season Murray and the Cardinals looked good starting 6-3, and from that moment the QB already sounded like a candidate for MVP, giving good games both by passing and using his legs, something that has characterized him as a double threat for the opposites; but after a last second triumph with the famous “Hail Murray”, the team went down, losing 5 of their last 7 games.
In one of them, against the Miami Dolphins, Murray suffered a shoulder injury, which caused his average rushing yards to drop from averaging. 67.9 yards per game at 34.5.
This is how we buried the growth narrative that Kyler Murray had already demonstrated by a simple turn of the page, as a story of streaks to which the Cardinals have us so accustomed throughout their history.
2021 is here, where did we go wrong with Kyler Murray?
This year, the preseason work shows, Murray was able to work with his receiving corps, adding veteran AJ Green, who appears to still have gas in the tank. In addition, management helped improve the offensive line by bringing in Rodney Hudson. It is also evident that the playcalling Kingsbury has been much more efficient than last season. Murray looks in total control of this offense, where we are having production from his receivers and now even the tight ends are helping.
If to that we add great support from James Conner in the running game, the result is a QB who looks comfortable, making correct readings of his goals as well as the opposing defenses and showing that he has a great touch to the ball. time to throw his passes, in addition to good pocket management, so at this moment he is averaging 302.4 yards per game, with 75.15% of passes completeds; this when last season by now averaged 247.8 yards per game with 65.85% completed passes.
And what happens when you have to deal with pass rush? No problem, Murray has shown since the beginning of his career how elusive he has running with the ball. His short stature makes it even more difficult to knock him down, in addition to that he is making better decisions when going out in the race – trying to find a receiver first before going out, and avoid unnecessary blows – and it shows in the statistics; last year after 6 meetings I had 51 carries for 370 yards, while this season has 30 attempts for 110 yards.
This is an unequivocal sign that the playcalling Kingsbury has improved so that the QB’s runs are the last resort, that the team has more and better talent to support him, and that Kyler Murray is evolving as a quarterback in the NFL.
What does Kyler Murray need to improve?
Something in which he has to improve is that at times he seems to want to make extra efforts, forcing passes to players well covered by defenders or making passes without being well planted at the moment of throwing, which in some games has gone well thanks to his arm, but in other encounters it has led him to deliver the ball to the opponent.
Let’s say he has to learn from the misfortunes of Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, who this year suffer from the same problem and not even the immense talent of his quarterback is saving him from having turnovers that cost them points and games. Patience will need to come to Murray sooner rather than later to keep the Cardinals competitive.
Can you be a true MVP candidate this year?
At the rate he is going, Kyler Murray looks like a serious candidate by the NFC for the MVP award: The Cardinals are undefeated thanks to Murray playing much smarter and distributing the game with his various goals on offense.
For me it is valid to pose it as such: the MVP is that piece of jenga, Which, if you take it off, the whole building falls apart, and right now Kyler Murray is at that point. If he can continue these good performances, improving his readings, taking better care of the ball without risking it, and avoiding unnecessary hits, he is very likely to be a strong MVP candidate for the rest of the NFL.
At the moment, this year the path to that award looks quite close, as there are several players who are being the backbone of their respective teams. However, we must not forget that the most unlikely and meteoric of all could be this Kyler Murray with his Cardinals.
What do you think of the performance of Kyler Murray and his Cardinals at the moment in the 2021 NFL Season? We read you under the comments of this article and on our social networks.