Kyler Murray had a very tough go in his second preseason game as a pro, leaving the match down 26–finishing the night with negative yardage. Murray was not great — but was bad as it looked, or is there any reason for hope?
Kyler Murray had a rough Thursday night, and also the world wide web is freaking out. It all started out so well this past week. Murray played just one series in his very first game as a professional, completing his first six passes and contributing his Arizona Cardinals to the border of scoring position before exiting.
Murray had a far worse outing Thursday from the Oakland Raiders. He performed much of their first halfand from the time he left, Murray and the Cards trailed the Raiders 26 to zip.
Along with the world wide web, predictably, melted.
Let’s start with the damage. There’s a lot of it.
Murray played four drives from the Raiders. These drives obtained -10, and 13, -6, -10 yards. Altogether, Murray played with most of the first half, which makes the match almost exactly halfway through the next quarter. The Cardinals had just 8 minutes and 21 minutes of possession from four possessions. Back in 15 offensive plays, they combined to lose 13 yards.
Murray ran once for 3 yards, a designed run on his very first play from scrimmage. He completed just 3 of 8 passes for only 12 yards, a measly 1.5 yards per attempt. Murray needed a 45.8 quarterback rate for the day. He had three penalties himself a delay of game and two false starts — and was sacked twice. One of those was his final play of the day, an 11-yard sack at the end zone for a safety that stopped his night. When he left the game, the Cardinals were trailing 26–0.
In the middle of the second quarter –into the RAIDERS.
Calling Murray’s consequences ugly is a insult to the word awful. But was it as bad as it seemed?
Let us dig a little deeper into the circumstances. There’s some good and some bad. The poor? Murray played all of his time with both David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald on the area, so it is not like he didn’t have any talent . Fitz and also DJ shared three targets. They captured one of them lost three yards. Welp. Johnson rushed four times for six yards. Loads of single digits.
The Cardinals had just one first down in Murray’s time around the area. It came from a defensive penalty, illegal hands to the facearea. Recall how Murray abandoned the match down 26–0? On the next play the Cards conducted, backup QB Brett Hundley threw a touchdown. Arizona outscored Oakland 26–7 with no Murray.
But there was maybe not in Murray’s favor. The game could not get anything going, along with the offensive line set in a miserable performance. Oakland blitzed Murray ancient and often, hoping to induce the rookie into quick conclusions, and he was projecting his back all game.
Arizona’s four forces that were Murray began about 24, 25, the 10, along with line. He faced a 3rd and 11, 3rd and 12, both 3rd and 13, 3rd and 17, as well as 3rd and 25 on different drives. That’s a whole lot of awful field positions and disadvantageous scenarios for any quarterback to maintain, let alone as green as Murray. The 1 time Murray faced a 3rd and short, David Johnson ripped off a major run to get a first down… and got called back on a holding penalty. The Cardinals just couldn’t catch any rhythm.
The simple reality is that almost any cop would have struggled in Murray’s area. The Arizona offensive line was awful, and Murray had a guy or two in his face over minutes after the snap just about every play. He played every snap with his back against his own goal line and’d zero plays in a place where the offense had an benefit. He did not perform nicely however quarterbacks could have.
Murray’s game wasn’t an indictment in his height or his armhis decisions, nor his long run. If anything, it may have been an indictment of Kliff Kingsbury’s crime — although that struggles to maintain up if the Cardinals scored 26 points after Murray left. Maybe the Raiders defense is simply that good. Perhaps it was only four poor forces.
More probable than anything else is the fact that Kingsbury is probably keeping things pretty vanilla in the preseason. Why roll out your very best plays once the games do not matter and give your winning script? There is no reason to run Murray and put him at risk with nothing on the line.
Murray was not good Thursday night but he wasn’t terrible either. He simply never had much of an opportunity to start with. It is far too soon to draw some conclusions.
Murray stays the significant Rookie of the Year favorite, +165 in Bovada. The Cardinals are +600 to make the playoffs, or +10000 to acquire at the Super Bowl, if you are feeling lucky. If you’re a bit more bearish on Arizona’s opportunities, they are +750 to complete with the worst record in the NFL. Happy gambling.
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