Murphy has a big day
Perhaps no other Arizona Cardinal evolved more in the preseason than cornerback Byron Murphy. Murphy, like most starters, did not play often; but he shined when given the opportunity. Over the past two seasons, he showed potential to be a full-time starting cornerback.
Here in 2021, he finds himself atop the depth chart given Malcolm Butler‘s recent retirement. Murphy will take advantage of his newfound CB1 status and he will have a big day regardless of who he’s covering.
Let’s not be so bold and assume Murphy will evolve into the ballhawk slash shutdown corner Patrick Peterson was for most of his time in the desert. But given the sample size he showed in training camp and the preseason, he’s ready to make The Leap in Year 3.
As for Week 1, he may or may not record a turnover, which many consider a prerequisite for having a career outing. Instead, Murray will be a quiet yet big reason why the Cardinals can hang with the Titans and potentially win on Sunday by locking down opposing receivers.
Look for him to give up a low completion percentage, number of yards per catch and pass attempt, and to hold Tannehill to a low quarterback rating against him.