Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray once again did not have a pretty game. But he did enough to keep his team in it.
Once again, the Arizona Cardinals looked like a terrible football team. Down 20-0 at halftime, it was here we go again following a disheartening loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in which the Cards allowed 37 points in three quarters.
Yeah, the team struggled with injuries. But in the NFL, injuries are inevitable, and the next man up should be capable of doing a decent job. We saw this occur today, with Marquise Brown looking solid as the WR1 with six catches on 11 targets. Once again, Greg Dortch, in for an injured Rondale Moore, stole the show with four catches on four targets for 55 yards and a touchdown.
Earlier in the day, I had Dortch slated to play a great game. While statistically he didn’t look as good as I thought he would, four catches for 55 yards and a touchdown is good enough to fulfill the role he played.
But if there was one player to help elevate others today, it was quarterback Kyler Murray. This time last season, and really, dating back to his rookie year, when Murray faced adversity, he was likely to fold. Not all the time, but we saw it time and again, including the embarrassing wildcard playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Kyler Murray looked like the Arizona Cardinals franchise quarterback
Now that he’s being paid like a franchise quarterback, Murray needed to start acting like one. He failed in Week 1 vs. the Chiefs before leading the Cardinals to a comeback win in a game where they outscored the Las Vegas Raiders 29-3 in the second half, including 22 unanswered points.
Murray, despite a 76.7 passer rating and a pick, threw for one touchdown, had an outstanding scamper to convert a two-point conversion, rushed for the game-tying touchdown on the final play of regulation, and heaved a prayer past a sea of defenders to A.J. Green to force overtime.
In 2020, we raved about the Hail Murray, but this one was about three Hail Murrays within a span of a half-quarter. This is what franchise quarterbacks do: They win games just when it looks like their team hit rock bottom.
From Tom Brady to Ben Roethlisberger, John Elway, and every great franchise quarterback this game has seen before or since had quarterbacks who could pull off the inevitable time and again. Murray hasn’t proved he’s a franchise quarterback. But he did show leadership ability, poise, and collectiveness demanded from franchise quarterbacks.
(Statistics provided by ESPN.com)