The Arizona Cardinals offense looked better than it had in almost any other week of the season with Colt McCoy running the show.
Right now, it’s Kliff Kingsbury: 1, Kyler Murray: 0, over who is ultimately to blame for the Arizona Cardinals offensive woes. McCoy came out and led the Cardinals to 27 offensive points, more than Murray had in any other game this season minus the 30 points put up against the New Orleans Saints in Week 7.
It further indicates that Murray may indeed be the worst quarterback taken first overall since Jameis Winston in 2015. Like Murray, Winston never led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a division title or even a postseason berth, yet one year after the Bucs rightfully gave up on him, 43-year-old Tom Brady stepped in as the missing puzzle piece and the rest was history.
Not comparing McCoy to Brady, so don’t even go that way if you think I’m implying that. What I’m merely saying is, looking at Murray’s credentials compared to that of Jared Goff’s, Joe Burrow’s, and even Baker Mayfield’s, he is fourth, with Burrow taking the top spot, Goff second, and Mayfield, third. Murray ranks ahead of Winston, however, since he at least got the Cardinals to the playoffs.
Arizona Cardinals backup quarterback has one trait Murray doesn’t have
Watching Kyler Murray play this season, I have seen a quarterback who plays not to lose, as opposed to playing to win. Murray looks more like Andy Dalton than he does a former first overall pick, trying to minimize his mistakes, yet ends up making mistakes. This was something I didn’t see from watching McCoy yesterday, or really, at any other time during his career.
Sure, Murray is light years ahead of McCoy in talent. But then again, how many NFL Draft analysts stated busts like Ryan Leaf was better than Peyton Manning, or that JaMarcus Russell was one of the best quarterback prospects they’d ever seen?
What I’m getting at is, talent can only take you so far. And given Murray’s regression, you have to ask whether he hit his high-water mark last season.
McCoy played with fearlessness. Not reckless abandon, but he played to win nonetheless. I saw a quarterback who wasn’t afraid to make a mistake if it meant trying to put his team in position to win. He performed his duty with grit, and it is another reason I believe McCoy should keep the starting job for the foreseeable future.
No, he shouldn’t be the long-term solution, but at this point, should Murray? The guy has looked like the definition of an NFL bust this season, constantly underperforming, shouting at his coach, snapping back at DeAndre Hopkins when the star receiver called him out, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. And it’s not like Murray’s immaturity and lack of leadership skills started this season.
McCoy also showed leadership, as he had since I watched him during his rookie season in 2010 when he was a member of the Cleveland Browns. No, he’s not the most talented quarterback. But his grit, leadership ability, and play-to-win attitude gives him traits Murray has yet to show.
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