Monday, September 28, 2020

Is Kyler Murray A MVP Dark Horse?

Kyler Murray had a good first season in the NFL. He is now about to head into his second season as a starting quarterback in the NFL for the Arizona Cardinals. Is he a dark horse for the MVP award?

Kyler Murray certainly showed he is capable of becoming one of the best quarterbacks in the league in 2019, with 3,722 passing yards and 20 passing touchdowns as well as 4 rushing touchdowns and 544 rushing yards.

Murray was accompanied by a receiver room that included Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk. Fitzgerald caught for 4 touchdowns and 804 receiving yards whereas Kirk caught for 709 passing yards and 3 touchdowns.

Kyler Murray and Larry Fitzgerald.

Arizona managed to pull off the biggest shock in the off season by managing to trade for Deandre Hopkins, a player who recorded 1,165 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. In 2019, Hopkins caught for as many touchdowns as Kirk and Fitzgerald combined and caught for way more receiving yards.

This adds plenty of firepower to this Cardinals offense. To add a top wideout can elevate both Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals.

The Arizona Cardinals reached the big game when they faced the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl 43 in February 2009. They ultimately fell short, losing late on in the fourth quarter to a Santonio Holmes touchdown with just 35 seconda remaining.

Santonio Holmes catching the Super Bowl winning touchdown.

They have been close since, losing 49-15 to the Carolina Panthers in the 2016 NFC Championship game. In 2018, the Cardinals finished 3-13, granting them the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. New head coach Kliff Kingsbury and the Cardinals picked Kyler Murray first overall, much to the delight of Josh Rosen.

Murray’s height of 5”10 was a concern coming into the NFL and his offensive line soon became a bigger problem. Murray was the joint third most sacked quaterback in 2019 (48) and the Cardinals need to address this. The Cardinals drafted highly rated linebacker Isaah Simmons eighth overall in the 2020 NFL Draft but their next pick was not until the third round.

Simmons impressed in his time in college with Clemson.

The Cardinals took offensive tackle Josh Jones out of Houston 72nd overall and no other offensive lineman was taken by Arizona.

Is This Enough To Help Kyler Murray?

For me, the Cardinals have not adressed their problem position. Whilst Isaah Simmons is a cant-miss prospect, they perhaps should have prioritised the offensive lineman position.

Kyler Murray needs protection to ultimately fulfil his potential and have a great NFL career. If you look at all the MVPs of the past, they also had a great supporting cast around them in the offensive line position.

We saw with Deshaun Watson on Thursday night how much he needs a good offensive line.

Murray however, is a definite MVP darkhorse with his ability to make a play out of nowhere. In a tough NFC West division, if the Cardinals can make the play offs then Murray would go from darkhorse to contender for the MVP award.

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