Thursday is MVP! Named MVP to everyone’s surprise last season, Lamar Jackson is having a lot more trouble this season. Yet another rather similar quarterback is gaining more and more attention every week. If this famous pass for DeAndre Hopkins that we could rename the “Hail Murray” particularly highlighted this Sunday, Kyler Murray displays figures that challenge to the point of being ahead of the lap times of his predecessor from last season. But are the two quarterbacks that much alike?
Ahead of Lamar Jackson’s MVP season
A real catalyst for the very good first half of the season for the Cardinals, leaders of the best division in the league, Kyler Murray is currently on his way to become the first player in history to combine 4000 yards on the pass and 1000 yards on the ground in a season. He is also on the basis of a season with more than 30 touchdowns thrown and 15 touchdowns on the ground, which will also be a first. Right now, Murray dominates all the other quarterbacks at yards running and touchdowns running. The last to have achieved such a performance over a full season? Cam Newton in 2015 and elected MVP that year.
But the Cardinals quarterback has already started to fill his book of records. He is already the first player in history with at least one passing touchdown and one running touchdown in five consecutive games. This season, he has even achieved it eight times, which equals the NFL record. A record that should fall very quickly. Kyler Murray also became the first player since 1950 to score more than 15 passing touchdowns and more than 10 running touchdowns in his team’s first 10 games.
For his second season in the league, Murray has nothing to envy to the 2015 seasons of Cam Newton or 2019 of Lamar Jackson who were both elected MVP.
Last season, Ravens’ QB Lamar Jackson won NFL MVP. Through the first half of this season, Cardinals’ QB Kyler Murray has been even better. pic.twitter.com/yKf4MSNofk
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 12, 2020
An air of deja vu
Make no mistake about it. Much like Lamar Jackson last season, making a real difference for Kyler Murray is happening in his running ability. On his own, Murray (604 yards on the run) is only 73 yards behind all the Seahawks running backs combined. As for touchdowns on the ground, the Arizona quarterback is even ahead (10 against 9). And generally speaking, in games called for a quarterback run, Murray very clearly dominates the NFL.
Last season, Lamar Jackson exposed the type of attack that can dominate defenses with a ground play-centric approach. What’s different this year is that Cardinals boss Kliff Kingsbury isn’t basing his offense on quarterback racing games. On the other hand, he knew how to perfectly integrate the capacities of his prodigy into his system. And while Jackson was sometimes mocked for his passing abilities, which some considered to be very insufficient, Murray stood out in this area, especially on deep passes. His pass for the victory against the Bills proves it, but even over the full season, he posts 6 touchdowns and no interceptions on the passes that cover more than 20 yards in the air. And his 129.1 rating in that area puts him in 6th place in the NFL.
It’s certain that the Cardinals pitcher has already shown more limits on short and intermediate passes. But we’re talking about a 23-year-old player who is only playing his second season in the big league.
Already observed in recent weeks, the cross hunt between Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes seems to be confirmed. The Seahawks quarterback showed a worrying level of play in some stretches against the Rams while his biggest competitor was on the week off. Behind, Aaron Rodgers consolidates his place on the podium while Alvin Kamara confirms his foray into the top 5 and Kyler Murray makes a very noticed entry.
1- Patrick Mahomes (+1) Quarterback – Kansas City Chiefs (8-1)
9 games – 2,687 yards at 66.9% – 25 touchdowns, 1 interception – 36 runs, 165 yards, 2 touchdowns – 110.5 evaluation
2- Russell Wilson (-1) Quarterback – Seattle Seahawks (6-3)
9 games – 2789 yards at 69.8% – 28 touchdowns, 10 interceptions – 45 runs, 325 yards, 1 touchdown – 117.1 evaluation
3- Aaron Rodgers (-) Quarterback – Green Bay Packers (7-2)
9 games – 2578 yards at 67.8% – 26 touchdowns, 3 interceptions – 14 courses, 65 yards, 1 touchdown – Rating 116.4
4- Kyler Murray (+2) Quarterback – Arizona Cardinals (6-3)
9 games – 2375 yards at 68.2% – 17 touchdowns, 8 interceptions – 87 runs, 604 yards, 10 touchdowns – 98.2 evaluation
5- Alvin Kamara (-1) Running Back – New Orleans Saints (7-2)
9 games – 104 runs, 486 yards at 4.7 yards / stroke, 7 touchdowns – 67 receptions, 648 yards at 9.7 yards / reception, 4 touchdowns
T.J. Watt (LB, Steelers) – 30 tackles, 9 sacks, 3 defended passes, 1 interception
Derek Carr (QB, Raiders) – 2156 yards at 69.3% of passes completed, 16 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 107.4 evaluation
Josh Allen (QB, Bills) – 2871 yards at 68.4% of passes completed, 21 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 103.2 evaluation
Myles Garrett (DE, Browns) – 31 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 covered fumbles
DeAndre Hopkins (WR, Cardinals) – 861 yards receiving at 12.9 yards / receiving, 4 touchdowns
Tom Brady (QB, Buccaneers) – 2739 yards at 66% of passes completed, 23 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 99 evaluation
Dalvin Cook (RB, Vikings) – 954 yards on the ground at 5.5 yards / stroke, 12 touchdowns – 20 receptions for 189 yards, 1 touchdown