What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Today’s Take: Kyler Murray is the best young quarterback in the NFL nobody is talking about
The Argument: When discussion of the National Football League turns to the subject of young quarterbacks, the oxygen gets sucked out of the room by the idolatry of Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, and the like. But there’s one guy who is not getting any attention, despite the fact he’s had arguably the greatest rookie season of any quarterback currently in the NFL.
Before last night when he won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award, you didn’t hear his name mentioned much. I still don’t think you’re going to hear it much going forward. Even today, after winning that award, I saw knuckleheads posting his stats side-by-side with those of Garnder Minshew.
It probably has to do with the fact the Arizona Cardinals simply aren’t a very good football team, but something is happening in the desert of which NFL fans may want to make note. In yet another validation of my “Tebow Theory,” another offense designed around a “non-traditional” quarterback is showing tremendous potential. Like I said, all the talk about young quarterbacks in the NFL is going in directions other than toward Arizona’s Kyler Murray, and that’s just wrong. For all the “stat-quaoters,” there’s a number that jumps off the page about his guy; in his rookie season, Murray racked up 3,500 passing yards and 500 rushing yards. Only one other quarterback has ever done that has done that; Cam Newton during his MVP Season in 2015.
Having an effective combination of quarterback, coach, and offensive philosophy is clearly the model for success in the NFL. Brady/Belichick was yesterday and Mahomes/Reid are today. But this model is also clearly in play in Arizona. The combination of Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury is clearly working, but what the Cardinals don’t have are the supporting cast to bring it all to fruition. Imagine what Murray could be doing if the Cardinals had any weapons around him. Don’t forget that not only are the Cardinals lacking a lot of talent, but Murray racked up those numbers in a division featuring two double-digit-win play-off teams and a defending NFC champion.
The bottom line: Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes are getting all the attention for being the best young quarterbacks in the NFL. Kyler Murray is every bit as good as they are; he might even be better. Murray just pulled off an MVP-caliber season leading a team laden with a major talent deficit, and one can’t help but wonder what he would do with an improved supporting cast.
Change my mind.
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