He was on another level
Hopefully, for Cardinals fans, Kyler Murray’s wizardry against the Titans on Sunday is a sign of things to come.
Arizona dominated Tennessee in Week 1, cruising to a 38–13 victory. The Cardinals defense sacked Ryan Tannehill six times and held Derrick Henry to just 58 yards on 17 carries, but it was the team’s offense that really turned heads. Murray was unstoppable. He completed 21 of 32 passes for 289 yards and four touchdowns, and added another 20 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
But the box score alone can’t do Murray’s day justice. He made a bunch of jaw-dropping plays that you have to see to believe.
His first touchdown of the day was a five-yard strike to DeAndre Hopkins where he was forced back 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage, scrambled to safety and delivered a pinpoint-accurate bullet while running at close to full speed. (Hopkins’s catch wasn’t too shabby, either.)
His rushing touchdown was way too easy. The Cardinals lined up in a heavy set and near the goal line and got the Titans' defense to bite hard on a fake handoff as Murray used his elite acceleration to leave everyone in the dust and trot into the corner of the end zone.
The play that attracted the most attention was this one, which came on a third down in the middle of the second quarter. Murray was chased from the pocket and scrambled halfway to Memphis before delivering a great pass to Rondale Moore for the first down. Pay special attention to how Murray throws the ball to a spot where Moore doesn’t have to worry about keeping his feet inbounds but also doesn’t have to worry about the defense:
As amazing as that play was, my favorite one might have been this bomb to Christian Kirk. Murray, again, was forced to deal with heavy pressure, but he knew he had Kirk running free down the sideline. He backpedaled to avoid the rush and did what every coach tells quarterbacks not to do: Throw off your back foot. Murray’s off-balance heave was actually a picture-perfect pass that fell right into Kirk’s hands.
Murray has been one of the most exciting players in the NFL since he entered the league in 2019. But exciting and effective can be two very different descriptors. It was clear coming out of Oklahoma that Murray would be a thrilling player to watch, it just wasn’t until his Pro Bowl season in 2020 that it looked like those thrills would translate into wins for the Cardinals. But Sunday’s game showed that Murray’s arm is catching up to his legs. He looked like Aaron Rodgers throwing on the run but at twice the speed. If Murray keeps playing like that, good luck trying to stop the Cardinals.
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Chandler Jones was just as incredible as Murray, so much so that the lineman he kept beating owned up to it on Twitter after the game
Pitching it 10 yards backward on fourth-and-1 seems ... suboptimal
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The stadium says it was just rainwater and the fans watched the rest of the game from a suite
An immaculate inning during a seven-inning perfect game bid!
These fans in Miami made the catch of the weekend
Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott had a horrible injury Sunday but made a young fan’s day at the hospital
Homer college announcers are the best
I loved the FSU cheerleaders’ reactions to the miraculous ending
Presbyterian coach Kevin Kelley is doing some funky stuff
X Games gold medalist Robbie Maddison flipped a bike off a ramp hanging from a helicopter
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A good song
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