Murray Ranked High in Deep-Ball Passing in 2019

Howard Balzer

On one level, it’s interesting to learn that Pro Football Focus ranked Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray sixth in the league last season in deep-ball passing, which they evaluate based on passes of at least 20 yards.

That’s the good news. The bad news? PFF has Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes ranked ninth. That is not a typo. If that doesn’t make anyone wonder about the rankings, what would?

Overall, Mahomes averaged 8.33 yards per attempt and 12.6 per completion. Murray’s numbers in those categories were 6.87 and 10.7.

Surely, PFF’s defense would be that their numbers remove those 20-yard-plus plays and ignore everything else.

Still, it does create questions.

PFF wrote, “Kyler Murray showed well despite not having a huge amount of help when it came to receiving weapons deep down the field.”

No argument there. They calculated that Murray completed 41.9 percent of those pass attempts with a passer rating of 94.5.

Another site, Player Profiler, gave a minus-1.90 rating for Murray’s supporting cast, which was 20th in the NFL.

Nor debate there, either. The addition of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will certainly increase that number.

Interestingly, Player Profiler had Murray with 70 attempts of 20 yards or more, while PFF had that total at 62. It does reveal that even when sites try to use numbers to evaluate, there remains a good amount of subjectivity that determines the results.

For the record, the five quarterbacks ahead of Murray were Seattle’s Russell Wilson, Houston’s Deshaun Watson, Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew, Dak Prescott of Dallas and Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger, although Roethlisberger’s rank was based on his 2018 season.

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