We're officially one week into the NFL season, and although the Arizona Cardinals got off to an impressive 38-13 victory over the Tennessee Titans, fans in the desert woke up on Wednesday morning with something to complain about.
Matthew Stafford won the NFC's Offensive Player of the Week award resulting from his performance in the Los Angeles Rams' 34-14 victory over the Chicago Bears. Stafford completed 20 of 26 attempts for 321 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday night, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to win on his team's debut while passing for 300 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, according to Elias Sports Bureau research. His passer rating was 156.1.
It was a great night for Stafford in his first official appearance in a Rams uniform. Despite Stafford's performance, many believed another quarterback within the NFC West had locked up player of the week honors.
Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray completed 21 of 32 passes for 289 yards and four touchdown passes with one interception and a passer rating of 121.0. Murray also added another 20 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground against the Titans.
It is important to note that Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week.
Murray touched on his lone interception thrown after the game.
"That interception shouldn’t have happened, but at the end of the day, there’s adversity in every game," said Murray.
"That was a little bit of ours, and we faced it. We had a lot of early penalties that were stalling a drive that we could’ve handled and made it a little easier. But at the end of the day, I think all of it is good for us to go through early in the season. That way, we clean it up, go back to work and understand what we have to do. Like I said, I’m proud of the way the guys fought today."
Murray's four-touchdown performance through the air was the first time the third-year quarterback had done so in his career, becoming the first Cardinals quarterback since Carson Palmer to accomplish the feat. Sunday also made Murray the second player in NFL history with 50 or more touchdown passes and 15 or more rushing touchdowns in their first 33 games, joining former Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper.
While Stafford's debut with Los Angeles has more significance in regards for Week-1 performances, it's hard to argue against Murray's overall display of dominance on the road in Tennessee.
Murray's next opportunity will come at home in Week 2, as the Cardinals return to State Farm Stadium to host the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday.