Kyler Murray Earns Second NFC Offensive Player of the Week Award
Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray continued the team's three-week streak of having an NFC Player of the Week Wednesday, as he was named the offensive standout for his performance in Week 7. It was the second time Murray earned that distinction in three weeks and he is just the second player in team history to win the award in that time frame, joining quarterback Boomer Esiason in 1996.
After Week 5, Murray again earned the offensive distinction. In Week 6, safety Budda Baker won it for his defensive effort against the Dallas Cowboys. After the Cardinals' comeback victory on Sunday night against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 7, Murray took home the Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this year. He is the first Cardinal since quarterback Kurt Warner in 2009 to win the award twice in a season and he still has nine games remaining.
Murray was poised when his team trailed the Seahawks 10-0 early on and even more so when driving down the field trailing by three with under a minute left and no timeouts. He finished the game completing 34-of-48 passes for 360 yards, three passing touchdowns and a scoring run. It was his seventh rushing touchdown of the year, breaking quarterback Jim Hart's franchise record for scores on the ground in a season by a quarterback.
"I thought he was phenomenal," Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Sunday. "Super competitive. He had that look in his eyes the whole game."
Murray set other records Sunday, too, becoming the first player in NFL history to pass for at least 350 yards and three touchdowns with at least 50 rushing yards and a touchdown in a single game. He also became the first player in NFL history to accomplish the feat six times in the first seven games of a season.
Just seven games into the 2020 campaign, Murray already has established a franchise single-season record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback. Murray and New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton — who rushed for seven scores in as many games in 2011 — are the only quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era with at least seven rushing touchdowns through the first seven games of a season.
"I don't think I smiled all game, honestly," Murray said Sunday. "Just because it felt like we just had to have our head down, just keep grinding because we play against (Seahawks quarterback) Russell (Wilson). For me, personally, my mindset was just, 'Move the ball. Do what I do. Move the ball. Be myself and lead the guys down the field. Make smart decisions. Take care of the ball.' And, like I said, be myself.
"Whatever I see, go with it, trust it and do it with conviction. Let my guys — obviously we've got a lot of playmakers on my team on the offense — get the ball in their hands and let them do what they do."
However, Murray did appear to smile just before hitting receiver DeAndre Hopkins for a 35-yard touchdown, as captured by the game broadcast.
Murray out-dueled Wilson, the Las Vegas favorite for NFL MVP. While Wilson finished with more passing yards, Murray had more completions on fewer throws. The big difference, though, was Murray's one interception to Wilson's three.
Wednesday's news represents the third career Offensive Player of the Week award for Murray. It is the fourth time in team history that the Cardinals have had player-of-the-week winners in three straight weeks after doing so in Weeks 14-16 of 2015; Weeks 8-10 of 2014; and Weeks 15-17 of 1998.