Two weeks into the 2020 NFL season Kyler Murray is starting to draw comparisons to Lamar Jackson. Will his second season end the same way?
Like Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray came into the NFL with a lot of promise. Arizona Cardinals fans looked at Murray, a Heisman Trophy winner (like Jackson), and hoped he could be the next great franchise quarterback for their team.
But, like Jackson, many had their doubts about him. He was too small. He cannot see over his offensive line. He’ll get crushed by the first defensive lineman or linebacker that tackles him. There is no way his game will translate to the NFL. Dual-threat quarterbacks are a gimmick that works in college, not in professional football.
But Murray was still selected with the first pick of the draft. Jackson didn’t go until the end of the first round. While their entry into the NFL was different, the result was the same.
They were both left with something to prove. Jackson needed to prove everyone was wrong for passing on him. Murray needs to prove the Cardinals did not make a mistake by taking him when they did. After winning regular-season MVP honors last year, his second season in the NFL, it is safe to say Jackson has proven his doubters wrong.
Could Kyler Murray be this year’s Lamar Jackson? He sure makes defenders miss like Jackson:
Murray entered his second season as a more-known commodity than Jackson did entering his after starting every game as a rookie (and winning Offensive Rookie of the Year honors). While he had some great moments, he also had his share of not-so-good ones.
But there was hope.
The talent, skill, and athleticism necessary for success were there. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury just needed to figure out how to draw it all out and put it on display. Then the Cardinals traded for the best wide receiver in the NFL, DeAndre Hopkins. Two games into their marriage, they look like a match made in gridiron heaven.
The passing game is working well, and with defenses so concerned about Hopkins, it is not as easy to take away the run. So far, Murray is making them pay (21 carries for 158 yards and three touchdowns). Murray is contributing over 300 total yards a game total.
More importantly, the Cardinals are winning games—and not just the easy ones. Yes, Washington was easy, but beating the 49ers in Week One sure wasn’t.
His efforts have not gone unnoticed. After starting the season with +2000 odds to win MVP, his odds are now down to +1125 (odds via SportsBettingDime.com).
Last season, fans got to see Lamar Jackson explode onto the scene and stake his claim as one of the NFL’s best young quarterbacks.
Some will say it’s too soon for Murray to do the same, probably the same ones who thought it was too soon for Lamar Jackson last year. But if you wait to get behind him, it will be a lot harder to say, “I knew it!” when Murray is named MVP.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.