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Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, the former two-sport star athlete who ultimately chose football over baseball, is beginning to see the hefty return on that investment of focus and energy.
Murray looks poised and confident in Year Three as a Cardinal, having improved as both as a passer and scrambler since being drafted No. 1 overall in 2019. One small milestone that he had yet to achieve, though, was beating conference rival the Los Angeles Rams, having gone 0-4 versus LA so far. On Sunday, Murray convincingly put that small nuisance to bed, scorching the Rams 37-20 on the road at SoFi Stadium.
Murray completed 24-of-32 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns against a Rams team with a formidable defense, led by Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. To his credit, though, Murray didn’t bask in the win much, instead opting to view the win as just another week in the long NFL season.
“We have to continue to prove it,” Murray said.” I’m not too worried about what other people think. I think the guys in the locker room understand what we’re doing, what we’re capable of, and where we can take it.”
Center Rodney Hudson, Murray’s connection to the all-important offensive line, likes what he’s seeing so far from his young leader.
“He’s playing well,” Hudson said. “It’s his presence and the level of calmness he shows. I think all that brings a certain energy to the huddle when your quarterback is feeling good and playing the way he’s playing. It makes our job easier.”
The Cardinals, now 4-0 and the only undefeated team besides the Raiders, sit atop what is arguably the best division in football (the last-place 49ers are still a respectable 2-2), thanks in no small part to Murray’s mix of athleticism and decision-making.
“It’s hard to emulate the speed he plays with, the athleticism, the feel, the instincts,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said about Murray. “And that was on display today. That’s why he’s playing at such a high level. You got to give him credit.”
The red hot Cardinals face that talented 49ers team next Sunday in Phoenix.