The 5: Big plays from Cardinals QB Kyler Murray’s top 2 showings

Nov 1, 2020, 7:05 AM
Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray celebrates running the ball for a touchdown in the second half of a...

Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray celebrates running the ball for a touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

(AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Three weeks. Two NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors.

While Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has shown off his skills throughout the year, his performances against the New York Jets in Week 5 and the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football in Week 7 were tops for the signal caller on the season.

After putting up 380 yards and a passing touchdown to go with 31 rushing yards and a score against the Jets, Murray took it a step further on the primetime stage.

He rattled off 360 yards and three touchdowns through the air, while chipping in another 67 yards and score on the ground heading into the bye week.

It’s not an easy task to rate Murray’s top plays, but here’s a look at the ones that stood out the most over the course of those dominant two weeks:

Over the Top

Looking back at the Cardinals’ SNF overtime victory over the Seahawks, it’s obvious Murray’s first touchdown strike of the day was his best.

Down 10-0 to the visitors in the first quarter, Arizona needed to find an early spark against the then-unbeaten NFC West leaders.

Problem solved.

Facing a 3rd-and-2 situation, Murray dropped back and found All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in single coverage. That’s all Murray needed to see as he fired up a ball that only Hopkins could grab right as he found the end zone.

You know it’s a good one when Murray has that big of a grin before loading up a bomb down the sideline.

Thread the Needle

Sticking with the Murray-Hopkins connection, this one might outdo the SNF grab.

Early in the fourth quarter of the Cardinals’ blowout win over the Jets, Murray tossed an absolute dagger to Hopkins.

Murray threaded the needle in double coverage, hitting his mark for the 37-yard strike. It was yet another highlight reel catch for Hopkins, who not only made the grab but took the hit for six.

The score capped off a six-play, 96-yard drive for the Cardinals. The WR-QB duo accounted for 82 of the drive’s yards, using a 45-yard catch earlier in the drive to set up the eventual TD.

Hey, Arnold!

This one doesn’t necessarily focus on any single play.

After Seattle drove 97 yards in six plays to extend its lead to 20-7, Arizona’s offense had to respond.

Behind a prefect possession from Murray, 5-for-5, they did just that.

Finding Hopkins on his first three throws, Murray was able to move the chains from Arizona’s 39-yard line to Seattle’s 48.

Then Big Dan happened.

Finding himself in the open field after making a cut, tight end Dan Arnold was greeted with a bullet from Murray. The tight end turned up the field, resulting in a 41-yard pass play and a first down inside the Seahawks’ 10-yard line.

Wasting little time, Murray capped off the drive with a shot to wide receiver Christian Kirk.

Using some toe-tapping skills, Kirk hauled in Murray’s touchdown pass in the back of the end zone.

The score would mark the first of the night for the Kirk-Kyler connection, with the two linking up later in the game.

Wright is Wrong

Oh, boy.

Murray put Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright on absolute skates in the third quarter last Sunday.

The second-year QB finished off the team’s 12-play, 93-yard drive with a highlight reel juke and dive for six points.

Keeping it himself, Murray ran to the left with Wright closing in. Instead of taking a loss on the play, however, Murray shook the linebacker with a little stutter step and bounced outside. He then cut it back before diving his way past two more defenders for the score.

The touchdown marked Murray’s seventh score on the ground in seven games. Only David Johnson (2016) and MacArthur Lane (1970) scored more over that span in Cardinals history.

Tunnel Vision

We already covered seven, but let’s head to the tunnel with five.

Looking to add to their lead before halftime, Murray and the Cardinals strung together yet another long drive — a 10-play, 75-yard one.

Accounting for 68 of those yards, Murray’s last two were the biggest.

Taking it himself out of the backfield, Murray shot out left behind his blockers. Seeing running back Chase Edmonds pick up a big block, the QB shifted his way back up the field and past two Jets for the score.

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The 5: Big plays from Cardinals QB Kyler Murray’s top 2 showings