Cardinals’ Kyler Murray has 3rd-best MVP odds after return to action

Dec 7, 2021, 4:30 PM
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals passes the ball against the Chicago Bears in the first hal...
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals passes the ball against the Chicago Bears in the first half at Soldier Field on December 05, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray accounted for four touchdowns in Sunday’s 33-22 road victory over the Chicago Bears.

It was Murray’s first game in over a month after he suffered a high-ankle sprain in late October.

On a cold, rainy and windy day, he did not throw the ball many times, completing 11 of 15 passes for 123 yards, which were all season-lows. But Murray still finished with a passer rating of 136.9, becoming the second Cardinal to eclipse 120 five times in a single season after Kurt Warner did so during Arizona’s Super Bowl run in 2009.

He leads the league in passer rating at 112.2.

Murray enters Week 14 as the third-favorite for MVP on FanDuel Sportsbook at +700 despite missing three games.

He trails only Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (+550) and the favorite, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (+150).

Murray’s absence is part of the case against him, but he is still the starting quarterback of the league’s best team by record plus the league leader in completion percentage and yards per attempt.

A strong finish for the Cardinals and Murray could result in his odds improving, especially if someone ahead of him has a stumble down the stretch.

What could also help Murray is a masterful performance on a big stage. The Cardinals face the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football next, and with a win Arizona would clinch a playoff spot.

Murray dazzled against the Rams in a 37-20 victory earlier this season, and sweeping that season series for the first time since 2014 would send a message so close to the playoffs.

Arizona is one of seven franchises that has never had an NFL MVP winner.

Murray is also tied for sixth in odds for AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year at +3000. Cardinals running back James Conner has the same odds for that award.

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