Cardinals’ Byron Murphy Jr. wanted to show he’s a top CB vs. Davante Adams
Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. went in to Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders with something to prove: That he can be a top corner in the league.
Not only did Murphy Jr. walk-off on the Raiders via a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown, but he effectively covered All-Pro receiver Davante Adams.
The Cardinals doubled Adams various times, but Murphy Jr. allowed two receptions for 12 yards on five targets when guarding the lead receiver, according to Pro Football Focus.
Here are all 6 of Davante Adams’ targets from Sunday. Byron Murphy lined up across from him on each one, and held Adams to just 2 catches for 12 yards and a TD. pic.twitter.com/r8ScZzy3FB
— Jason Hayes (@JasonHayesNFL) September 21, 2022
Adams didn’t have a catch in the second half. He had not had two receptions in a game since 2017.
“The biggest thing was just sticking to the game plan and playing my role,” Murphy Jr. said on the Jim Rome Show this week. “Make sure I finish my leverage, I just had to finish the whole play. Obviously playing a receiver like that, I just had very high confidence going into that game.”
He had success in both the slot and on the outside Sunday, as Murphy Jr. said he prefers doing both.
“I just wanted to show everybody that I could be on an island,” Murphy Jr. said. “I just had to show them, prove to everybody what type of player I am.”
The task does not get easier this week for Arizona’s defensive backs, as the Los Angeles Rams come to town.
Wide receiver Cooper Kupp led the league in receptions last regular season and postseason, and his 24 catches through two games tops the NFL in 2022.
Kupp had seven catches on eight targets for 94 yards over his last two matchups against Murphy Jr., according to PFF.
Murphy Jr. said the mentality does not change.
“I respect him a lot, he’s one of the best in the NFL, as well,” Murphy Jr. said. “So just to come into this game, same thing, stick with the game plan, do we got to do trying to take him out of the game early.”