Once again, Kyler Murray is living up to the hype that came with being the No. 1 overall pick.
Murray went 27-of-37 for 340 yards and threw for three touchdowns in the Arizona Cardinals’ 34-33 win against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday afternoon at University of Phoenix Stadium, and came up with a critical first down run to seal the deal.
The Cardinals — following a rough missed extra point from Falcons kicker Matt Bryant — held just a one-point lead with less than two minutes to go. On a third-and-5, Murray took off, scrambling to reach the first down.
Murray just barely reached the first down marker when he stepped out of bounds, and the call was upheld after a review — something coach Kliff Kingsbury thought was very close. From there, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner took a knee three times to officially seal the deal.
“Looking at it now, I probably should’ve stuck the ball out,” Murray said. “But it’s a good learning lesson for me. I will make sure I get it next time.”
Murray ran the ball 11 times for 32 yards, accounting for nearly one-third of the Cardinals’ ground game in the win. He had success scrambling out of the pocket, too, and even found Larry Fitzgerald deep downfield in the first quarter after escaping a sack.
“He’s a quick little thing,” wide receiver Pharoh Cooper said, via ESPN. “He has all the talent in the world. Obviously, he’s making the smart play. If there’s nothing there, he has the talent to use his legs, and that’s what’s going to help him a lot, help us win some games.”
After his big day, Murray is now just the third rookie quarterback in NFL history to throw for 300 yards in three of his first six games — joining an elite group of just Cam Newton and Andrew Luck.
“He’s a freak when it comes to that. I’ve said it since he was in, I don't know, ninth grade maybe?” Kingsbury said. “That’s what he’s worked on his entire life is perfect mechanics, accuracy and throwing the football. Decision making comes with time and the speed of the game, but if you’re just having a throwing contest you can put him up against anybody.”
The win, though the Cardinals are still in last place in the NFC West, marks Arizona’s second-straight. While he said their offense still has work to do as a unit, Kingsbury has full confidence in his rookie quarterback — who he said never seems to break, good or bad.
“That’s who he is. It’s hard to rattle him,” Kingsbury said. “He comes over after a touchdown and I kind of want to see him smile and he’s just like, ‘OK, here we go again.’
“That’s who he is, and I think his teammates feel that he’s going to be the same guy.”
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