Three weeks into the NFL season the Kyler Murray-led Arizona Cardinals are one of the few unbeaten teams. Murray is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. As a result, he has etched his name as an early-season MVP candidate.
Currently, he ranks third in passing yards and sixth in passing touchdowns. Murray has upped his level of efficiency as a passer and lessen his rushing attempts. In year three, he has increased his completion percentage (76.5%), yards per attempt (9.9), and passing yards per game (335).
Per Sports Info Solutions, of Murray’s 102 passing attempts, 79.4% have been on target. In addition, 84.3% of his passes have been catchable. What do any of these numbers mean heading into a week four matchup against division rival Los Angeles Rams?
Kyler Murray’s MVP caliber play must continue. Therefore, here is my to-do list for Murray against the Rams.
Eliminate the weekly turnover
Despite the fantastic level of play Murray has produced, he has turned the ball over each week. Through three games, he has thrown four interceptions. One resulted in a pick-six against the Vikings. Outside of those four throws, he has played safe football.
In this potential shootout against Matthew Stafford, Murray must eliminate the turnovers. This team cannot afford to give this high-powered Rams offense additional opportunities to score. Force them to keep up with your high-scoring offense. Mistake-free football is the focus.
Attack solo coverage
Opposing defenses will continue their attempts to limit/contain DeAndre Hopkins. In the first three games of this season, Murray has targeted him 18 times compared to 37 times in 2020. As a result, his teammates have benefited from the extra coverage he commands.
Kyler Murray is locating and attacking single coverage. As a result, Christian Kirk is leading the team in receiving yards with 239. The Cardinals have four receivers over the 150 receiving yard mark. Murray must continue to spotlight the defensive mismatch and exploit it.
Highest receiving grade vs man coverage:— PFF (@PFF) September 22, 2021
♦️ Christian Kirk - 93.0
Highest receiving grade vs zone coverage:
♦️ Rondale Moore - 89.7 pic.twitter.com/4ucZfSPkGD
Their explosive rookie Rondale Moore should be featured heavily in this matchup through the air and on the ground. Hopkins will draw the attention of elite cornerback and old foe Jalen Ramsey. Therefore, giving solo opportunities to A.J. Green, Kirk, and Moore.
Don’t leave your legs behind
As mentioned earlier, Kyler Murray has rushed the ball only 17 times this season for 70 yards. He has scored three times on the ground. Compared to his 26 carries for over 100 yards through three games last season. Murray has hurt teams deep into the RedZone with his dual-threat ability.
Factoring Aaron Donald’s ability to generate high-volume pressure, Murray must use his legs when the opportunity arises. Running for first downs or extending passing plays. This offense needs him to be that dynamic all-around weapon.
Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris moves Donald around. Murray must locate him and move the launch point when necessary.