Chicago Bears: Week 13 takeaways, tidbits, and more

bears, matt nagy

After losing to the Arizona Cardinals at home, the Chicago Bears have dropped six of the last seven games, and continue to be on the outside looking in for the playoffs. Let’s recap week 13 for the Bears.

1) Running back David Montgomery was the Bears’ best playmaker on Sunday. The third-year pro had 21 carries for 90 rushing yards and one touchdown. Montgomery was also involved in the passing game with eight receptions for 51 yards, averaging 6.4 yards per reception. The weather certainly factored into the Bears using Montgomery heavily but Sunday also proved that for the final five games of the season, the offense needs to revolve around Montgomery, which means shifting to a pass-first philosophy.

2) The Bears led the Cardinals in four key categories: Time of possession, first downs, total yards, and turnovers. Arizona averaged just five yards per play but having a short field on the first two possessions as a result of Andy Dalton’s interceptions is what led to an earlier-than-expected Arizona lead. The Bears’ defense isn’t good enough to overcome mistakes made by the offense, which means both sides of the football need to play a near-perfect game to have a chance at winning.

3) Jakeem Grant being the Bears leading receiver on Sunday shows how much the WR room needs to be overhauled during the 2022 offseason. Arizona locked up Darnell Mooney all afternoon and without Allen Robinson or Marquise Goodwin, the Dalton was forced to throw to the likes of Grant and Damiere Byrd. Chicago traded for Grant to be an impact player on special teams, not in the passing game, despite having some speed.

4) Center Sam Mustipher had two fumbles on Sunday. In other words, the Mustipher experiment needs to end for the Bears. With rookie offensive tackle Teven Jenkins officially active, the Bears can reshuffle the offensive line, inserting Jenkins into the starting lineup while moving James Daniels or Cody Whitehair to center. The Bears need to see what they have in Jenkins during the final five games of the season as Chicago believes it finally got an OT with the potential to develop into a franchise cornerstone on the OL.

5) Montgomery’s postgame presser was one of the best I’ve ever heard since I started covering the Bears in 2017. “I’m a fighter, I’m never going to stop fighting,” said Montgomery. “I’m never going to stop giving it everything I got.”

Talk about someone who’s a leader of men and is intrinsically motivated. With the chance of making the playoffs bleak, Montgomery’s positive energy should radiate throughout the locker room.

6) For the second straight game, cornerback Artie Burns posted some solid numbers with six tackles, one tackle for loss, and one pass breakup. Burns may not be a long-term solution but he’s a good enough security blanket to finish out 2021 before the Bears have to make a decision on his future with the team during the 2022 offseason.

7) The Cardinals’ offense is everything Matt Nagy hopes his offense can be someday. Arizona had the ball for just over 25 minutes but averaged 7.5 yards per pass attempt. Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray carved up the Bears’ secondary all afternoon with explosive plays in the passing game to keep the Bears defense on its toes. Kliff Kingsbury has emerged as one of the smartest offensive minds in football and the Cardinals are finding their groove with the postseason right around the corner.

8) The Bears were 3-for-3 in the redzone and 4-for-4 on fourth down yesterday. Rarely does that ever happen but Matt Nagy found a way to get it done yesterday. Nagy is on his way out but at least converting in the redzone and on fourth down mattered in a game that Chicago tried to keep competitive.

9) One way to slow the Cardinals down is creating turnovers. And the Bears’ defense had none on Sunday. While Roquan Smith was hampered due to a hamstring injury, the Bears need to be better in this category to have a chance at being able to play complementary football and give the offense a chance at scoring more points.

10) The Bears had two drives on Sunday that lasted more than seven minutes. While this may not seem noteworthy to some, it is progress for an offense that’s been through growing pains over the last four seasons. Long drives aren’t the issue now but execution is still lacking as the Bears are unable to cap off these drives with touchdowns, instead of field goals.

 

Chicago Bears: Mistakes early derail any chance of a win

andy dalton, bears

Sunday afternoon was equivalent to a rollercoaster ride for the Chicago Bears. After snapping a five-game losing streak in week 12, the Bears got back to work against the Arizona Cardinals in week 13, only to lose by 11 points at home. The lone bright spot of the afternoon for the Bears on offense was running back David Montgomery, who had 21 carries for 90 yards, averaging 4.3 yards per attempt.

Despite Montgomery’s strong showing, veteran quarterback Andy Dalton threw four interceptions, including two on the Bears’ first two possessions to give Arizona a short field to work with. From there, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray connected with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for a 20-yard score to get the Cardinals on the board first.

Chicago’s second drive of the game wasn’t bad. The offense was moving the ball efficiently, taking whatever little yards the Cardinals defense was willing to give up. What appeared to be a drive that would end up in a touchdown was halted when Dalton tried to connect with tight end Cole Kmet at the Cardinals eight-yard line, only to be picked off by Cardinals safety Budda Baker, who returned it to the Bears 15-yard line for a 77-yard return.

The Bears’ defense struggled throughout the game. Despite a goal line stop in the fourth quarter which forced Arizona to kick a field goal, Chicago failed to generate any turnovers. A short-handed defense allowed just 257 total yards and 14 first downs but Arizona’s big-play offense proved to be too much for the Bears defense, which saw another big game from linebackers Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn.

With just five games left in the season, the Bears showed us that the talent gap between Chicago and some of the top teams in the NFL is still massive and that the Bears may have moved the ball well today but a lot of work remains to be done if Chicago is to have a chance at being able to seriously compete soon.

New York Giants matchup with Arizona Cardinals could be a shootout if Daniel Jones starts

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants earned a clutch victory over the Seattle Seahawks last week. New York’s formidable defense shut down Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ high-flying offense, helping backup quarterback Colt McCoy earn a victory in place of the injured Daniel Jones.

This week, the Giants will play another NFC West team. New York will host the Arizona Cardinals in another crucial matchup with major playoff implications. The Giants are hoping to have their second-year starting quarterback Daniel Jones back from injury. Jones missed the Giants’ Week 13 matchup after injuring his hamstring in the Giants’ Week 12 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

All reports on Daniel Jones’s health have been positive this week, though, as he aims to play on Sunday. If Jones is out there, it will be a battle between the top two quarterbacks taken in the 2019 NFL Draft. Arizona’s quarterback, Kyler Murray, was the first overall selection in last year’s draft. The Giants drafted Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick in 2019.

Both of these quarterbacks, Jones and Murray, have made significant improvements in their sophomore season. One area where both of these young signal-callers have excelled this season is the deep-passing game. Kyler and Daniel have been two of the most accurate and efficient quarterbacks in the NFL on throws traveling over 20 yards.

Daniel Jones & Kyler Murray going deep

According to Pro Football Focus, Daniel Jones and Kyler Murray have the first and second highest passer ratings on 20+ yard throws. Daniel Jones ranks first with a passer rating of 143.1. Kyler Murray ranks second with a passer rating of 129.2.

When throwing passes 20+ yards down the field, Kyler Murray has not thrown an interception. He has thrown 8 touchdowns and totaled 691 passing yards on 20+ yard passes.

Daniel Jones has not thrown any interceptions deep either, but he has not gained as much yardage or thrown as many touchdowns as Murray. Jones has thrown 5 youchdowns and totaled 535 passing yards on 20+ yard passes.

Both of these quarterbacks have turned into gunslingers in their second seasons. Murray and Jones have been aggressive when throwing downfield, but also efficient. The Giants and Cardinals both possess excellent defenses, but if these two gunslingers get hot, we could see a deep-ball shootout in MetLife on Sunday.

Buffalo Bills ready for the challenge of Kyler Murray, Cardinals offense

New York Giants, Lorenzo Carter

The Buffalo Bills conquered the forces of Russell Wilson last week, but their NFC West endeavors get no easier.

A win over the NFC-leading Seattle Seahawks should’ve, in theory, rendered doubters in the 2020 Buffalo Bills an endangered species. The Bills not only led a majority of the Seattle game by at least two possessions, but they neutralized the Swiss Army quarterback that is Russell Wilson through four turnovers (two interceptions and fumbles each).

But any progress the Bills made last weekend can immediately become undone by Wilson’s NFC West compatriot.

The road to respectability revealed a fast lane for the Bills last weekend, but another roadblock awaits in the form of the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS). Buffalo (7-2) will face an Arizona offense that sits atop the NFL at 422 yards a game. The Cardinals (5-3) not only enter with voltage but fury as well after enduring a 34-31 defeat to the Miami Dolphins last weekend.

The primary reason for the revolution has undoubtedly been a combination of quarterback Kyler Murray, a top overall draft pick who has made several large leaps in his sophomore season. Murray has thrown at least one touchdown pass in each of his eight games thus far. That includes three each over the past two games to tally 16 on the season.

Buffalo brass knows a dangerous challenge lies ahead.

“They’ve got a terrific young quarterback…and an offense that is ranked number one in the league, so we’re gonna have our hands full with what they do on offense,” Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said earlier this week, per Sal Maiorana of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. “Trying to get a grasp around what’s the best approach that we need to take to slow them down. It’s hard to compare (Seattle and Arizona) other than the fact that they are both very explosive offenses. We’re gonna have to bring our ‘A’ game to have a chance to be successful.”

“The speed and quickness element are off the charts,” head coach Sean McDermott added in the same report. “Having never coached against him before, just when you’re watching on film and you watch it on TV, you can see the difference. We’re talking elite (defensive) athletes that are around him, he’s not running around just average athletes out there, he’s running around great athletes, and he looks different even than those athletes, so I’ve been able to get an appreciation for him.”

Murray has also caused relentless damage on the ground, gaining at 50 rushing yards in all but two games this season. He put up a career-best 106 in a losing effort against the Dolphins last week but the Cardinals are 6-3 when he otherwise reaches the half-century mark on the ground.

During game prep for Arizona, reserve receiver/returner Isaiah McKenzie played the role of Murray on the scout team.

“It certainly helps,” McDermott said of the McKenzie imitation, in another report from Garrett Stepien of 247 Sports. “A lot? I don’t know, I think that remains to be seen. I would just say it certainly helps to get ourselves acclimated to that type of speed and quickness.”

Another factor in the Arizona revolution has been receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who came over to the Cardinals through an offseason trade with the Houston Texans. Hopkins’ final game in the Space City came against the Bills during the AFC Wild Card playoffs, when he earned 90 yards on six receptions in addition to a two-point conversion in the Texans’ overtime victory. Arizona’s other offensive talents include running back Kenyan Drake and Hopkins’ fellow receivers Christian Kirk, Andy Isabella, and the immortal Larry Fitzgerald.

Only adding to the Bills’ plight is the fact that they’ll be missing two of their top cornerbacks (Josh Norman, Levi Wallace) and a strong reserve safety (Dean Marlowe) after a positive COVID-19 test also sidelined several of those in close contact. Buffalo has made several roster moves to combat the losses.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Four plays that decided the New York Jets’ Sunday fate vs. Arizona

Another painful loss awaited the New York Jets in their return to MetLife Stadium. ESM takes a look at the plays that changed the game.

There was a new quarterback and new men on the offensive line thanks to injuries. But the New York Jets were forced to endure the same result.

Kyler Murray tallied 401 yards of offense, with 131 of his passing haul going to DeAndre Hopkins. Their Arizona Cardinals tallied a 30-10 road win over the hapless Jets at MetLife Stadium. The Jets (0-5) earned a nominal bright spot in the form of Jamison Crowder, who reached triple digits in receiving for the third time this season (116 yards on 8 receptions).

As we do each week…someone’s got to do it…ESM looks back on four big plays, one from each quarter, that are shaping the Jets’ present and future for better or worse…

1st Quarter: Chase Hit

The Jets’ defense rose to the occasion in the early going, forcing Arizona into a three-and-out on their opening drive. A Joe Flacco-led offense was struggling to get things rolling, but Braden Mann helped the defense out with a 54-yard punt that situated the Cardinals on their own 11. Alas, it only signaled the start of New York’s demise.

Arizona would embark on a scoring drive, needing only eight plays to go 89 yards. The Cardinals (3-2) faced only one third down on the drive, and that was only when they needed a single yard at the cusp of the Jets’ 30. It also brought forth a 29-yard touchdown run from Chase Edmunds, giving the Cardinals a lead they would never relinquish.

Alas for the Jets, long drives and defensive lapses, even if they’re brought forth by short three-and-outs from the offense, have become far too common. When the inevitable purge comes to both the roster and staff, members of the defense should not be exempt.

2nd Quarter: 4th-and-Done

The Jets should be commended for their reckless abandon on fourth down in recent weeks. They know that the playoffs are but a pipe dream and more than likely will be destined for a high draft pick. With all due respect to Mann, a serviceable draft pick to date, he shouldn’t be seeing the field once the Jets cross their own 40. The same could go for Sam Ficken if it’s a long situation, though he continued his perfect streak in the early going with a triple in the first half.

Faced with a single yard to go on the Arizona 13, the Jets opted for an unusual option, handing the ball off to tight end-turned-fullback Trevon Wesco. The intention was pure…Wesco’s brief time in the backfield yielded a couple of first downs last season…but the execution simply wasn’t there. Starting the 6-foot-6-inches Flacco in place of the injured Sam Darnold, the time was perfect for a quarterback sneak. Flacco even showcased some hidden rushing talents to the tune of 20 yards on a quartet of carries. Instead, they tried to force nearly the exact same play, only this time with Le’Veon Bell. The Jets’ willingness to take risks is admirable, but ended a 14-play trek with no points on two failed rushes only adds to their plethora of embarrassment.

3rd Quarter: Manhattan Jam Crowder

The Jets have been through a lot this season, and there’s still a dozen weeks left on the horizon. Their most consistent silver lining has by far been Crowder, who had one of his strongest games of the season. He came up particularly big in the third quarter, first accounting for Flacco’s longest pass of the day at 52 yards, setting the Jets up in Arizona territory. Three plays later, Crowder dodged a pair of Cardinal defenders to earn an 11-yard touchdown that narrowed things to a single possession.

New York has been through a lot this season, much of it showing just how far they are from mere playoff contention, much less a Super Bowl. But the veteran Crowder is making himself essential as a presumed purge lures on the horizon.

4th Quarter: Buried by Kingsbury

Sunday’s second half featured plenty of instances where one could declare “only the Jets!”. For example, an untimed down at the end of the third quarter led to a false start. That duplicated an incident in the second quarter when they took a delay of game after an interception (on a red zone drive that eventually led to Ficken’s field goal). But a neutral zone infraction after Arizona’s final touchdown (a 37-yard hookup between Murray and Hopkins) led to Kliff Kingsbury opting to go for two despite owning a 30-10 led that became the final margin. Who knows what the Jets did to Kingsbury, who pair of NFL passes came in New York, but it was enough to try and help anyone who had Arizona -21.5 out and goes to show how far the Jets have fallen.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags 

 

New York Giants news, 10/20 – Predicting score of Giants vs Cardinals week 7, more

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

With running back Saquon Barkley returning to the field for the New York Giants, there’s extended hope that the offensive unit will increase production after scoring just 28 points over the last two weeks. Given, the two defenses they played were the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots, two top-5 defenses in the league.

Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones had never faced such quality units defense, but the Arizona Cardinals will be no comparison. The Cardinals ranks 30th in the league, just two spots ahead of the Giants who sit at 28th in total defense. Jones and Co. will have a far easier time managing the game against a bottom-tier unit, but their defense must rise to the occasion against Kyler Murray and his latest bout of success.

The Cardinals have won their last two games, beating lackluster team in the Cincinnati Bengals and Atlanta Falcons. The most impressive thing about those wins is the 60 total points they accrued. However, they also allowed 56 total points against weak defenses.

The Giants, though, will gain back their two biggest playmakers on offense in Barkley and tight end, Evan Engram. Both are essential to the Giants’ success and will be focal points for head coach, Pat Shurmur.

This will be a high scoring game, but since the Giants’ defense is just a lick better, they will edge this one out in Arizona. New York Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas will hit a game-winning field goal as time expires. Stopping Kyler Murray will be the key to stopping the Cardinals, as he’s been on fire lately, throwing for 593-yards and three scores the last two weeks. He has added 135 rushing yards and a score on the ground as well. Stopping him will be difficult, and the linebacker will play a big part in that.

Final score prediction: 36-33

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day:

Michael Eisen – Giants prepare for fast-paced Cardinals offense

Ralph Vacchiano – NFL sources weigh in on what tradeable assets the Giants may have
Matt Lombardo – NFL TV Schedule 2019: What time, channel is New York Giants vs. Arizona Cardinals (10/20/19)? FREE Live stream, how to watch online | NFL Week 7
Pete Hernandez – New York Giants: Daniel Jones Ready to Take Another Surge with a Restocked Offense

New York Giants Defense Can’t Wait To Get At Kyler Murray

New York Jets, Markus Golden

Sunday’s game between the New York Giants and the Arizona Cardinals will have big effects for both teams, with the Giants in particular having a chance to move back to one game behind .500 or to fall three games back from even instead. There’s going to be a lot of factors going into the result, including the performance of both quarterbacks and the injuries for the Giants and how well the team can manage to perform without a full roster of weapons on offense, but there’s one factor in specific that stands out.

That factor is top draft pick Kyler Murray, who like Daniel Jones, has found himself playing as a starter during his rookie year. Despite the two players being taken close together in the draft and playing the same position, though, Murray is a very different type of player from Jones – and most quarterbacks for that matter, which only adds to the threat that he poses to opposing defenses.

Russell Wilson has been one of the top quarterbacks in the league this season, and in the buildup to the game, defensive coordinator James Bettcher made a direct comparison to the Seahawks quarterback.

“I have spent 10 games playing against Russell Wilson in Seattle, so I have seen some guys like this that can buy time with their feet who are accurate and can deliver the ball on time and on schedule, then create some off-schedule plays. They’ve created a good amount of explosives in the pass game off of that,” Bettcher said, speaking of Murray.

And the comparison is one that has spread to more than just Bettcher. Outside linebacker Markus Golden also made the comparison, and even said that Murray is better in one area.

“[Murray] reminds me a little bit of Russell Wilson, but he’s probably a little quicker. He’s pretty quick. He’s like a running back back there playing quarterback, so you’re going to have to keep an eye on him and you’re going to have to have a game plan to be able to get after him. Everybody is going to have to work together because he’s a solid player,” Golden stated.

Murray has seven touchdowns to this point, compared to five touchdowns and six interceptions to this point from Jones, although Murray has an inherent advantage in having played more games. What will the two quarterbacks look like statistically after Sunday’s game? That remains to be seen – but the battle between the two might just decide the game entirely.

New York Giants: Kyler Murray Could Cause A Lot Of Problems For The Giants Defense On Sunday

The New York Giants will host the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday in a week seven matchup at 1:00 p.m. The game will feature a duel between the 2019 NFL Draft’s first overall pick and sixth overall pick, both quarterbacks.

Daniel Jones will be trying to keep the Giants in the playoff hunt on Sunday, but it will really be up to his defense to contain Kyler Murray and help the Giants get this crucial win.

Kyler Is Tough To Catch

In week six, the Arizona Cardinals did not allow a single quarterback hit on Kyler Murray. Murray has only been sacked once in the last two weeks, but 20 times in the 4 games prior. Logically, the Cardinals have won their last two games when they have protected Murray. In those 4 games with 20 sacks, the Cardinals have lost three of them and tied one.

Kyler has really come into his own these last two weeks and has begun to look worthy of the first overall draft pick that the Cardinals selected him with. Kyler is one of the fastest quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL, even though he did not run at the NFL Combine, it was predicted that Murray would run a sub 4.4s forty-yard dash, possibly even sub 4.3s.

Kyler can be seen on this play putting his extreme speed and agility to work in the pocket, avoiding the sack, extending the play, and delivering a strike deep downfield:

Kyler Has A Plethora Of Weapons

The New York Giants’ defense has been struggling all season so far. The Giants’ secondary is arguably the worst in the league, ranking 31st in passing yards allowed. The Giants have let quarterbacks throw against them at will.

According to Pro Football Focus, there are 15 cornerbacks in the league who have allowed 300 or more yards on receptions as the primary coverage defender so far this season. The New York Giants have three of them — Deandre Baker (394), Janoris Jenkins (351) and Grant Haley (315).

This weekend, the Giants’ struggling secondary will be matched up with a strong receiver group. The Cardinals’ receivers are finally starting to create real chemistry with Kyler Murray.

Murray has been accurate as a rookie, completing 64.3% of his passes with 7.0 yards per attempt. He is throwing to the veteran legend Larry Fitzgerald and the young and talented Christian Kirk. So far, Larry has caught 35 passes for 427 yards and 2 touchdowns, being Murray’s primary receiver. Christian has yet to score a touchdown this season but has been playing a solid second receiver role with 24 catches for 242 yards. The Giants will also have to keep an eye on the Cardinals’ running back, too.

David Johnson is one of the best running backs in the NFL. After dealing with an injury in 2017 and the worst offense in the league in 2018, Johnson has finally returned to form in 2019. David is a dual-threat running back who has rushed the ball 76 times and caught 30 passes. Johnson has accumulated 613 total yards from scrimmage and 5 total touchdowns through six games.

The Giants’ defense is going to have its hands full, but it is coming off of an impressive performance against the New England Patriots. Things fell apart in the second half, but in the first half, the Giants forced the Patriots’ offense to turn the ball over three times and held their offense to only 14 points (since 7 of their 21 came off of the Giants’ special teams debacle).

The Giants’ defense will have their hands full against the explosive Cardinals offense. But luckily, they have some solid pass-rushers playing at a high level. Markus Golden has recorded at least a half-sack in each of the last five games and Dexter Lawrence is PFF’s highest-graded rookie defender of the season so far. Pressuring Kyler Murray and not giving him enough time to get the ball into the hands of his dynamic playmakers is the key to beating the Cardinals this week.

Kyler Murray vs. Daniel Jones, a look at who has the edge leading up to their week 7 matchup

The NFL community was quite accepting when Kyler Murray was selected first overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. When Daniel Jones was drafted only five spots after Murray (6th overall) that was a different story. After a hot 2-0 start as a starter, New York Giants fans became more accepting of their new quarterback.

There’s optimism surrounding both of these young signal-callers, but who has the edge when they face off this Sunday at 1:00 p.m.?

Looking at what they’ve done so far is step one and both have been impressive considering how hard it is to play quarterback as a rookie.

Accuracy:

Kyler Murray has completed 64.3% of his passes with 7.0 yards per attempt.

Daniel Jones has completed 60.7% of his passes with 6.6 yards per attempt.

Both have also dealt with 5 dropped passes, giving Kyler an edge here. Not only is a near 4% difference significant but Kyler is averaging .4 more yards per attempt as well.

Yards/Touchdowns:

Kyler Murray averages 277 yards per game with 7 total passing touchdowns.

Daniel Jones averages 184 yards per game with 5 total passing touchdowns.

Murray’s passing yards per game are well above Jones’. Ironically, that hasn’t led to an edge in scoring through the air. Both have 1 more passing TD than games they’ve started, sharing the same exact touchdown-rate as passers.

Decision-Making:

Kyler Murray has started in 6 games and has 4 interceptions. Certainly a respectable mark for any rookie, he’s on pace for finishing under 13 interceptions. Murray has been sacked on 8.1% of his dropbacks.

Daniel Jones hasn’t fared as well protecting the football, he’s thrown 6 interceptions in 4 starts. He’s currently on pace to throw 15+ interceptions by seasons end. Jones has been sacked on 6.7% of his dropbacks.

Not all sacks are due to the quarterback’s decisions. However, for how often Jones is critiqued for hanging around in the pocket too long it’s interesting to see Murray is actually sacked more often. Arizona’s offensive line is also more of a liability than what Daniel Jones has around him, giving Murray more of a pass as far as handling the pressure.

Rushing Ability:

Kyler Murray has 39 rushing attempts with 283 rushing yards. With 6.5 rushing attempts per game, this will obviously be a larger part of Murray’s game than Jones’.

Daniel Jones has 15 rushing attempts with 86 yards. He only has 3 attempts per game but averages 5.7 yards per attempt.

Jones averaging not even a whole yard less than Murray on the ground is quite impressive but the difference in volume does remain a factor. While the volume is an argument in Murray’s favor in YPA (yards per attempt) Jones has scored the same amount of touchdowns on the ground (2) on 27 fewer carries.

Based on results so far Kyler Murray has an edge and it’s not just because he’s collected more stats with a 2 game head-start on Jones.

His completion percentage is higher while throwing further down the field on average. He’s also thrown 2 fewer interceptions in 2 more games played.

Opponents:

When comparing the play of 2 quarterbacks their opponents need to be considered as well.

Here’s a list of defensive rankings Kyler Murray has been up against so far:

Detroit Lions:

Defensive pass yards allowed: 28th

Passing touchdowns allowed: 11th

Baltimore Ravens:

Defensive pass yards allowed: 26th

Passing touchdowns allowed: 6th

Carolina Panthers:

Defensive pass yards allowed: 9th

Passing touchdowns allowed: 10th

Seattle Seahawks:

Defensive pass yards allowed: 23rd

Passing touchdowns allowed: T-12th

Cincinnati Bengals:

Defensive pass yards allowed: 15th

Passing touchdowns allowed: T-12th

Atlanta Falcons:

Defensive pass yards allowed: 27th

Passing touchdowns allowed: 30th

In 4 of 6 matchups, Kyler Murray was matched up against defenses who surrender plenty of passing yards. Only 2 of their opponents ranked better than 23rd in the league in pass yards allowed. His 7 passing touchdowns is an adequate mark but it’s important to note 3 of them came in week 6 against Atlanta’s bottom-third secondary. The other teams have been stingy across the board, all ranking in the top 12 in passing touchdowns allowed.

Here’s a list of defensive rankings Daniel Jones has been up against so far:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

Defensive pass yards allowed: 32nd

Passing touchdowns allowed: 23rd

Washington Redskins:

Defensive pass yards allowed: 20th

Passing touchdowns allowed: 29th

Minnesota Vikings:

Defensive pass yards allowed: 7th

Passing touchdowns allowed: 19th

New England Patriots:

Defensive pass yards allowed: 2nd

Passing touchdowns allowed: 1st

Daniel Jones capitalized on a weak unit in Tampa Bay with 4 total touchdowns. Based on Washington’s pass defense his 1TD-1INT passing-line against them isn’t super impressive. His next 2 games, however, were practically deaths-row for a rookie quarterback. He went up against 2 top 10 units in the Vikings and Patriots, ultimately creating a 2TD-4INT passing-line against the teams collectively. Throwing a touchdown in Xavier Rhodes’ coverage and throwing the first touchdown against Bellichick’s defense in week 6 were still signs of encouragement during his current slump.

Facing Each-other’s Defenses:

Kyler Murray will be facing the Giants defense who currently ranks:

• 31st in passing yards allowed

• 19th in passing touchdowns allowed

• 24th in rushing yards allowed

• 20th in rushing touchdowns allowed

• 12th in sacks

• 8th in interceptions

Daniel Jones will be facing the Cardinals defense who currently ranks:

• 30th in passing yards allowed

• 31st in passing touchdowns allowed

• 26th in rushing yards allowed

• 3rd in rushing touchdowns allowed

• 14th in sacks

• 32nd in interceptions

Both rookie quarterbacks have a juicy matchup on Sunday but Daniel Jones looks set up to have a better afternoon against the weaker defense. Patrick Peterson does return this week but he’s only one man in a secondary that has struggled across the board. Murray has been the more impressive player so far but there’s less of a gap between Murray and Jones compared to the Arizona and New York defenses.

New York Giants Preparing For Jones vs Murray QB Battle

Should the New York Giants draft Oklahoma star, Kyler Murray?

It’s not every season that some of the top quarterbacks drafted in the same class get to meet each other early on in their rookie seasons, with scheduling and roster decisions often making us wait to see these matchups, but that’s not the case this time as the New York Giants take on the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

There was plenty of speculation around this year’s NFL Draft about whether Kyle Murray or Daniel Jones would be the higher drafted player – obviously, we know how that turned out now. The Giants drafted Jones, while the Cardinals spent their top pick on Murray despite the question marks around him.

Now, Murray is starting for the Cardinals and has thrown for seven touchdowns this season, while Jones surprised everyone by also claiming the starting job after the Giants began the year with back to back losses. Both players are set to meet on Sunday during their rookie seasons.

But it’s not the offense and Daniel Jones that will have to deal with Murray, at least directly. That job falls to the Giants’ defense, and in the buildup to the game, and multiple players have taken note of the difficulties that may be experienced tying to contain the dual threat quarterback.

“He’s a real elusive guy. He’s quick. He can make plays outside of the pocket down the field. We have to be aware of that and keep him in the pocket. We have to rush him aggressively,” pass rusher Oshane Ximines told NJ Advance Media about Murray. 

“You’ve got to be aware of where you are in relation to him,” Ximines added. “So you don’t want to get too high on him or get underneath too quickly which allows him to escape outside. He uses his legs to create even more opportunity for his arm. We have to just get him on the ground.”

According to defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, patience will be one of the keys in handling Murray’s threatening ability on the ground. “The biggest thing is that you have to be disciplined. You have to be gap-disciplined, and you can’t just run around and get unbalanced in your rush because he’ll find a gap and just take off on you and capitalize on it.”

Sunday will show just how disciplined the Giants’ defense really is, after a poor showing in the later stages of the game against the Patriots. Will the Giants be able to bounce back? The answer might just depend on how well they handle the threat of Kyler Murray.