Kyler Murray couldn’t complain of his first NFL matchup against Detroit. It wasn’t the easiest, but it wasn’t too far from average. In any case, it took a while for the rookie quarterback to get the grip of the pro-level game until he settled in. As the rock star of Kliff Kingsbury’s newly implemented Air Raid offense (a system Murray already had been part of in college), Murray wrote a tale of two halves in his first game. During the first two quarters, he threw 16 passes with a 38% completion percentage for 41 yards. In the second half and overtime, though, he racked up 267 yards on 38 attempts while hitting receivers at a 61% rate. Not to be lost between those numbers, it should also be noted that Murray’s confidence grew as the game advanced, going from 2.6 Y/Att in the first half to 7.0 in the second and overtime.
At the end of the game, and although the result couldn’t have been blander (a tie...), Murray saw his stat line reflect 308 yards with two touchdowns and “just” one interception attached to it. Maybe the thing to upset the most fantasy owners were his rushing numbers, limited to just three runs, although that was enough to get him 13 yards on the ground. Murray’s upside in the passing game is clear as he can’t be in a more QB-favorable scheme, and the same goes for his rushing game, although in this case it is all based in his ability and physique. Think of a mini-Russell Wilson in a much better environment.
Fantasy Impact: The Cardinals go against the Ravens in Baltimore for their Week 2 game. I can only see positives in this matchup. Baltimore is the heavy favorite (-13, O/U 46.5) after smashing Miami last weekend. Turns out Arizona is not Miami, and playing from behind can only help Murray amass points against the Ravens. Baltimore will also be missing their best CB in Jimmy Smith and Marlon Humphrey is also questionable. Arizona throws the ball more than anyone, Murray averaged the fourth-highest Air Yards per Target, the Ravens secondary will be slim, Fitzgerald looked like a 22-year-old and actual 22-year-old Christian Kirk should bounce back from a below-average Week 1 performance.