The NFL is known for some of its greatest quarterbacks throughout the league’s 100-year history. Name’s such as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Joe Montana come to mind, however some teams struggle to find themselves a true franchise quarterback. The Arizona Cardinals fit that description perfectly.
After drafting Josh Rosen 10th overall in the 2018 draft, the Cardinals hoped Rosen would be the guy to turn the franchise around, but things didn’t go according to plan. The following season the Cardinals traded Rosen to the Dolphins for the 62nd overall pick in the 2019 draft and a 2020 fifth round pick.
The Cardinals already had the first overall pick in the 2019 draft where they selected Kyler Murray. With both quarterbacks having played their rookie seasons for the Cardinals, it’s time to settle the debate once an for all: Did the Cardinals make the right choice in Murray over Rosen?
Both players didn’t have very strong records in their first season, which is naturally expected. Rosen led the Cardinals to a 3-10-0 record in the 13 games he started in 2018. Murray led the Cardinals to a 5-10-1 record in 16 games played this season. Despite playing more games than Rosen, the two still didn’t have strong seasons, but Murray still shines like a diamond in the rough.
After Rosen’s first season, the rumors on the Cardinals drafting Murray began to surface. However this season there’s a different vibe in Arizona; people are still going with Murray as the Cardinals starting quarterback.
In terms of statistics, Kyler Murray stood tall compared to Rosen. Murray set rookie franchise records for the Cardinals breaking records for passing yards, touchdown passes, completions and completion percentages along with many more.
Murray threw for 3,772 yards while Rosen only threw for 2,278 yards. Murray also notched 20 touchdown passes while Rosen only threw for 11 touchdown passes. Kyler registered a 64.4 completion percentage. Rosen only registered a 55.2 completion percentage. It’s clearly evident Murray had a better season than Rosen in Arizona, which only supports Murray’s case over Rosen’s.
With Murray at the wheel, the Cardinals scored a total of 361 points throughout the entire season. They also averaged a 5.5 yards per play under Murray. With Rosen the Cardinals only scored 225 points all season (which was last in the league) and averaged 4.3 yards per play. Under Rosen the team also fell victim to 18 interceptions. With Murray, the Cardinals only threw 12 interceptions.
In 2018 the Cardinals league rank was last place in terms of offense. Murray led the Cardinals to a 16th overall league rank in terms of offense. The team evidently performed very well with Murray as the starting quarterback.
The Final Verdict
Despite both quarterbacks having very poor rookie seasons, the statistics and overall team performance point to the Cardinals making the right choice in going with Murray. Rosen continued to struggle in Miami in 2019. Murray is a player on the rise as the Cardinals continue to redevelop as a Super Bowl contending team.