For two years running, a second-year quarterback has won the NFL’s MVP award.
Baltimore Ravens signal-caller Lamar Jackson followed Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes’ path last season. If you’re a believer the trend could continue in 2020, picking Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray to make it three years running may not be that wild of a take.
Asked to make a bold quarterback prediction for 2020, ESPN analyst and former NFL player Marcus Spears said on Thursday’s edition of Get Up that Murray would be a finalist in MVP voting. And that arguably wasn’t Spears’ most bold opinion.
“My bold quarterback prediction is Kyler Murray throws for 4,500 (yards),” Spears said. “He’s a finalist in MVP voting and the Arizona Cardinals win the division with the addition of DeAndre Hopkins.”
Posting a middle-rung QB rating his rookie year, Murray passed for 3,722 yards, throwing 20 touchdowns to 12 interceptions. The 2019 No. 1 pick rushed for 544 yards and four touchdowns in addition.
Because Murray established himself as a talented quarterback and dynamic ground threat as a rookie, him challenging for NFL MVP might not be that bold of a prediction, former NFL player and Get Up analyst Rob Ninkovich said.
“I don’t think it’s crazy. I like Kyler Murray. The addition of Hopkins, and you got old man (Larry) Fitzgerald on there to continue to be the leader, I think (Murray) can do it,” Ninkovich said. “I’m telling you, I think that young man is special. He’s quick, he surpassed my expectations last year, so he definitely has the chance to be the MVP.”
Reporter Dan Graziano brought up the parallels between Murray and the past two MVPs. He sees the reasoning.
That the Cardinals would win the NFC West with the Seattle Seahawks (2015), Los Angeles Rams (2019) and San Francisco 49ers (2020) all having recent Super Bowl appearances and high expectations is certainly a bolder take.
“I think that’s the tricky part here,” Graziano said of Spears’ consideration that Arizona can win the NFC West. “But it is a fun prediction.”