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Combatting Kyler Murray: The Blueprint For Big Blue

Combatting Kyler Murray: The Blueprint For Big Blue

This Sunday, the New York Giants get their two biggest weapons on offense and are playing a statistically bad defense, which should bode well for one side of the ball, but as for the other side…well that’s more in question. The Giants have their own bad defense, aside from a few bright spots, and they’ll go toe to toe with an Arizona Cardinals offense that has begun to click, led by their centerpiece, Kyler Murray.

Murray, the 1st overall pick in this years draft, has all the traits to be a perfect NFL quarterback in modern day. He has the arm, the accuracy the confidence and the mental capacity. The only tangible Murray lacks is size and he compensates with mobility, you’ve heard it all before. He started the year general to start the year, highlighted by low passer ratings and high yardage totals. But last week Kyler had a nearly perfect game on film and produced really well statically. In a game with his highest passer rating (128.5), highest completion percentage (73%), most touchdowns (3) and second most yards (340) he also made good decisions, got the ball out quickly and accurately and went for the deep ball when they opportunity came. Now the question comes, how do the Giants contain this threat.

It starts with Dexter Lawrence. This is a guy who coming out of the draft many felt was a two down run-stopper who the Giants jumped too early on. Now as we’ve seen throughout this early part of the season he’s much more dynamic than that. Lawrence has shown complex, effective pass rushing skills on top of his already fully developed run defense. This is supported by his 2 sacks, 17 tackles, one forced fumble, two tackles for loss and constant pressure, in addition to the highest rookie interior defensive lineman Pass-Rush Win Rate (11.3% pct.), per PFF. In terms of game strategy, while I do expect Lawrence to eat double teams via the Cardinals interior offensive line, this should be easily combated by pushing through, high with his hands and winning with momentum. But what happens when Lawrence collapses the pocket and Murray has the space to roll out and make an accurate throw? Well…probably a big, drive-continuing gain of yardage. The Giants can contain this by implementing a tight version of zone coverage that doesn’t expose the lack of speed for the linebackers but still keeps wide receivers to, at most the second level and doesn’t give Murray a clear open throw, on as many downs as possible.

We’ll wrap this up with a sprinkle of fantasy football. We have two bad defenses against the quarterback (ranked 28th and 30th respectively), and each team will want to get a high dosage of passing from their young quarterbacks. On the other side of that coin, there are two stud running backs who can make space for themselves, get yards after catch and turn it up field, so it’s safe to say Barkley and Johnson will be used at high volume as well. Hence, I expect the play calling to be on point and for this game to be a shootout. So, start all your regulars on both the Giants and Cardinals, except Sterling Shepard.

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Combatting Kyler Murray: The Blueprint For Big Blue

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