Kyler Murray endured a chastening second NFL game as the top overall pick struggled significantly for the Cardinals against the Raiders.
After providing an exciting glimpse of why he was taken first overall in his NFL debut, Kyler Murray fell back down to earth in his second preseason game for the Arizona Cardinals.
Murray passed the eyeball test for the Cards last week. He completed six of his seven passes for 44 yards and looked like a quarterback worthy of the hype and his lofty draft status. That was not the case against the Oakland Raiders on Thursday.
The former two-sport star finished 3-8 for just 12 yards as the Raiders throttled the Cardinals in the first half.
Murray was called for multiple pre-snap penalties, was under constant pressure from a very aggressive Raiders defense and took a sack for a safety after a defensive back blitz from Lamarcus Joyner.
That proved his final action of the night but, though his performance was a long way from what the Cardinals will have wanted, Murray cannot take all of the blame.
Arizona was sloppy throughout the first half, and an experienced offensive line had no answer for the Oakland pass rush.
If Murray is to have any success as a rookie, he will require much better protection from an O-Line that was one of the worst in the NFL last year.
However, this game can also be a useful learning experience for Murray. Struggles have been few and far between for Murray in his football career. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury will hope this display can provide him with a few teaching moments when they assess the tape.
Every rookie will go through difficulties in their first season in the league, and the Cardinals may be happy to get Murray’s first bad showing out of the way in a non-competitive game. Now the focus shifts to him learning from it and bouncing back as the new-look Cardinals build towards the games that count next month.