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Kyler Murray Answering Cardinals' Call Of Duty With Stellar Season

Quarterback moves into MVP consideration as team surges to first place

Quarterback Kyler Murray gets congratulations postgame from teammate Patrick Peterson after the Cardinals beat the Bills last weekend.
Quarterback Kyler Murray gets congratulations postgame from teammate Patrick Peterson after the Cardinals beat the Bills last weekend.

Never will Kyler Murray tire of watching replays of his Hail Mary heave to DeAndre Hopkins to beat the Bills.

But in the aftermath of the most memorable play of his career and a thrilling victory, Murray celebrated the only way he knows how – he went home, jumped on his Twitch channel, and streamed out his Call of Duty video game session with teammates Chase Edmonds and Christian Kirk.

"That's like a perfect day," Murray said with a smile. "Winning a game and getting on the (video) game with your boys, it's hard to beat that."

The glory of Sunday was a microcosm of Murray's so far sublime sophomore season, a year many predicted was coming for the Cardinals' quarterback.

The spotlight has shined on his running ability, the one that was destined to separate Murray from other quarterback hopefuls. His 604 yards on the ground (in nine games) is already a franchise record for quarterbacks. He has five straight games with both a passing and rushing touchdown, which is an NFL record. His 10 rushing touchdowns this season makes a challenge to Cam Newton's QB record of 14 (in 2011) likely.

Murray is on pace to become the first NFL player ever to have 4,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing in a season.

"I've kind of visualized what he could be since he was 15 years old," coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "It's fun for me to sit back, not only as a guy who gets to work with him, but as a fan, and see how he has taken it and run with it."

Boasting isn't part of Murray's game, although he's not going to shy away from stating the facts as he knows them, either. He said he could've played better against the Bills, although "when the team is winning, obviously I feel like the quarterback is doing something well." Statistically, he couldn't have done much better the previous game against the Dolphins, but once the Cardinals lost, any achievement was all but worthless.

With the national TV wins over the Cowboys and Seahawks, the Hail Murray touchdown that dominated the Sunday night NFL coverage, and yet another national TV game Thursday night against the Seahawks – on top of his incredible play – Murray has also stepped into the MVP conversation.

"I haven't done anything so as far as the MVP deal, I'm not worried about that," Murray said. "As far my personal confidence, do I believe I'm one of the best in the league? Yeah, of course. I think anybody should be confident in themselves."

The confidence carries over. NFL Films cameras caught Murray postgame talking with Bills offensive lineman and Murray college teammate Cody Ford, with Murray saying he knew the Cardinals would win – a stretch given their desperate straits just a few seconds before Hopkins' mind-bending catch.

Maybe, though, that's just who Murray is.

"When you see a guy like that scrambling around, making plays with his feet, running for first downs, taking hits, and doing things that are uncommon for a quarterback, Kyler motivates everyone on that football field," Hopkins said. "He gives us a spark I've never been a part of and I'm just happy to be his teammate."

It's a natural byproduct, Murray said, of him playing hard for his team and to win. His competitiveness is well-chronicled, as is his talent. Bring those together, and you have a guy on pace for record statistics, a guy in the MVP talk, a guy who wheels away from a sure tackle and then flings, against his body, an excellent 50-yard throw that ends in a miracle touchdown.

"Those throws you make at the end, it looks like it's lucky, but it's way more than that," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.

You do that, you've probably earned a little WarZone time with your friends.

"I don't think I can draw it up much better," Murray said.

Sure, Murray was talking about his game-winning TD pass/video game combination. He could say the same for the start of his NFL career.