BALTIMORE – For the first three quarters of the Arizona Cardinals’ season opener, Kyler Murray looked a lot like a rookie quarterback, and not a very good one.
Over the first 45 minutes of his NFL debut, the No. 1 overall draft pick was 9 for 25 for 70 yards and threw an interception against the Detroit Lions. Entering the fourth quarter, the Cardinals trailed at home, 17-6.
Then things started to click. As Arizona rallied back, forcing overtime and settling for a 27-27 tie, Murray went 20 for 29 for 238 yards and two touchdowns. Sunday’s challenge will be even tougher: Keep the Cardinals competitive against the Ravens in Baltimore.
“For a young quarterback on the road in his first start, that’s a tough task,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said Wednesday. “Where they bring people from, how adept they are at disguising looks and hitting the pressures on time, it’s going to be a real challenge for us.”
More often than not, it’s a losing proposition for rookie quarterbacks: They’re just 1-10 on the road against the Ravens since coach John Harbaugh took over in 2008. Mitchell Trubisky’s 2017 win with the Chicago Bears is the lone blemish, and former Cleveland Browns quarterback Cody Kessler is the only starter to have completed more than 60% of his passes.
Murray, a former top baseball prospect, is a unique talent. Ravens tight end Mark Andrews called the reigning Heisman Trophy winner an “all-around playmaker.”
“He’s been there before,” said Andrews, who played with Murray in 2017 at Oklahoma. “He’s been in big games, and he’s done all that. So he’s going to be very composed in those types of situations, and I think you saw that to come back and tie [the Lions]. It was pretty impressive.”
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