The first marquee NFC West matchup takes place on Sunday, October 3 at SoFi Stadium, between the 3-0 Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams, who are both undefeated.
Not only will this be the first undefeated divisional matchup, but the Cards at Rams matchup will feature two players who are already causing early MVP buzz for their respective teams. And on Sunday, we’ll see which of Arizona’s Kyler Murray and Los Angeles’ Matthew Stafford gets the early lead in the race for league MVP. Murray’s MVP Case
One betting line is all in on Murray for MVP. The 24-year-old is the favorite to win the league’s top individual honor, according to BetMGM. He’s ahead of Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady, who are ranked second and third, respectively, according to BetMGM. Murray has put together the following numbers through three games:
- Murray is third in the league in passing yardage with 1,005. He also has the third-best average yards per pass in the league, with 335. With seven touchdown passes, he’s tied for fifth in the league.
- He’s one of six players tied for the NFL lead in rushing touchdowns with three, joining Derrick Henry and Ezekiel Elliot on the list. On the morning of Tuesday, September 28, Andrew DeWitt, sports betting senior editor for The Athletic, wrote this about Murray’s performance:
“If you’ve watched Murray play, it isn’t surprising at all. What doesn’t he do for the Cardinals offense? It also helps that Arizona runs one of the highest tempo offenses which allows him to add even more stats to his already outrageous stat lines each week. BetMGM took a ton of bets of Murray in the preseason and now he’s the most bet on with 15.7 percent of the bets and 16.4 percent of the money bet on him.”
But he’s not just the odds on favorite via BetMGM. He’s got a new backer.
The Case for Stafford as League MVP
The Case for Stafford as League MVP
Stafford, 33, has never been a league MVP before, even in years when he threw for more than 4,500 yards at Detroit, which he did three times. As of Monday, September 27, he’s tied for the MVP lead with Murray in one sportsbook: Tipico. Stafford’s numbers are as follows:
- Stafford is tied for second in the NFL with Mahomes with nine touchdown passes. Stafford has 942 passing yards, which ranks him fifth in the league. However, his QB rating of
- is second only to Russell Wilson’s 129.8. Stafford also has this going for him thanks to Rams broadcaster J.B. Long.
Stafford also has this going for him thanks to Rams broadcaster J.B. Long.
Stafford’s Career in Comparison to Former NFL MVP
Stafford is on pace to break career and franchise records over the course of his 17-game schedule. However, according to Bleacher Report’s Brad Gagnon, Stafford’s career is starting to resemble that of the 2002 NFL MVP. Murray and Stafford have been on the same field twice, according to Gagnon.
“Remember Rich Gannon? Dude spent his first 12 seasons toiling away as a replacement-level quarterback in Minnesota, Washington and Kansas City, sometimes as a backup, other times as an underwhelming starter. Then, at the age of 33, he moved to California to run Jon Gruden’s innovative offense with the Oakland Raiders. Over the course of the next four years, Gannon made four Pro Bowls, was a first-team All-Pro twice and was league MVP once for an Oakland team that was a perennial contender.
It’s hard not to think about Gannon’s career arc while watching Matthew Stafford, who spent the first 12 seasons of his career toiling away with little support and even fewer accolades in Detroit before moving to California at the age of 33 to run Sean McVay’s innovative offense with the Los Angeles Rams.”
Murray and Stafford have been on the same field twice, according to Gagnon. What was the first meeting like? Murray’s NFL debut ended in a 27-27 tie on September 8, 2019. Both quarterbacks threw for over 300 yards that day. Both men had the same passing yardage (270) and touchdown passes (two) the following year, but Stafford and the Lions won 26-23 on September 27, 2020. So far, Murray has a 0-1-1 record against Stafford-led teams. But what about the Rams? In four games against the Rams, Murray has yet to defeat them. What about Stafford against the Cardinals?
He has a good chance of getting his personal record. He’s 5-0 against Arizona, and he’s 3-4-1 all-time against them. Clean Bowled News