Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray similar to Russell Wilson, but there are differences
A week after they neutralized Russell Wilson, the Giants’ defense will try to do the same against Kyler Murray.
Shouldn’t be too hard. The two quarterbacks have a lot in common.
"There are just some basic things you can check boxes on," Joe Judge said, comparing them. "Are they mobile? Yes. Do they have big arms? Yes. Are they explosive? Yes."
But then Judge asked and answered one final rhetorical question — probably the most important one.
"Are they the same player? No."
And that’s why the Giants won’t be using the same defense they employed last week when they host the Cardinals on Sunday.
It’s a trap many teams fall into. Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said he sees it a lot when teams face Seattle and then his squad. They try to do many of the same things.
"The ability to get out of the pocket and extend plays with their feet is something that both those guys possess,’’ Kingsbury said, "so you will see some similar schemes at times trying to contain that."
Often it doesn’t work.
"I don’t think it’s the best thing to do to try to paint these guys with a broad brush and say that they’re the same quarterback," Judge said. "I don’t see that at all. I think they’re both very talented, very capable, they’re both explosive, but they both have their own play style, they both do things within their own unique personality, and you have to know how to play each one different."
Murray, he noted, is just as apt to roll to his left as his right. Wilson makes most of his big plays moving to his right.
Then there is the difference in their abilities.
"Not that Russell isn’t fast, but this guy Murray is true speed," defensive coordinator Patrick Graham said. "Not fast, not quick. We’re dealing with true speed. Any mistake, it can be a touchdown at any given moment. That’s what you’re dealing with with this guy."
Some teams have been able to slow down Murray. In the last three games, all losses, he’s been limited to 15 total rushes for 61 yards and zero touchdowns. A shoulder issue may have limited Murray’s daring in the pocket, but this week he was not on the team’s injury report for the first time in weeks.
That the Giants may have to face Murray without middle linebacker Blake Martinez, who is listed as questionable with a back injury, could make the task that much more difficult. Rookie Tae Crowder might have to be the one trying to chase Murray around the field from sideline to sideline.
"I think at the end of the day, it all comes down to everybody on the field though," Martinez said. "I don’t think you can kind of put it on one person being a key point for us. I think it’s going to come down to every single person covering their part of the field, doing their one-eleventh and making sure we contain him as much as you can."
They did it with Wilson.
"It’s not going to be exactly the same as last week," Judge said. "It can’t be because it’s a different player, different team, different schemes. But it will have the same elements of things you try to always accomplish every week."
And with any luck, the same result.