Former No. 1 total draft picks and school teammates Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield will sq. off for the second time in three years when the undefeated Arizona Cardinals go to Cleveland to tackle the Browns on Sunday.
Murray, the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner and the No. 1 decide within the 2019 draft, is a number one MVP candidate. The Cardinals are off to a 5-0 begin for the primary time since 1974.
Mayfield, the 2017 Heisman winner and prime decide in 2018, has helped place the Browns (3-2) as a division contender within the AFC North.
They have been as soon as on the identical roster and in the identical quarterback room at Oklahoma. Mayfield and Murray gained the largest particular person trophy within the sport in back-to-back seasons.
“It’s all the time enjoyable once we get collectively, once we have been collectively,” Murray mentioned. “The usual was the usual. “(Mayfield) will get plenty of hate or no matter, however I watched it firsthand each day. How arduous he works, the throws he makes. I noticed all of it.”
The Cardinals are having extra enjoyable than the Browns in the intervening time.
Arizona is the NFL’s fourth-highest scoring offense (31.4 factors per recreation) whereas giving up simply 19.0 factors per recreation. The differential (plus-12.4) trails solely the Buffalo Payments.
Murray has accomplished at the least 70% of his passes in 4 straight video games, has 13 complete touchdowns (10 passing) and ranks fourth within the league with a 113.0 passer score. With confirmed targets in DeAndre Hopkins (312 receiving yards, 4 TDs) and A.J. Inexperienced, and dynamite rookie Rondale Moore, Murray and the Cardinals have been one of many league’s most entertaining offenses.
“(Murray) has all of the bases lined,” Mayfield mentioned. “Super participant. They’re enjoying at a excessive degree proper now.”
Offensively, so are the Browns. Mayfield posted season highs of 305 yards, two touchdowns and a 122.5 score final week, however Cleveland fell 47-42 determination on the Los Angeles Chargers.
It was the second highway lack of the 12 months for Cleveland, which has misplaced 4 straight in opposition to Arizona, together with a 38-24 defeat in 2019 when the rookie Murray topped Mayfield within the desert.
Cleveland operating again Nick Chubb is second within the NFL with 523 dashing yards, Kareem Hunt is second within the league with 5 dashing touchdowns, and defensive finish Myles Garrett — the No. 1 total decide in 2017 — leads the NFL with 7 sacks.
The matchup figures to be one of many showcase video games within the league. Murray mentioned it’s simply certainly one of 17.
“There’s no stakes, it’s a daily season recreation,” he mentioned. “Our mission is to go win, and so is theirs.”
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