Fans and local media members always draw comparisons to the hometown team when watching playoff games that don't involve the team they watch or cover. It's fun! But there's playing-Jenga-with-the-family fun, and then there's tripping-on-mushrooms-at-your-friend's-lake-house-in-Canada fun. Comparing Kyler Murray to Patrick Mahomes falls into the shrooms category, and my days of pointing out how the "trees look, like, alive or something," are long gone. So, I'll go ahead and feed that narrative some munchies, put out the incense and tuck it into bed right now.
First of all, Murray and Mahomes aren't even close physically. Mahomes has the strongest arm in the NFL. Kyler Murray has a strong arm for his size. Mahomes is 6' 3", 230 lbs, and regularly breaks NFL tackles. Kyler Murray is 5' 10" (we think), 207 pounds and it was strikingly obvious that NFL defenders can bring him down with ease during his rookie year. Mahomes also does this...
Along with his physical gifts, Mahomes has the better support. Kliff Kingsbury does some good things, but Andy Reid has shaped dominant, playoff-bound offenses around Donovan McNabb, Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes throughout his career. The Chiefs are also very stable from a front office perspective, having built a roster with a balance of impact players across the offense and defense. Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Tyrann Mathieu, Chris Jones and Frank Clark are a few of those names. The Cardinals, on the other hand, employ a general manager who's currently trying to redeem himself to a fanbase after missing continuously on first-round picks, handing out David Johnson-sized contracts and getting an extreme DUI. You could say, there's a divide there.
Divisions, by the way, matter more than anyone mentions. Tom Brady's had the pleasure of meandering through the AFC East his entire career. Peyton Manning lucked out with the AFC South. Patrick Mahomes walked into an AFC West full of dysfunction. The Broncos have flailed on quarterbacks recently (but hope Drew Lock is their man), the Chargers and Phillip Rivers are reportedly on the verge of splitting, and there's a new report every year about Jon Gruden's disinterest in Derek Carr. Mahomes and Andy Reid are the only stable marriage. Kyler Murray, on the other hand, resides in the undisputed heavyweight division of football. Each team in the NFC West, outside of the Cardinals, has played in a Super Bowl with their current head coach/quarterback combination over the past six seasons. All three other teams also enjoyed a winning record in 2019-20.
I think Kyler Murray is a franchise quarterback that will fill up State Farm Stadium for years and bring joy to many a Cardinals fans. I don't think I'm tripping when I say that. But Patrick Mahomes comes from a different planet, and landed in a different universe.