Fanbases are mad that Kyler Murray won Offensive Rookie of the Year

9th Annual NFL Honors - Arrivals

Raiders, Titans, Giants and even Jaguars fans are upset that Kyler Murray won Offensive Rookie of the Year instead of their rookies.

 
 
 
 

They're all of course, completely misguided. Kyler Murray deserved it more than all these players.

Let's start with Josh Jacobs, the rookie running back for the Raiders who finished with 1150 rushing yards and 7 TDs, and A.J. Brown, the rookie wide receiver for the Titans who finished with 1051 receiving yards and 8 TDs. Each guy had a great season for a rookie skill position player. The problem is, they're skill position players.

By virtue of the position Kyler Murray plays, his production of 3722 passing yards with 20 TDs and 12 INTs is more impressive. Why? Because he's the face of a franchise, a decision maker, a No. 1 overall pick. It's the same reason Rodger Goodell makes $31M per year. Not only does Goodell negotiate TV contracts like a wizard, he's also the public face of the league. Goodell never gets to turn off. Whether he's online, going to the store, or using a public restroom, he is the NFL. Being a constant representative of the highest grossing league in the US is exhaustive, and so is being the public face of one of that league's clubs.

Jacobs and Brown aren't the face of anything.

 

As far as the other quarterbacks, here's what the numbers say:

Daniel Jones (13 games): 61% Cmp% | 3027 Yds | 24 TDs | 12 INTs

Gardner Minshew (14 games): 60.6% Cmp% | 3271 Yds | 21 TDs | 6 INTs

Kyler Murray (16 games): 64.4% Cmp% | 3722 Yds | 20 TDs | 12 INTs

On paper, there are areas where both Jones and Minshew were more impressive than Murray. In context, though, it's not close.

Daniel Jones was coached by Pat Shurmur, who's been in the NFL since 1999, and who's served as a head coach previously. Jones also had Saquan Barkley, Evan Engram and Golden Tate as offensive support. Gardner Minshew was coached by Doug Marrone, who's been in the NFL since 2002, previously was head coach of the Bills, and who's been with the Jags since 2015. Minshew's offensive arsenal included Leonard Fournette, DJ Chark and Dede Westbrook.

Kyler Murray, one the other hand, was coached by Kliff Kingsbury, who was experiencing his first real NFL job. Kliff was learning how to organize his first NFL training camp at the same time Kyler Murray was trying to learn an NFL playbook. Kyler's leading receiver was a 36-year old Larry Fitzgerald, his leading rusher was Kenyan Drake with 643 yards and his offensive line was middle-of-the-pack.

Kyler's head coach was figuring the NFL world out at the same time as him, his roster was so mediocre that Steve Keim became the most hated man in Phoenix, and Murray carried the pressure of being the No. 1 overall pick. Yet, the Cardinals found themselves 13th in offensive efficiency, largely on their rookie QBs back.

In the sport that rewards stability and support more than any other, Kyler Murray had the least of all other OROY candidates, and carried the most responsibility. He thrived. He deserves this award.

Matthew Jarecki

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