As a fan of all things football, It’s always fun when we are treated with an electric quarterback matchup in an NFL game. It’s even more fun when those quarterbacks are essentially the same person. The Arizona Cardinals and Kyler Murray will be looking in the mirror against Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Let’s start with some weirdness. Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts have the same birthday, one year apart; Kyler was born on Aug 7, 1997, while Jalen was born on Aug 7, 1998. The back-to-back starting quarterbacks for the University of Oklahoma were also both born in Texas.
The statistics are equally similar. Looking at their final year in college, the numbers are as follows:
Passing: 4,361 yards, 69% completion percentage, 42 TDs, 7 INTs.
Rushing: 1,001 yards, 7.2 yards per carry, 12 TDs
Total: 5,362 yards, 54 TDs
Passing: 3,851 yards, 69.7% completion percentage, 32 TDs, 8 INTs
Rushing: 1,298 yards, 5.6 yards per carry, 20 TDs
Total: 5,149 yards, 52 TDs
Weird, right? If Joe Burrow didn’t have arguably the greatest season in college football history in 2019, Jalen Hurts would have essentially been a lock for the Heisman (he finished second in the voting), just like Kyler brought home the year before in 2018.
Kyler Murray is often discussed as being one of the great young quarterbacks in the game today, but don’t be surprised if Hurts continues to develop in his starting role into an equally dynamic playmaker. He is exactly what the league is looking for today - a dual-threat quarterback that can run and pass, that takes care of the football, that can extend plays with his legs and deliver an accurate pass.
This is what a mobile quarterback can do for an offense. The Eagles, with their offensive line issues, will greatly benefit from a quarterback able to do what Jalen Hurts can. He showed off that dual threat ability by being only the 2nd quarterback in NFL history with over 100 rushing yards in his first career start.
Kyler vs. Jalen will be amazing optics on Sunday in this battle of former-Sooner quarterbacks.