Black QB Chronicles: Kyler Murray, LJ and Mahomes In The Record Zone

Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray continues to rack up video game type numbers in his starts while keeping the upstart Cards in the playoff mix at 5-3 midway through the season. 

Despite Sunday’s 34-31 loss to a surging Miami team with rookie Tua Tagovailoa at the helm, Murray didn’t disappoint, hitting on 21-of-26 passes for 283 yards and 3 TDs. The diminutive dynamo — the first No. 1 overall pick of his kind in NFL history at the quarterback position — also added 106 rushing yards in the game, making him one of a rare breed of QBs to ever impact the game through the air and with his legs so potently. 

Russell Wilson became the first player to ever pass for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in 2014. He finished the game with 313 passing yards and 106 rushing yards. In 2015, Cam Newton became the first player in NFL history to rush for 100 yards, pass for 300 yards AND tally 5 passing touchdowns in the same game.

People easily forget the greatness these quarterbacks have displayed throughout their careers, so Murray has a long way to go before he is considered an elite QB. When it’s all said and done, Murray is sure to have a couple of those games before its all over. As magnificent as he’s been running the offense, the second-year quarterback is also elevating the rest of his team as they’ve already won as many games as they did all of last season (5). That’s a sure sign of a quarterback that’s moving in a superstar direction. 

Mahomes needed just 40 games to reach 100 touchdown passes, breaking Dan Marino‘s mark of 44 games set in 1986. The great Dan Marino ended up tossing 420 touchdown passes in his Hall of Fame career, leaving the NFL as the league’s all-time passing touchdown leader in 1999. 

Mahomes already became the fastest quarterback to 10,000 passing yards this season, accomplishing that feat in just 34 games. He’s also just the third quarterback with 22 games of at least 300 passing yards in his first four seasons in NFL history, joining only Warner (26) and Marino (22). 

He entered Sunday’s game with the most passing yards (11,727) and highest passer rating (110.1) and fewest interceptions (19) through his first 39 starts in NFL history.  

The accomplishments are incredible but let’s not forget that today’s game is built around excessive passing. For instance, the Bucs only rushed the ball four times in their loss to the New Orleans Saints on Monday night and that’s the fewest rushes by a team in NFL history. The game has changed tremendously and we have to keep that in perspective when evaluating today’s quarterbacks against past greats. 

Mahomes, however, would be great in any era. 

Teddy Bridgewater was overshadowed by Mahomes, but he continued his inspirational comeback tour with 310 passing yards and 2 TDs and fell a field goal short of pulling off the upset. He was razor sharp again.

The guys who agreed that Lamar Jackson should be a wide receiver are now circling back and trying to find deficiencies in his game. Floating narratives like the guy who won an MVP in his only full season in the league “can’t win the big one.” “He can’t pass.” “He can’t beat Patrick Mahomes.”

Every day it’s something new. The one consistent opinion, which isn’t an opinion because the stats stand out like a speed knot on the forehead of a suspect soldier, is that Jackson is a winner.

As Sunday’s assault on Dan Marino’s records continued, Jackson overcame a halftime deficit for the first time in his career to win a clutch game and shut the haters up for a minute. In doing so, he tied Marino for the best start by a quarterback since 1966 with a 25-5 season record.

These quarterbacks are excelling and elevating their teams at the highest level of competition in the world. Every week is a challenge and nothing is guaranteed. They are all special and deserve alot more praise than critcism.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.