Let's Make Kyler Murray the First NFL MVP to Miss the Playoffs Since OJ Simpson

By Stephen Douglas
Kylar Murray
Kylar Murray / Norm Hall/Getty Images
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Kyler Murray is having a great season. Halfway through his sophomore year in the NFL, he's put together better numbers than where 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson was at this time last season. Quite frankly, Murray has been great and it has show in the stats and the win column. The Cardinals are currently 5-3 and headed for their best season since the Bruce Arians / Carson Palmer era.

So first, I'd like to congratulate everyone who rightly believed in Murray during the offseason. He was a popular pick for talking heads to predict would be the MVP. Skip Bayless, Bucky Brooks and Field Yates were among those predicting a monster MVP-type season for Murray back in May. Muarry has come through.

The question is, can Murray keep it up? He's very good, so probably. Will it be enough to win the MVP? That also remains unclear. There are some other big name quarterbacks having incredible seasons. Particularly, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, who have thrown a combined 49 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Also, Patrick Mahomes exists.

If Murray simply plays at his current pace, he'll finish with better numbers than Jackson. The big difference is that Jackson was quarterbacking the team with the best record in the NFL. That's not going to happen for Kyler Murray. No matter how spectacular his numbers are, the Cardinals might not even make the playoffs. No matter how many teams the NFL is able to add.

At 5-3, the Cardinals are tied for the fifth-best record in the NFC, but the NFC East gets a playoff representative, which means the Cards are already slipping to the second Wild Card spot. They have the same record as the Los Angeles Rams and the Chicago Bears also have five wins. Also in the NFC West, the 49ers are 4-5. The Cardinals could finish anywhere between first and last in their own division and still make the playoffs. Or miss them altogether, which should eliminate Murray from MVP consideration.

But what it didn't and he won? It would be the first time since 1973 that an MVP missed the playoffs. Only OJ Simpson in '73 and Johnny Unitas in '67 have done it. For Murray to win MVP and miss the playoffs, well, it would be the only thing crazier than a non-quarterback winning that piece of hardware.

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