Football Team

Jeff Garcia on how Washington must contain Kyler Murray

Football Team

In order for the Washington Football Team to leave Arizona victorious on Sunday, the defense must be able to contain Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.

That's no secret. Washington knows it. Arizona knows it. And everyone else knows it too. Stopping Murray is by far the No. 1 task for Washington entering Week 2.

So, how will Washington accomplish that? NBC Sports Bay Area analyst and former NFL QB Jeff Garcia has an idea.

For starters, Washington must be ready for the quick passes that Arizona loves to run.

"They're doing a great job of getting the ball out of [Murray's] hands quickly, a lot of screens," Garcia said. "What the Washington Football Team is going to recognize when watching film is that they're going to see him throw a lot of quick passes, quick screens, getting the ball to his playmakers like DeAndre Hopkins, [Larry] Fitzgerald, [Christian] Kirk. These guys can make plays for him."

In Kingsbury's debut season last year, Arizona operated out of the 10 personnel (1 running back, 0 tight ends, 4 wide receivers) more than any other team in the NFL, and by a wide margin. 

This concept, part of Kingsbury's 'Air Raid' offense, is designed to get the ball in receivers' hands quickly, giving these playmakers plenty of space to make things happen.

But perhaps where Arizona's offense is so dangerous is when Murray gets outside the pocket. For what Murray lacks in height, he more than makes up for with his athleticism. 

In the Cardinals' upset victory over San Francisco last week, the sophomore passer rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, including a 22-yard scamper in the fourth quarter to put Arizona ahead.

 

"When things break down around him, he is so Houdini-like in the ability to escape," Garcia said.

After a rough start in the opener, Washington did an exceptional job flustering Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz last week. The Burgundy and Gold totaled eight sacks in Week 1, with five separate players finishing with at least one.

Wentz is a mobile quarterback himself, but not to the degree that Murray is. Garcia says it'll be a much different challenge for Washington.

"I know the Washington Football Team got after Carson Wentz last week. He has mobility as well, but they're going to face a guy [in Murray] who's quicker and faster," Garcia said. "The 49ers, who have a great D-line like the Washington Football Team does, learned quickly that he's not easy to contain."

So, what can Washington take from San Francisco's struggles last week?

"Rush from the edge," Garcia said. "When you rush from inside, it's more important to form a little wall around him, make it hard for him to see, not create or give him those throwing lanes or rushing lanes. He killed the 49ers with his legs last week, especially in the second half."

What Washington must keep in mind on Sunday is that it must stay disciplined. Murray is going to make plays regardless; he's too good not to. And if Murray continues on this upward trend, Garcia believes the second-year QB has the potential to be as successful as one of the league's best passers.

"Then you look at Kyler Murray, this guy is like a Russell Wilson in so many ways," Garcia said. "He's just getting better week in and week out."