The Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants will showcase two rookie quarterbacks in a Week 7 matchup on Sunday. Kyler Murray and Daniel Jones have stepped up and played well for their respective teams so far this season, and this game should be an exciting one to watch, given their unique abilities.
The Cardinals are playing in potentially the toughest division in the NFL, the NFC West, and their 2-3-1 record currently leaves them in last place behind the 49ers, Seahawks, and Rams. Murray and new head coach Kliff Kingsbury have seemed to be clicking lately as they picked up wins over the Bengals and Falcons in their last two games by a combined four points.
Murray picked up his first career Player of the Week award last week after throwing for 340 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions at home against the Falcons. Over the first six weeks of the season, he has totaled 1,664 yards, seven touchdowns, and four interceptions with a .643 completion percentage. While his stats don’t jump off the page, it seems like he is settling into the NFL, and they could be on the rise.
Getting it done once again on the ground for the Cardinals is David Johnson. Johnson is back to being healthy and taking the bulk of the Cardinals carries. With 76 attempts this year, he has tallied 298 yards and two touchdowns. Veteran Larry Fitzgerald has once again been the primary receiver this year with 35 receptions, 427 yards and two touchdowns.
The Cardinals have averaged 22.3 points per game this year while allowing 28.5. They have been putting up 400 yards per game while allowing 428.8. While these both look bad for the Cardinals, they seem to be steadily improving week by week and will prove to be a much tougher team than they look to be on paper.
The Giants are sitting at 2-4 this season after the first six weeks. They started out 2-0 under Jones but then fell short in two tough games against the Vikings and Patriots. This could be a great game for them to start getting back on track as they try to compete in a very open division.
At quarterback for the last four weeks has been Jones, taking the place of veteran Eli Manning. Despite the Giants being criticized for drafting Jones so early, he has stepped up and played well behind a very rough offensive line without their star running back, Saquan Barkley.
This game will be the return of last year’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, Barkley. After injuring his knee during Jones’ debut, Barkley will look to bring back a completely different dynamic to their offense and add some explosiveness out of the backfield. It will be interesting to see how much Barkley can help Jones in the pocket.
So far this season, the Giants’ primary receiver has been tight end Evan Engram. The young star has 33 receptions so far with 373 yards and two touchdowns. While the positions seem unrelated, with Barkley coming back at running back, it should take the attention off everyone else and allow a rise in everyone’s production.
The Giants are currently averaging just 18.5 points per game while giving up 26.7, though these numbers were inflated over the last two weeks, where they lost by a combined 39 points. While the Cardinals have won their last two, the Giants have seemed to take a step back.
What To Expect
Despite the Cardinals playing well lately, I believe the Giants’ home-field advantage and the return of Barkley will give them enough of a spark to get the win and stop their recent skid. I’m taking New York.