When the Cardinals offense needs a spark they can rely on Kyler Murray. This mesmerizing touchdown run gave Arizona a lead against the 49ers.
The 49ers give Kyler Murray the ability to make a lot of big plays within the confines of their offense. Murray doesn’t just hurt opponents with his accurate passing. He also can slice up NFL defenses with his slick running ability.
The 49ers learned that lesson the hard way early in the fourth quarter of their Week 1 matchup against Arizona. Murray tucked the ball and scampered for a 22-yard touchdown to give his team an important 17-13 lead in the contest. The San Francisco defense dropped plenty of bodies back into coverage but they failed to keep Murray in the pocket.
Losing contain against a quarterback of his caliber is a big mistake. Murray’s small size actually works in his favor when it comes to his running ability. He has an incredible ability to hide behind his offensive lineman before popping out into the opposing secondary. Once he gets going downfield he’s almost impossible for linebackers or even defensive backs to tackle in open space.
Picking his spots in the run game will be an important part of Murray’s development this season. He doesn’t have the body type to absorb a ton of hits over a full 16-game regular season. Instead, it’s important that Murray only run when his team absolutely needs him to make a big play.
Runs like this still should serve as sobering reminders of Murray’s talent for opposing NFL defensive coordinators. Any scheme that fails to account for him as a runner is doomed to fail. The 49ers learned that lesson the hard way during their Week 1 game.