By the time it takes you to finish reading this sentence, you would be tackled to the ground by the pass rush of the LA Rams. Led by All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald, the Rams wasted no time in getting to the quarterback in the first three games of the season. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.
Per Next Gen Stats, it takes Murray an average of 2.94 seconds to get rid of the football. That makes him the 31st ranked quarterback in terms of how much time he holds the ball in his hands. That’s fine with the LA Rams defense. Just hold that ball a little longer, Kyler Murray. Just a little bit… gotcha!
Time is ticking
The LA Rams recorded three sacks on Chicago Bears quarterback Andy Dalton, who was able to get rid of the football in just 2.44 seconds. The LA Rams brought down quarterback Carson Wentz when they faced the Indianapolis Colts. In Week 2, Wentz needed 2.9 seconds to get rid of the football. In Week 3, the Rams pass rush recorded another three sacks against Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. Brady got rid of the ball in 2.54 seconds. The Rams pass rush is not only fierce, but it’s also fast too.
Murray has been comfortable in the pocket so far in the 2021 NFL season, simply due to the lack of quarterback pressure. His 1005 passing yards and 76.5 percent passing accuracy are both good enough to place him as the third-ranked NFL quarterback in those categories. But he has done all of that in the warm and fuzzy confines of a pocket that gives him the equivalent of all day to throw his pass. Give any quarterback all day, and he can complete a forward pass.
Do the Arizona Cardinals have a stopwatch? If so, they had better have forced Murray to get rid of the ball faster, much faster. If not, he will be running for his life as the LA Rams defensive front closes in on him.
But even if he does manage to speed up his throwing motion? That means shorter passes and fewer yards-per-completion. It will mean that the Cardinals’ offense will not be able to sit back and carve up the Rams’ secondary. It means that Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray will need to throw to a spot and hope that the receiver gets there before the defensive back.
It means that the LA Rams will be throwing Murray off his rhythm, and speeding up his passing ahead of schedule. By the time it takes you to read this final sentence, Kyler Murray will have either passed the football or been sacked. Either way, time’s up for Cardinals QB Kyler Murray. He won’t have all day to throw it in Week 4.