Quarterback Comparison: Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Kyler Murray
It’s crazy to think, despite being a rookie, Murray has nearly half the number of pro-level starts as his Week 9 counterpart, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
In a sense, both signal-callers are still proverbially “learning on the job,” although Garoppolo continues to do enough to win. And his pure passing numbers show a stark contrast in San Francisco’s favor:
Arizona’s offense mandates plenty of pass attempts, while the 49ers are doing the opposite when they have the ball, featuring the run far more.
But there are some facets to watch for each quarterback in this game.
Garoppolo has averaged one interception tossed per game this season, which is a trend the Niners would like to see end at Arizona this Thursday. On the positive side of things, though, the Cardinals have just two interceptions on the season — sounds a lot like San Francisco’s 2018 defense, right? That’s tied for fewest in the league entering Week 9.
That said, the Cardinals have done a halfway decent job pressuring opponents’ quarterbacks this season, getting pressure on roughly 24 percent of dropbacks — a middle-of-the-pack number.
Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how one looks at it, Garoppolo’s picks thrown haven’t regularly come as a result of being pressured.
Murray might not be delivering high-impact passing numbers his first year at the pro level. But he does have the occasional game in which he goes off, as was the case in Week 6 against the Atlanta Falcons in which he tossed three touchdowns, finishing with a whopping 340 pass yards and 128.2 passer rating.
Granted, games like this haven’t been the norm, and five of Murray’s eight starts have seen ratings below the 80 mark.
Yet Murray’s rushing abilities make him a weapon, the kind which San Francisco hasn’t quite faced this season. Exactly how this affects the Niners’ No. 1 pass defense is going to be a key matchup to watch.