Saturday night, the college football-loving world will be watching to see if Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts can upset Joe Burrow and make it three Heisman Trophy winners in a row for the Sooners. Then on Sunday, fans will get to watch the last two Heisman winners in action when the Cleveland Browns take on the Arizona Cardinals.
It is only natural, of course, that the two be compared—and they are performing at remarkably similar levels. Mayfield only has 49 more passing yards than Murray. Murray has thrown for 16 touchdowns this season; Mayfield, just 15.
It isn’t surprising that they have been somewhat similar in regards to their production this season. Yes, they are playing in different offenses with skill position players of varying skill to work with. But at this stage of their careers, a lot of what fans see will be that former Heisman winner breaking through as each learns to adjust to the NFL game.
When these two face off on Sunday, who is going to have the better day? If you think you know, you may want to head over to Bovada.lv:
- Who Will Have More Passing Yards In Week 15?
- Baker Mayfield -170
- Kyler Murray +130
So—who’s going to win?
Before deciding that, it will help to examine what each is working with. The Browns passing offense ranks 20th in the league with 222.3 yards a game. However, it is worth noting that Mayfield has been all over the road from one week to the next.
He’s thrown for less than 200 yards in three of the last four and in six of 13 games played this season. But he has also thrown for 300+ in three games and 200+ in four. Sometimes the defense was tough, and he shredded them anyway. Sometimes it was tough, and they clobbered him.
In three of his last four, he threw for less than 200 yards—but he went for 300+in the other game.
As for Murray, after starting out hot with three 300+yard games within his first six, he has cooled down considerably. He posted a 300+ yard day four weeks back against the Buccaneers but has since had three sub-200-yard games in a row.
Could defenses be figuring Murray and Kliff Kingsbury’s offense already? Maybe, but then again, their last three opponents have been tough (49ers, Rams, and Steelers).
Production-wise, it is probably a toss-up. Both have played well, and both have struggled. As far as their skill position guys go, it is fairly even as well. You would think with Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr., the Browns would have the advantage. But you can’t trust OBJ and the Cardinals have some good guys as well (like Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald).
So—how should you bet? What is going to give one guy an edge over the other?
Cleveland is not eliminated from the playoffs yet, and the Cardinals have the worst pass defense in the NFL. Factor in Baker Mayfield’s desire to exact revenge on anyone that he feels wronged him (like former Texas Tech head coach turned Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury), and Mayfield is the easy bet here.