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    Cardinals' Kyler Murray most likely second-year quarterback to continue NFL MVP trend

    Could a second-year quarterback win the NFL MVP Award for a third year in a row?
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    This writer isn't sure that just two seasons can constitute a trend in the NFL, but for these purposes we will call this one: A quarterback in his second season has won the MVP Award in back-to-back years. It was Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes in 2018 and Baltimore's Lamar Jackson last year. The only realistic option to keep that run going this year? Arizona's Kyler Murray, who is +2000 to win league MVP on the William Hill sportsbook moneyline odds. Nine percent of all tickets sold on this prop currently are on Murray, tied for most at the book.  

    Murray already has one advantage over Mahomes and Jackson: A full season under his belt as a starter entering his second year. Mahomes started just a meaningless Week 17 game for the Chiefs in his 2017 rookie season as K.C. still had Alex Smith around then (seems like forever ago!). Jackson only took over as Baltimore's starter halfway through his 2018 rookie campaign when Joe Flacco was injured.

    Murray, like Jackson a former Heisman Trophy winner, was the 2019 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in starting all 16 games for the Cardinals. He completed 64.4 percent of his throws for 3,722 yards, 20 touchdowns and 12 picks while rushing for 544 yards and four scores. Murray, the first player taken by the Cardinals with the No. 1 overall pick since 1958, became the sixth quarterback in league history and second rookie (Cam Newton) with at least 3,500 passing yards and 500 rushing yards in a season.

    He was the third Cardinals player to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, joining Ottis Anderson (1979) and Anquan Boldin (2003). The Cardinals have never had an NFL MVP winner. Neither have the Texans, Jets, Jaguars, Eagles, Saints or Bucs. Murray's odds got shorter this offseason when Arizona acquired Pro Bowl wideout DeAndre Hopkins in a trade with Houston.

    "Let's face it, Year 2 figures to be even better for Kyler," said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US. "He has DeAndre Hopkins now, a top-3 receiver. Another year in Kliff Kingsbury's system. There's a lot of positive trends there."  

    The only other second-year QBs who are expected to start this season are Washington's Dwayne Haskins, Jacksonville's Gardner Minshew, the NY Giants' Daniel Jones and Denver's Drew Lock (tied with Murray at nine percent of tickets sold). Hard to see any of them competing for an MVP. Lock has the shortest odds of that group at +6000. 

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    SportsLine Staff

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