TEMPE, Ariz. — Kyler Murray is making all the big plays the Cardinals expected when they selected the quarterback with the No. 1 overall draft pick in April.
Even more impressive: Those big plays are coming without many big mistakes.
Murray’s rookie season has been encouraging for many reasons, including his ability to make strong, accurate throws and to run. But his most elite trait might be an ability to avoid drive-killing blunders so early in his career.
Going into Sunday’s game against the Bucs at Raymond James Stadium, Murray has thrown 172 straight passes over more than five games without an interception, the longest current streak in the NFL entering Thursday. He also has 56 straight rushing attempts without a fumble.
First-year coach Kliff Kingsbury said Murray, 22, has a mature approach to preparation that has allowed him to avoid many of the problems that usually plague rookies.
“This is his job full time, and he’s taking that to heart,” Kingsbury said. “He asks all the right questions. He retains information. He processes it very well, and I think you’re going to continue to see that grow as he figures this deal out.”
Through nine games, Murray has thrown for 2,229 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions. He has also run for 313 yards and two touchdowns.
Arizona (3-5-1) is at the bottom of the NFC West, a difficult division that includes the undefeated 49ers, the Seahawks and the Rams. But the Cardinals have been competitive in almost every game — including a 28-25 loss to the 49ers on Oct. 31 — due largely to Murray’s quick development.
The rookie said he’s proud of the lack of turnovers. That doesn’t mean he won’t take chances.
“Whatever I see, I trust my eyes, trust my reads, trust the guys running routes and kind of just let it go,” Murray said. “I can’t play scared or anything like that.”
Browns: While serving his eight-game NFL suspension for losing control of his emotions and becoming violent, running back Kareem Hunt said, he gained a deeper appreciation for all he has been given — and how quickly it can vanish.
Hunt will play in a game Sunday, when the Browns host the Bills, for the first time since the league punished him for two physical off-field altercations, one in which he was infamously captured on videotape shoving and kicking a woman during an argument in a hotel hallway while he played for the Chiefs.
“I’m just excited. A lot of mixed emotions, high and low,” he said, speaking to reporters for the first time since Aug. 15. “It’s going to be a very fun, emotional game, and I’m definitely going to be excited to get out there and do whatever I can to play the role and help this team win.”
This is Hunt’s second chance. He can’t count on a third.
“I’m under a microscope,” he said following practice Thursday, which marked 342 days since the Chiefs released him. “I’m not trying to put anything in jeopardy. I had a lot of time to think about, if I get in this situation, how I’m going to handle this? … You get a lot of time to really reflect and think about those things. I’m good with it.”
After the Chiefs cut him because he lied about the incidents, the Browns signed Hunt on Feb. 11, a month before the league handed down its suspension.
Jets: Safety Jamal Adams finally cleared the air with general manager Joe Douglas and coach Adam Gase. He spoke with them Monday, six days after Adams said he was “hurt” by being “shopped” by the team in trade talks. Adams chatted last week with team chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson but wasn’t ready to sit down with either Douglas or Gase to discuss the situation. Adams let his emotions cool first. “It went well,” Adams said. “I told them I don’t hate those guys. They said they don’t hate me. I have nothing but love and respect for them, you know what I mean? So, we’ve moved on. We apologized to each other.” … Running back Le’Veon Bell was a limited participant in practice, an improvement after not taking part in team drills Wednesday.