One of the juicy subplots to the Giants game against the Cardinals on Sunday at MetLife Stadium was going to be the duel between Kyler Murray and Daniel Jones, two of the top rookie quarterbacks from the 2019 draft class.
In the end, Jones, the sixth-overall pick last April, threw for more touchdowns (one to none) and more yards (223 to 104) than Murray, the No. 1 overall pick. Jones also led Murray in the most important category of all: Turnovers. It was Jones 3, Murray 0.
Jones, who has now turned the ball over seven times in the past three games (all losses), threw an interception and lost two fumbles while Murray didn’t turn the ball over at all.
The end result — Cardinals 27, Giants 21 — was a direct reflection of those numbers.
Jones’ interception led to the Cardinals second touchdown and one of his fumbles led to an Arizona field goal.
“He protected the football, and that won us the game,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said of Murray. “Zero turnovers for him, that was a hard deal. It was hard to throw it. I didn’t want a ton of that going on, but [he] protected it well, led the team well, got us in some good checks and won the game, which in this weather for a rookie quarterback on the road, that’s huge. It was awesome.’’
Murray finished with modest numbers — 14 of 21 for 104 yards, no TDs and a 78.3 rating. He also rushed 10 times for 28 yards. But he was at his most efficient in the first half before the rain became heavier, completing 12 of 17 for 87 yards.
“It [the rain] was coming down, and we’re a precision passing team, so that [passing] was kind of out the window,’’ Kingsbury said.
“We really just took care of the ball when it’s bad weather like that,’’ Murray said. “That’s really the goal. We ran the ball well. The O-line blocked great and the defense played great. I’m not too into the numbers. I’m just glad that we got the win.’’
Murray’s only real glaring gaffe in the game was running out of bounds on third down with 2:20 remaining in the game instead of taking the sack in bounds so the clock would continue to run.
“That was my fault,’’ Murray said. “That was terrible. That was bad by me, but we’ll be better next week.’’
Kingsbury took responsibility for it, saying, “I should have told him not to step out. It was a bad play-call and I didn’t even give him a heads up like, ‘Hey, make sure you stay in bounds if it’s not there,’ so that was on me.’’
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