Kyler Murray was the top rusher in the NFL yesterday. Until he wasn’t.
Murray reached 100 rushing yards in the fourth quarter of the Cardinals’ win over the 49ers on Sunday, and he was actually the only player in the NFL to gain 100 yards on Sunday — Murray, a quarterback, had more rushing yardage than any running back across the league yesterday.
But Murray then fell victim to the play that costs every quarterback some rushing yardage, the kneeldown. The Cardinals’ win ended with Murray kneeling down twice, once for a loss of five yards and once for a loss of four yards, and what had been an 11-carry, 100-yard game ended up officially a 13-carry, 91-yard game.
Although kneeldowns hurt every quarterback’s rushing total, they’re particularly costly for Murray because the Cardinals are the only team in the NFL that uses the shotgun as its kneeldown formation. Most quarterbacks take the snap from under center on the kneeldown and lose one or two yards, but Murray takes the snap from the shotgun and loses four or five yards.
The NFL should stop counting kneeldowns as quarterback rushing attempts, which would result in more accurate rushing stats for quarterbacks. Yesterday, it would have resulted in Murray having a 100-yard game and a double-triple. Instead he ended up with 91 yards.