Falcons to face QB making debut for third straight game


For the third straight game, the Falcons will draw a quarterback who is making some sort of debut. Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon announced that Kyler Murray is expected to start on Sunday, paving the way for him to make his 2023 debut.

Last week, the Falcons drew two different quarterbacks who made debuts. Rookie fifth-round pick Jarren Hall made his NFL debut but was quickly knocked out of the game, leading to Josh Dobbs making his Vikings debut.

Without knowledge of the offense’s snap cadence or his teammates’ names, let alone the actual playbook, Dobbs led Minnesota to an improbable victory. It was a demoralizing defeat for the Falcons.

The week before, Atlanta drew Will Levis in his NFL debut. The Titans second-round rookie tossed four touchdowns en route to a home win, and now the Falcons will face a former No. 1 overall pick in Kyler Murray.

Murray tore his ACL in a Week 14 game against the Patriots last December, forcing him to miss the final four games of Arizona’s 2022 season and the first nine games of this season.

He returns to a 1-8 Cardinals team that is struggling mightily this season, but if there was ever a get-right game, it seems everyone is having it against the Falcons.

Murray didn’t look great the last time we saw him, averaging a career-low 6.1 yards per passing attempt with 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions in a 3-8 Cardinals start. Some of that can be attributed to Kliff Kingsbury and Steve Keim, who were both fired last offseason.

The final eight games should be used to evaluate Kyler Murray because they’ll likely have a chance to draft Caleb Williams or Drake Maye in Arpil’s draft. For the Falcons, this is as close to a must-win as there is outside of division matchups.

Photographer: Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire

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