Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray made history as quarterbacks with the Oklahoma Sooners, and the former teammates crossed paths on the field in the NFL for the first time on Sunday.
Murray led the Arizona Cardinals offense, with an assist from a career performance by former Alabama running back Kenyan Drake, to a 38-24 win over Mayfield and the Browns. Murray completed 19 of his 25 passes for 219 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception, and the 2019 No. 1 overall pick added 56 rushing yards on 8 carries.
Mayfield connected on 30 of 43 throws for 247 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception in the loss. After the game was over, Murray and Mayfield swapped jerseys and posed for photos on the field in Arizona.
Murray was Mayfield’s backup during the 2017 college football season, when Mayfield won the Heisman trophy and helped the Sooners reach the College Football Playoff in the team’s first season under head coach Lincoln Riley. For an encore, Murray also won the Heisman Trophy the following season. The Sooners also went to the College Football Playoff with Murray as the starter before faltering in the semifinal round like the prior season. Oklahoma is the only school with quarterbacks to win Heisman trophies in consecutive seasons.
The Browns chose Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and the Cardinals made Murray the top selection in the draft this past April.
Murray began the NFL season as the rookie starter under first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury, and Arizona is 4-9-1 with two games left to play in the regular season. Despite the sub-.500 record, Murray has completed 64.1 percent of his passes for 3,060 yards, 16 touchdowns and 9 interceptions; the rookie quarterback also has 448 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns on 77 carries.
Mayfield won the Rookie of the Year award in his first year with Cleveland, setting the NFL rookie record with 27 touchdown passes. The Browns entered this season with high expectations in Mayfield’s second year after they added All-Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in a trade with the New York Giants during the offseason.
However, the loss to the Cardinals on Sunday now makes Cleveland (6-8) a long shot to qualify for the playoffs. Mayfield has thrown for 3,109 yards (59.2 percent) and 15 touchdowns, but he also has 16 interceptions, including a red-zone turnover in the loss to Arizona on Sunday.