Aug 30, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Marcus Murphy (48) against the Houston Texans during the first half of a preseason game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Texans defeated the Saints 27-13. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
LOSER: RUNNING BACK / KICK RETURNER MARCUS MURPHY
For the 2nd straight week, Murph put the ball on the turf — as he muffed yet another punt.
Last week he got lucky, and turned the muff into a 47-yard return. Last night, he wasn’t as lucky, coughing up the ball to the Texans, who recovered it aT the Saints 39-yard line and later scored their lone TD of the game — good enough on this particular night to win the game for Houston.
Obviously, turning the ball over can become a big issue as a kick returner; especially after your defense has just gotten a crucial stop, only for you to give the ball right back to the opposing offense (which is what happened last night).
That fact was not lost on a visibly annoyed and irritated Saints head coach Sean Payton, who told reporters in the post-game press conference in not-so-encryptive terms, that the Saints will move on from Murphy if need be:
“We get a three-and-out to start the game, and the first punt’s on the ground. It just can’t happen. We’ll find another returner.”
With a crowded and talent backfield, it is going to be hard enough to make this roster; but when you throw in the fumbles on top of it all? It doesn’t bode well for the former University of Missouri Tiger.
Barring an incredible performance in next week’s game against the Steelers in the Superdome, along with some major drop off in production from WR TommyLee Lewis and RB Daniel Lasco, it looks like Murphy may have “dropped the ball” on his chances in New Orleans.