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Myles Murphy is Bengals’ X factor vs Chiefs

The rookie pass rusher is emerging at just the right time.

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Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Myles Murphy was always supposed to be a project, which is why his slow start to the 2023 season shouldn’t have come as a surprise.

Fortunately, as it turns out, he’s developing more quickly for the Cincinnati Bengals than even his backers anticipated.

Against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 16, Murphy had a Pro Football Focus grade of 74.1, including a season-high run-defense grade of 70.8. He also notched his third sack by beating Christian Darrisaw around the corner.

In recognition of his development, Bengals coaches played Murphy for 54% of the snaps against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a season high.

That means it will be Murphy who is counted on to most help Trey Hendrickson generate a pass rush against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

And don’t be surprised if he goes off. A to Z Sports’ John Sheeran explains how Murphy will be called upon to play the role that Joseph Ossai so successfully played in last year’s AFC Championship Game:

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