In one year’s time, the Arizona Cardinals offensive unit has made tremendous strides under the guidance of Kliff Kingsbury
Just one year ago, the Arizona Cardinals offense was the worst in the NFL. Unimaginative coordinator Mike McCoy was given his walking papers after just seven games. His replacement, Byron Leftwich, was just about as clueless as his predecessor.
The putrid performance by the scoring attack prompted the Cards front office to go out and find an offensive-oriented head coach. Kliff Kingsbury, a proponent of the “Air Raid” ideology, was brought to the desert to remedy the ugly predicament. Fixing a unit that ranked dead last in the league last season would not be easy, but Arizona believed that the young guru would be up to the task.
Through five weeks, the offensive arrow is unquestionably pointing upwards. Under Kingsbury’s guidance, the Cardinals scoring machine is ranked 15th-overall in the entire NFL. The group, which is led by rookie quarterback Kyler Murray, is averaging 363.8 yards and 20 points per game.
By comparison, last year’s crew averaged a measly 241.6 yards per contest. Even more depressing was the fact that the Cards managed to average just 14.1 points per matchup. The offense, which was presided over by former head coach Steve Wilks, may have been the organization’s all-time worst unit.
Arizona’s current rushing attack is the 11th-best in professional football. While David Johnson and Chase Edmonds have been solid, Murray is a major reason for the growth of the ground game. The club’s starting signal-caller has accounted for 206 yards and two touchdowns with his legs alone.
The 2019 Cardinals have made tremendous strides with their aerial attack as well. Murray and his targets are averaging 237.0 yards per game during the current campaign. Kingsbury’s play-calling has allowed 11 different pass-catchers to register receptions this season.
There is one area of the Cards offense that needs to be worked on, however. Up until this point, the team’s efficiency in the red zone has been abysmal. Arizona has recorded touchdowns on just 30 percent of their trips inside the opponents’ 20-yard line, a statistic that ranks them 30th-overall in the league.
While the jury may still be out on Kingsbury, the 40-year old leader of the Cardinals is slowly proving his detractors wrong. There was nowhere to go but up for the offense after the debacle of 2018, but the group’s progress has been impressive nevertheless. There are still 11 contests left to be played, but the early results for Kingsbury and the “Air Raid” have been extremely encouraging.