Let Kyler run
Kyler Murray has compiled an all-time record of 11-3 when he runs the football 7 or more times per game. When he rushes for 6 or fewer attempts? He is 1-13-1.
But when Murray goes one-dimensional, the case over the past three weeks until his week fourteen renaissance, the Cardinals can’t move the ball on offense.
And you should expect it since Murray has never identified as a pocket passer. HIs shorter-than-ideal status already places him at a disadvantage to throw from the pocket. Also, when Murray doesn’t display dual-threat ability, the defense knows they can drop defenders into his favorite lanes and disrupt the Cardinals passing game.
Yes, it’s understandable as to why the Cards were possibly hesitant to let Kyler loose. A sprained AC joint against Seattle meant Kliff Kingsbury and company needed to protect their franchise quarterback, lest they place the games in the hands of a signal-caller whose last stop involved backing up Zach Collaros in the Canadian Football League.
Obviously, the Cardinals had no choice but to protect Murray. However, Murray does a phenomenal job of protecting himself. He will slide rather than risk his body to pick up extra yardage. He loves to scamper toward the sideline and duck out of bounds before defenders close in. And he can avoid contact as he throws the ball.
Kyler can handle himself. Therefore, Kingsbury should have no problem in letting him pick up yards with his legs. Especially when the Cardinals tend to win when he does.