What did we learn about the Arizona Cardinals following their impressive win on the road over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 9?
Despite only having one loss after the first eight weeks of the 2021 season, the Arizona Cardinals were not the team that was expected to win in their road matchup with the San Francisco 49ers in Week 9.
Those doubts quickly vanished as the Cardinals stormed out to an early 17-0 lead on Sunday and never looked back. Arizona eventually left the field with a 31-17 victory over the 49ers and it might have been one of the more impressive wins they’ve had all season long, given the circumstances.
Now that most of the dust has settled since Sunday’s NFC West battle, what are some of the biggest takeaways from the Cardinals‘ most recent victory?
Takeaway No. 1
Arizona can win without Murray
The level of optimism about the Cardinals beating San Francisco this past weekend certainly took a hit when Arizona announced that quarterback Kyler Murray and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins would not be active for the matchup.
But once the opening whistle blew, it was clear that the Cardinals had been preparing for Murray to sit out on Sunday. Veteran signal-caller Colt McCoy got the start in place of Murray and he pretty much did everything he was supposed to do.
McCoy was efficient with the football (84.6 completion percentage) and he didn’t turn the ball over. There’s not much more a team can ask for from their backup than that.
Could things turn out differently if McCoy has to start against a team that is better than the 49ers? Sure, but Arizona proved on Sunday that they’ve got a backup that is capable of keeping their ship afloat when needed.