We are at the midway point in the 2022 NFL Season and there are a few Arizona Cardinals who we have seen more than enough of.
The Arizona Cardinals are slowly looking more and more like a team in absolute turmoil. Their coach can’t call plays and there are calls all over the fanbase for ownership to fire him. Lack of action at the trade deadline is also an indication general manager Steve Keim is waving the white flag.
Ironic, because Keim has been active at or near the deadline in consecutive years. And if he were working for anyone other than the Bidwills, odds are that his job would, and should, also be on the line. And the turbulence has spread to a plethora of Cardinals players.
Look at each position group, and you will see busts all over the place. But the following five Cardinals have been the biggest disappointments this season. Let’s look at each individually.
1 – A.J. Green
DeAndre Hopkins has played in two games this season. Green played in six. And somehow, Hopkins has already doubled Green’s production, logging 22 receptions, 262 yards, and a touchdown. Did I say double? I meant to say Hopkins doubled Green’s reception total, and has more than quadrupled the aging receiver’s reception yards.
So far this season, Green has 10 catches, 56 yards, and 0 touchdowns. Regardless of who is standing on the sidelines next season, the Cardinals will show Green his walking papers.
2 – Markus Golden
Golden is another player you can add to the Arizona Cardinals muck pile. Unfortunately, he’s the best edge rusher on the team at the moment, despite logging just one sack. The only upside? Golden has tallied nine quarterback hits, so at least he knows how to find his way into the backfield. Problem is, he’s just one notch too slow.
3 – James Conner
Having grown up near the Pittsburgh area, I had experience watching Conner play, and overrated is the one adjective that always came to mind. Sure, his 15 rushing touchdowns were nice, but when you give a back a ton of carries near the goal line, the Law of Probability states his touchdown total is going to be high.
And that was the case with Conner. This season, the star-crossed running back had just one good game before going down with injuries. The latter has been the story of Conner’s up and down career. It’s time to cut the less-than-productive and injury-prone back loose after this season.
4 – Trayvon Mullen
The Arizona Cardinals thought they were getting a steal when they traded a conditional, and likely seventh round pick for Trayvon Mullen. Mullen, who has been productive during his career, had an opportunity to be the Redbirds CB2. Instead, he can’t find his way out of the trainer’s room.
The good news, obviously, is that Mullen cost the Cardinals little to acquire. The bad? Despite the low trade compensation, Mullen was expected to be a pivotal part of the Cardinals secondary. Instead, he has played in just 18 defensive snaps this season.
5 – Kyler Murray
Like it or not, or believe it or not, Murray has been a major disappointment. When you are the third-highest-paid quarterback in football to start off the season and you’ve produced little, you’re a bust, for at least one year.
The Arizona Cardinals faithful can point the finger at head coach Kliff Kingsbury all they want, and Kliff deserves a lot of blame here. But Murray is ultimately the one throwing the ball, and a lot of fans forget that.
Of all quarterbacks who have started at least five games this season, Murray ranks 21st in passer rating (85.3). In that same category, he is 22nd in touchdown pass percentage at a measly 3.1%, behind the likes of Cooper Rush, Davis Mills, Trevor Lawrence, Carson Wentz, and even Justin Fields.
Finally, Murray (3-5) has a net yards gained per pass attempt of just 5.3 yards, which ranks 28th out of all qualified quarterbacks. Murray has had his moments, such as leading a game-winning drive in Week 2, putting up a gaudy 66.2% completion percentage, and one of the lowest interception percentages (1.8%) in the league.
Overall, Murray has underperformed so far and has not played like the third-highest-paid quarterback in football. You expect more from #1 overall picks, such as rising to and overcoming adversity. Instead, Murray would rather shout at Kingsbury on the sideline and point fingers as he’s done throughout his career.
He has not been a leader, and it makes you wonder whether the Arizona Cardinals next coach would want to deal with Murray’s Jeff George-like personality.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)
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