Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury engineers a much more efficient offense when Kyler Murray is out of the lineup.
Through the first nine weeks of the season, Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury looked completely buffoonish. Despite having a plethora of weapons at his disposal, the 43-year-old appeared lost when it came to devising offensive gameplans that could actually work.
Things took a turn for the better this past Sunday during Arizona’s crucial 27-17 triumph over the Los Angeles Rams. Throughout the contest, Kingsbury’s “Air Raid” attack ran like a well-oiled machine. What changed in week 10 that allowed the Cards to move the ball with such impressive consistency?
Surprisingly (or not), the one major difference for the Cardinals during their matchup with the Rams was at the quarterback spot. In fact, the efficient play at the position is exactly what’s been missing from the offense during the team’s first 10 games.
Arizona Cardinals offense ran efficiently with Colt McCoy at the controls
Over the past year or so, the Redbirds managed to emerge victorious in three out of the four matchups that featured Colt McCoy as the squad’s starting signal-caller. In addition to the all-important victories, the scoring attack just runs much more fluently when the 36-year-old McCoy is leading the way. With starter Kyler Murray at the controls, Arizona’s offensive unit resembled a discombobulated mess that was showing very little signs of improvement.
With McCoy, the ball comes out a whole lot sooner. Quick decisions are made by the veteran, resulting in speedy throws that basically left the Los Angeles pass-rush ineffective. It was a stark contrast from the “backyard” type of football that appears to be the only type of system that Murray is equipped to run.
Kingsbury has been mightily-criticized in 2022 for the offense’s failures, but it may not be his fault. With McCoy in the lineup, it looked as if Kingsbury could do no wrong. Could the scoring problems that crop up when Murray’s at the helm be a simple case of the 25-year-old not being able to master Kingsbury’s scheme?
It sure looks that way. The three triumphs that McCoy has registered since he joined up with the Cards and Kingsbury last year were things of beauty. It’s a splendid mix of the run and the pass that was good enough to defeat the Rams, Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers over the past two campaigns.
The scary thing is that the Cardinals are now stuck with Murray for the next few seasons. It’s clear that Kingsbury can be a lot more successful with a pocket passer like McCoy. Murray’s ability to do damage with his legs surely comes in handy at times, but history tells us that running quarterbacks simply do not win Super Bowls.
Obviously, Murray will be back in there as soon as he’s healthy. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing will depend on what Cardinals fan you ask. No one in the organization would admit it, but McCoy certainly looks like the better option at this point in the season.
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