Arizona Cardinals: 3 reasons Colt McCoy needs to start against 49ers
By Sion Fawkes
The Arizona Cardinals are in yet another must-win situation as they fly to Mexico City to take on the San Francisco 49ers in Estadio Azteca.
Whether you are part of Team Kyler or Team Colt, it shouldn’t matter – everyone needs to be on Team Colt this week. The Arizona Cardinals are playing in a pivotal matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, and contrary to what the rest of the sports media would lead you to believe, Colt McCoy gives the Redbirds the best chance to win.
Throughout his career, McCoy has shown poise, calmness, and collectiveness. No, he won’t win you many games, but with some talent around him at the skill positions, he has shown time and again during his stint in the desert that he can snag the occasional W, given his 3-1 record in two seasons. Why start McCoy again this week? Here are three pressing reasons.
1 – Kyler Murray has a soft tissue injury
One reason I said you need to advocate for McCoy to start over Murray regardless of whose Team you are on is because soft tissue injuries can completely derail a season. Murray will undoubtedly test the injury, meaning he will run a few sprints to determine whether he feels anything negative, which runs the risk of reinjury.
If there is even a remote risk of re-injuring the hamstring, then Murray needs to sit this one out if he plans on playing again at 100% this season. His best bet is to wait until he feels it is 100%, then test it, which will dramatically negate the risk of injury.
2 – McCoy starting minimizes any potential quarterback controversy
While it sounds as though the Arizona Cardinals are shrouded in a quarterback controversy, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Colt McCoy is 36 and has been primarily a backup for 13 seasons, meaning there is no way he will win a long-term job in this league as a starting quarterback.
If McCoy starts again and performs well, even if head coach Kliff Kingsbury opts to keep the former Texas Longhorn playing until defenses prove they can stop him, there isn’t any real controversy. Again, he is 36 and will be 37 next season. He is a career backup. There is no controversy.
But what if a less-than 100% Murray returns and struggles? Now what? Do you play McCoy for the rest of the season and keep flipping back and forth the second McCoy puts on a sketchy performance?
While there will be no controversy between Murray and McCoy, you are potentially opening up another box, asking if Murray really is the long-term answer. Meaning whoever the Cardinals decide to bring to the desert, especially a younger player, can easily spawn a controversy if Murray continues to struggle and a younger backup performs well first in spot duty, then once Murray again finds himself in the trainer’s room with yet another injury.
It’s best for Kingsbury to play McCoy until Murray is 100% beyond the shadow of a doubt. Not that a future controversy won’t occur between Murray and To-Be-Determined, but playing the older, 36-year-old veteran in the meantime will help minimize it, since a healthy Murray will give himself the best chance to succeed.
3 – McCoy is the hot hand
Listen, I don’t care who the supposed franchise quarterback is and who their perceived backup is on any NFL team. When you are 4-6 with the playoff hopes on the line here, you start the hot hand. So far, it’s McCoy, who led the Arizona Cardinals to 27 offensive points, their second-highest of the season.
And they did this amidst a patchwork offensive line playing against the fifth-ranked team in total defense. Why in the world would you return to a stagnating Murray in this situation? Because of his draft status? His contract? It’s reminds me of a time where the Buffalo Bills had to pick between Rob Johnson and Doug Flutie. Let’s not make the same error the Bills made.
Article Source: Cardinals QB Kyler Murray feels ‘good’ but unsure of status for MNF by Josh Weinfuss
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