How have the Arizona Cardinals fared so far with Kyler Murray back in the lineup?

The Arizona Cardinals started the season 1-8 without Kyler Murray, but in his first four games back, the Redbirds are boasting a 2-2 record.
Arizona Cardinals v Pittsburgh Steelers
Arizona Cardinals v Pittsburgh Steelers / Justin Berl/GettyImages

While Kyler Murray has yet to take over a game or look like anything more than a game manager at this point, his presence has at least helped the Arizona Cardinals finish a rather respectable 2-2 in the four weeks since his return from a torn ACL. It’s clear that this is a better football team with Murray, so how much better have the Cards been since he’s returned?

Although some of this occurred in garbage time vs. the Los Angeles Rams, the Cardinals have averaged 311 total yards per game offensively since Week 10. By contrast, “Big Red” averaged just 290 per game when Joshua Dobbs and Clayton Tune took snaps under center. 

They did average 319 yards per game in the eight contests under Dobbs, but the Cards also scored over 20 points in a game just three times, and 20 or more four times. With Murray, the offense has already done the former twice in four games. 

In his four starts, Murray has accounted for three touchdown passes through the air, and three on the ground, putting him on pace to edge out Dobbs, who scored 11 total, in the category. Murray also holds the edge in yards per game played over Dobbs, with 216 over the latter’s 196.1. 

Arizona Cardinals offense is better overall with Kyler Murray

Murray’s ultra-pedestrian yards per pass attempt plagued him last season, but his average of 6.6 per in 2023 is 0.7 ahead of what Dobbs was averaging, which sat at 5.9. Dobbs also averaged just 9.4 yards per pass completion, while Murray is sitting at a respectable 10.9. 

The rushing offense isn’t faring too much worse with Murray in the lineup, snagging 117 yards per game as opposed to the 127 per during the first nine weeks of the year. But with Murray running things, that’s to be expected as it’s easier to trust the former number-one overall pick through the air than the Cards ever could with Dobbs.

Most importantly, Dobbs never gave the Arizona Cardinals a chance to win to the same degree as Murray. We know this because the latter already has one game-winning drive under his belt while Dobbs, in eight starts and one win, never experienced one. 

Dobbs has Murray beaten in some areas like completion percentage, success rate, touchdown percentage, and sack percentage. But overall, the aforementioned numbers and on-field results show us that Murray has been the superior quarterback. 

Finally, winning is ultimately the only stat that matters, and it only took Kyler Murray four games to win multiple times in 2023. Even with the Arizona Cardinals playing against playoff contenders in three of their final four games, Murray’s presence gives the Redbirds a chance to at least turn in respectable performances.


(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)