Quarterback Kyler Murray has just 14 rushing attempts, 86 yards, and three touchdowns on the ground since he returned from a torn ACL. But the Arizona Cardinals have historically not been at their best when Murray doesn’t have a chance to run the ball often, as Dan Bickley of Arizona Sports pointed out earlier this week.
"“This much is certain: For Murray to succeed, he must be a dual threat. He must punish defenses for their overzealous pass rushers by moving up in the pocket and occasionally ripping off devastating gains straight down the center of the field. Either way, he must a contributor in the running game. The Cardinals are 10-2 when he carries the ball 10 or more times.”"- Dan Bickley
Earlier in the week, I projected not only for the running game to get more chances this week, but for Murray to play far better than he did in that devastating loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Utilizing the dual threat quarterback with designed quarterback runs will help increase the probability that the Cardinals upset the Steelers this afternoon. And even for Murray to take the ball upfield when he drops back will also help the Cardinals at least make the game watchable.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback can make plays with his legs in Week 13
If he finally figured out this fact, expect offensive coordinator Drew Petzing to open the playbook even more this week for Murray, giving him those chances to scramble often and putting Pittsburgh’s defense on high-alert early. Murray making plays with his legs will further draw the Steelers inward, allowing the strong-armed former number-one overall pick to potentially pull off some monster passes in the process.
When you have a quarterback who can run, it should always factor in as an advantage for your football team. But if your team has historically won games, even in a different system, when your quarterback reaches a certain milestone in rushing attempts, then it makes sense to design plays for him to pick up yards with his legs.
Therefore, in this last-minute bold prediction, Murray rushes for 60 yards on 11 carries and scores his fourth rushing touchdown of the season. And who knows? Maybe the Arizona Cardinals will improve to 11-2 when Murray reaches the 10 rushing attempts mark and set a blueprint for another win or two following today's outing.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)