Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray will be the X-Factor for Week 17 against the Eagles

The Arizona Cardinals defense will have a tough time against Philadelphia, but the Eagles defense could also have trouble with the Cards.

Arizona Cardinals v Chicago Bears
Arizona Cardinals v Chicago Bears / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has enough talent to make life miserable for the NFL’s lesser-talented defenses. No, he doesn’t have a good contingent of receivers and his offensive line is rather pedestrian, but he’s also facing an Eagles defense that has allowed an astounding 31 touchdown receptions in 2023 and 3,762 passing yards through 15 games. While Murray hasn’t put up outstanding numbers, he could do so against this Eagles defense that has also recorded just seven interceptions in 2023. 

Murray has two games left to show the Cardinals that they can pass on the likes of perhaps Caleb Williams or Drake Maye, and getting the best of a defense that has struggled at times in 2023 would be a best-case scenario for the fifth-year quarterback. However, Murray will need to, for once this season, elevate everyone around him. 

Arizona Cardinals quarterback is the true X-Factor in Week 17

This means building better rapport with his receivers, even if they are also guilty of struggling over the past couple of weeks. It also means getting rid of the ball faster to help compensate for the less-than-stellar offensive line play should the Eagles pass rush, which is still solid even without Gannon at the helm, take advantage.

Murray also needs to continue playing to his strengths, like the chemistry he’s built with Trey McBride and seems to be building with Elijah Higgins. He needs to get the ball to his backs, who have also shown they can be effective pass-catchers, and he must also make plays with his legs if protection breaks down and he can’t find an open target. 

While the running game should be a pivotal part of the Arizona Cardinals game plan, the overall success of the offense rests on Kyler Murray’s shoulders. But this should be an opportunity for Murray to make something happen with a 3-12 football team as they go up against one of the NFL’s best. 

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(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)