For the first time in over a year, Kyler Murray lined up under center for the Arizona Cardinals in a road game. And we saw some good, and also some not so good. Murray’s numbers were a solid 20 for 30, with 214 passing yards, 7.1 yards per pass, one touchdown, and one interception, but there were also some downers following his epic 48-yard touchdown pass to Rondale Moore.
He was off-target on a few throws, with the most notorious one coming when he missed Trey McBride on fourth and four at the Texans 45-yard line with 7:22 left. Had Murray hit McBride on that play, perhaps the Redbirds would have strung together their second win and flown out of Houston at 3-8 instead of 2-9.
Murray also showed off his dual-threat ability and ran for 51 yards on seven carries, scoring a touchdown in the process. It wasn’t a great outing, nor encouraging, but it was by no means horrible. If I had to attach a letter grade to it, I would give him a solid ‘C.’
3 takeaways in the Arizona Cardinals loss to Houston
1 - Cardinals missing Michael Wilson
You have to wonder what would have happened had Michael Wilson not sustained a setback this week and missed the game. His lack of presence forced Murray to utilize three undersized receivers and rely on his tight ends as bigger targets.
It worked to a degree, with Trey McBride once again doing Trey McBride things, snagging five catches for 43 yards on seven targets. But Rondale Moore did nothing following his 48-yard touchdown, and Marquise Brown caught two passes on five targets for 18 yards.
Wilson’s presence would have created mismatches, and it probably would have helped Murray complete a few more passes downfield. Remember, Murray hasn’t shown us he can elevate a unit in his career, and Wilson can be that big presence to open other avenues on offense for the quarterback to take advantage of. If he’s in the game, then Murray’s putting up better numbers.