With the new-season excitement and hope now a distant memory, how worried should Cardinals fans been about the odd start to the new season?
While the record of 1-2 is maybe not out of whack with where we would’ve picked them before week one, the performances, or lack thereof have been eye-opening from a normally potent offensive unit.
It’s been long noticed that Kliff Kingsbury’s offense seems to stagnate over the course of the season, as either defences adjust, or things just grow a little stale. But to start the 2022 season things seem to have started at a very worrying rate.
Cardinals Need Kyler Murray to Step Up
So far the Carindals franchise QB hasn’t done enough. While the numbers are ok through three games, the completion percentage is 4.5 points down on last season, the YPA down 2.0 yards and the ADOT down 1.8 yards.
Clearly some of this degradation will come from the loss of DeAndre Hopkins who still has three games left to go on his suspension.
But Murray just hasn’t looked like Murray so far, excepting late against the Raiders when he let his legs do the talking and orchestrated an incredible come back. But don’t forget the Raiders are 0-3, and while they have played everyone close they are far from the teams the Cardinals would be seeing as a challenge.
On current pace Murray would finish 61 rush yards short of 2021, which was already his lowest year in the pros. While the Cardinals clearly want him to run less now, when the offence is struggling, picking up the mere 8-yards he got against the Rams is a massive concern.
However, the biggest concern has to be the trust Murray has, or in this case doesn’t have, in his receivers. Again, With Hopkins out this is a little more understandable. But the numbers are worrying.
Through three games, per PFF, Kyler Murray has just 5 big-time-throws and 3 turnover-worthy-plays. And the key here is that they are both down. So it’s not that Murray is pressing, which would show in TWP, he’s simply not trusting his receivers and throwing those balls.
At 3.4% his big-time-throw percentage is a staggering 4.5% lower than in 2021, and below 2020 (4.6%) and 2019 (4.0%).
But above all these numbers, and analytics, the Murray and the Cardinals are failing the simple eye-test right now, and that has to be a major concern heading in to week 4.