Arizona Cardinals Weekly
Sunday at NRG Stadium in Houston, Kyler Murray & the Arizona Cardinals looked ready to pick up where they left off the week before against the Falcons. After a K1 bomb to “still waiting for him to break out, three years later” WR Rondale Moore, the Red Birds had Cardinals fans believing they were now looking at a completely different team with Murray at the helm. Could we make it two in a row?
Unfortunately for fans like myself, that would be the last time we saw the endzone.
The Cards offense took a step backwards Sunday, as they once again struggled in the second half. And while they did outscore the Texans, it was only due to the defense playing straight nails, shutting out the Texans for the last 30 minutes of the game.
Now, this is not to put the entire blame on the offense. “Rookie of the Year” shoe-in & potential MVP C.J. Stroud absolutely shredded our high school secondary, giving up 21 points in the first half. Generally speaking, if you can get the game within one score by the fourth quarter, and your defense shuts them out in Q4, you get the W. But the Cardinals are no average team.
Instead, the Cardinals stalled out, once again. Basically any player not named Greg Dortch or Trey McBride in the WR Room put up goose eggs, or numbers near that. Our top-contracted WR “Hollywood” Brown continued his streak of embarrassing statistics. I mean, I thought he was supposed to have this amazing mind-meld to Kyler dating back to college, or some other Professor X type shiznit.
Dude’s playing more like “Skid-Row” Brown.
Granted, Cards QBs have missed the kid for about four tuddies on deep balls (including again on Sunday), but Brown has yet to find a way to impact the game other than as a “decoy.”
I know. Harsh. But we have to call a spade a spade.
Dude has played in all 11 games this season. Only four times has he caught more than five balls, and his season high is seven. He hasn’t had a 100-yd game, he hasn’t had a multiple touchdown game, and he’s sitting at a fantasy dud. In his last six games, he’s gone 4/34 (catches/yards), 3/49, 6/33, 4/24, 1/28, 2/18. In his defense, those numbers would look alot better had the Cardinals had a consistently accurate deep ball thrower (+20yds). He has literally torched his defender in each of the past four games, which (had the QB been accurate), would’ve led to easy, walk-in touchdowns.
Kyler did what Kyler does: he made a few plays with his legs, accounted for two touchdowns & one interception (about his career average). He looked very uncomfortable in the pocket this game (although he must be given credit for not getting fleet-footed at the first sight of pressure; a norm for Murray). He missed some balls he wished he’d had back, but the chemistry was still not there. It may take more than 3-4 starts for him to gel with his new coach & teammates. Remember, he is coming into a completely different system; one that was not designed specifically with him in mind.
Drew Petzing needs to involve Trey McBride into the scheme more, to build on his recent success. Also, give my guy Greg Dortch a chance. Bruh plays angry. I get that the organization really wants to make Skid-Row & Rondale a thing, but whenever Dortch gets decent burn, he always fills up a stat sheet, he rarely drops balls, and he seems to always take a big hit and hold onto the ball. Stick routes & Deep Overs seem to be the only routes working. And double-moves; kinda like the one Moore ran on the first series.
The Cards have players on O, but it’s up to the coaching staff to put them in a position to win. If you get shutout in Q4 of a one possession game, that’s a coaching problem. Get it fixed.