Arizona Cardinals Struggling Offense Frustrates Kyler Murray And Fixes Border On Desperation

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This is supposed to be the time the Arizona Cardinals offense, on a good, steady simmer the past couple of years, finds a full on boil.

They boast a fourth-year quarterback in Kyler Murray who got a new $230.5 million contract because the franchise deemed him among the league’s elite. And they expected to see him play like one.

Arizona’s got a fourth-year head coach in Kliff Kingsbury who’s supposed to be at the top of his profession, particularly as a master of offensive designs. And that’s why he recently got a contract extension through the 2027 season.

So big things.

That’s the vision.

But amid all this notable pay raising and contract extending and experience expanding why is the Arizona offense so inept?

Why have things gotten so bad the organization is offering up apparent desperation solutions that seem unlikely to work?

The Cardinals lost for the fourth time in six games over the weekend. And the offense did not score a point, getting outscored by its defense, special teams and obviously the opposing team. And this was the second time in three games the offense was held without a touchdown.

Arizona Is Averaging 19 Points Per Game

Both Murray and the Cardinals struggled in 2018, which was the quarterback’s rookie season. And somehow, this feels 2018 bad now.

“Yeah, that’s the last time [stuff’s] felt this hard,” Murray said. Except he didn’t use the word “stuff.”

“Just tough out there right now,” he continued. “It’s tough. That’s what it feels like. A lot of it, like I said, is self-inflicted, put it on ourselves. Got to be better.”

The Cardinals want to be better. They’re trying to be better.

And the effort is bordering on considering desperation moves.

GLENDALE, ARIZONA – OCTOBER 09: Haason Reddick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles sacks Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals during the fourth quarter at State Farm Stadium on October 09, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

On Monday, for example, the team traded for wide receiver Robbie Anderson. The club had previously traded for wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to help Murray feel more comfortable because Brown played with the quarterback at Oklahoma and the two are friends.

But that hasn’t paid a notable dividend. So now the Cards are hoping Anderson, who on Sunday got into a sideline kerfuffle with Panthers receivers coach Joe Dailey and was kicked out of the game by interim coach Steve Wilks, is supposed to improve matters.

Changing His Tune?

Kingsbury, meanwhile, might be second-guessing himself a bit. Last year, amid a downturn, he was asked if he’d consider turning over his offensive play-calling duties full time. Kingsbury said he’d rather “retire” than give up calling plays.

Well, he was asked the same thing multiple times on Monday and now he’s apparently considering it.

“I am open to anything that helps us score more points and helps us win,” Kingsbury said. “We will see where it all goes, but yeah, whatever it takes to win, I’m all for it.”

Last year Kingsbury said calling plays and interacting with his quarterback were his strong suits. Now, he’s apparently got to give that a good think.

None of this obviously means the Arizona offense is doomed. Soon DeAndre Hopkins, on suspension the first six games, will return to the unit. Maybe Anderson will be more about augmenting production than arguing production.

And eventually running back James Conner will get healthy and perhaps upgrade the Arizona red zone attack.

But until or unless those remedies kick in, the Arizona offense will feel like little more than a lament born of frustration.

“We’re,” Murray said, “not doing things right right now.”

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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