myles.whitmore Rates the Arizona Cardinals





Arizona Cardinals

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Sports:
Football
League:
National Football League
Venue:
Location:
Phoenix, AZ United States
Conference:
National Football Conference

Season Outlook Analysis

Offense
Position
Quarterbacks
B+
Kyler Murray is currently the fifth highest-rated QB with a clean pocket. Murray's combination of mobility and arm strength makes him a big-play threat at all times. However, he needs to do a better job recognizing defenders in the passing lanes.
Running Backs
B
Drake's skill set makes him a stable fit for Kliff Kingsberry's offense. Although his receiving yardage is currently underwhelming, his surefire hands and vision should boost his value later in the season.
Protection & Blocking
D
Aside from Kelvin Beachum, the entire cardinals offensive line has struggled. This struggle is most apparent in the run game, where J.R. Sweezy and Justin Pugh have been dominated. Speaking of Sweezy, he has been an overall disappointment in both the pass and run blocking games. However, Pugh has been the Cards' best pass protector.
Receiving
A-
Having DeAndre Hopkins on the roster automatically makes Arizona's receiving corps elite. So far, Hopkins and Murray have showcased a strong rapport, which has resulted in numerous big plays. Additionally, players like Andy Isabella and veteran Larry Fitzgerald provide some depth behind Hopkins.
Skills
Speed
B+
Production
A
Big Play Ability
A+
Consistency
B-
Red Zone Success
A-
Skills Analysis Notes
This Arizona Cardinals offense is one of the most electrifying units in the entire NFL (if not the most electric). Led by their rookie phenom Kyler Murray, this offense is a stacked group with speed demon, Andy Isabella, and proven veterans Larry Fitzgerald and DeAndre Hopkins. Given Kyler's arm strength and mobility, this team is a threat for a big play at any point in a game. However, they will need better production from their offensive line if they hope to be more consistent.
Defense
Position
Defensive Line
C-
For a team with Chandler Jones, this Cardinals defensive line has been incredibly weak. Speaking of Jones, he has been a nonfactor in the pass-rushing game where he only totals one sack and six pressures total. Fortunately for the Cardinals, Corey Peteres and Devon Kennard have exceeded expectations as run defenders. Nevertheless, this team will need improvement from Jones, Hasson Reddick, and Jordan Phillips.
Linebackers
F
Heading into the NFL season, the Cardinals opted to fill their LB corps with struggling veterans like Jordan Hicks and De'Vondre Campbell. Therefore, they should shouldn't be surprised that this unit has been shoddy across the board. Nevertheless, poor coverage and run defense from their first-round draft pick Isaiah Simmons is concerning.
Defensive Backs
C
This Cardinals secondary has been an inconsistent unit with many surprises. For instance, their star cornerback Patrick Peterson has been targetted heavily through three weeks of action. Unfortunately he and the rest of his CB teammates have failed to hold off wideouts like Kenny Golladay. However, stellar play from safeties Budda Baker and Chris Banjo is a silver lining for this lackluster defense.
Skills
Passing Game Defense
D
Stopping the Run
C-
Controlling Field Position
B-
Stopping The Big Play
C
Causing Turnovers
C-
Skills Analysis Notes
If you were to look at the Arizona Cardinals defensive stats, you would be fooled into believing this unit is excellent. However, this is a unit with multiple holes that got exposed against the Detriot Lions. According to Pro Football Focus, this defensive line has failed to get after opposing QBs or stifle the run. Surprisingly, Chandler Jones has played an enormous role in this problem due to his inability to get pressure. Likewise, star corner Patrick Peterson and rookie LB Isaiah Simmons have also been extreme disappointments this season due to their struggles in coverage. The silver lining for this Cardinals defense has been the play of their safeties Budda Baker and Chris Banjo, and the team's success at forcing three and outs.
Special Teams and Coaching
Special Teams
Place Kicking
C+
Punting
A-
Kickoff/Punt Returning
B-
Kickoff/Punt Coverage
C-
Coaching
Effectiveness
B
Preparedness
C
Decision Making
B
Overall Coaching / School Analysis
As of week 3, Kliff Kingsberry has been an effective offensive coach. His scheme has maximized the production of Kyler Murray who is creating big plays every game. In fact, Murray's arm strength and mobility have been heavily utilized in Kingsberry's aggressive air raid attack. Speaking of Murray, his success connecting with new addition DeAndre Hopkins attests to the efficiency of Kingsberry's system. Additionally, Kingsberry has been able to find a role for Kenyan Drake who has a reliable RB in this spread attack. Nevertheless, Kingsberry has some areas he needs to address for the Cardinals to make the playoffs. For instance, he has failed to develop the Cardinals offensive line throughout his 19 games as a head coach. While he has done a decent job hiding this OL's deficiency, their mediocrity has prevented the run game from establishing consistent momentum. If this issue fails to be resolved, that will mean that development is a weakness for Kingsberry. Especially considering that many of his rookie WRs (like Christian Kirk) have also struggled to transition to the NFL.
Overall Team
Overall Team Grade
B
Analysis
On paper, this team is loaded with talent. As of right now, this team is a high powered offense with a top ten QB and the league's best WR. As a result, this offense has been extraordinarily productive and has been able to score with ease. Within Kliff Kingsberry's system, this team will likely be carried by their offense. However, their defense will need to do a better job stopping both the run and pass if they hope to beat offenses like Seattle and the Rams.
Last season, did the team
meet your expectations?
Met My Expections
Expected Wins
9
Expected Losses
7
Expectations/ Outlook
Solely based on their offense alone, this team will likely remain in playoff contention throughout the entire season. Especially considering that Arizona's schedule is relatively weak, Kyler Murray and the Cards will probably beat up on inferior teams like the Patriots and Jets. However, their defense lacks enough firepower to compete when the offense does struggle. For instance, the Detroit Lions were able to shred the Cardinals defense after Murray tossed three picks last Sunday. Given that the Cardinals play in the most competitive division in the NFL, they will likely need a team like the Rams or 49ers to fall off midway through the season. Although with the Niners losing numerous star players, Arizona is currently the third-best team in the NFC West. Furthermore, if they can beat the Rams or Seahawks, this team has a chance to gain a wildcard spot.