Kyler Murray has had a better rookie season than some expected coming into the NFL as the top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Still, there is some concern coming out of Arizona about the Cardinals’ quarterback and whether or not the high-flying offense many expected from head coach Kliff Kingsbury will ever materialize.
It’s not to say the team hasn’t had some splash plays, but overall, Murray is averaging seven yards per pass attempt up to this point in his first season. Only five quarterbacks in the league have a lower average yards per pass attempt in 2019.
Despite the fact his longest completion of the season is 55. 1 yards, his average shows the Cardinals have shrunk their passing game in order to facilitate simpler throws and a more manageable game plan for their rookie quarterback.
This concern found its way into the Arizona Cardinals’ team mailbox and team reporter Darren Urban had wrote this in response,
“The Seahawks very deliberately played with a couple of high safeties, essentially daring the Cardinals to run/throw short and not give up many chances at deeper passes. I do think, as the Cardinals evolve offensively, they will need to take more shots downfield. And if Todd Bowles cranks up the blitz in Tampa this weekend, there might be some openings against the Bucs. But there are a lot of things that go into throwing down the field -- not the least of which is protection, to give the receivers time to get down there, as well as the coverage.”
Now, this isn’t exactly what I would call a prediction that Kingsbury and his quarterback will look to hit deep shots all day this coming Sunday, but we’ve seen opposing offenses hit big plays against Todd Bowles’ unit all season due to their aggressiveness up front and thin talent base in the back end.
Murray has six games with 240-yards or more through the air, and in five of those his yards per pass came in above his yearly average. In the three games he failed to hit 240-yards he also failed to reach 200-yards in two of them, and had yards per pass averages of 6.7, 5 and 4.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have shown time-and-time again this season they prefer to play aggressive up front and in man coverage in the secondary. Given what the Seattle Seahawks were able to accomplish one week ago, I fully expect the Arizona Cardinals to try their hand at some deep shots early in Week 10.