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What We Learned as the Cards slide to .500

Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Remember when Steve Keim stumbled into making one good move for the offense this offseason and then called it a day?

It should come as no surprise that against tougher defenses that these deficiencies in talent begin to show, especially as a less than 100% Kyler Murray is not able to cover up these flaws.

This is what we continue to learn every week as the season wears on, and I have zero confidence that the present front office can be trusted with getting the most out of this team over the coming years.

Players, plays, formations. It’s a pretty cliche saying, but one that tends to hold true. Sure, there are coaches that can over-perform the roster they’re given, but those tend to be the exception rather than the norm.

Yes, the coaching decisions have at times been lackluster to say the least. But ultimately, should the team salvage their playoffs hopes down the stretch, it would take extraordinary effort to overcome the opposition’s firepower with so little of their own.

Adding to the roster problems is the fact that near the mid point of Murray’s rookie contract, the team finds themselves in need of reinforcements at the most important positions, on top of seeing little return from over-investing in the opposing spots.

Despite drafting more receivers than any other position since 2013, the team has struggled to land with a consistent option. If they’re to fully take advantage of what Murray and Deandre Hopkins can do for the team, they need more firepower to compliment them. And fast.

They sorely need Josh Jones to be a major hit as the interior of the line also demands attention.

All that the team is about to find itself very, very shallow on what might be the most important aspect outside of quarterback play - coverage. Only Byron Murphy (PFF’s 46th ranked cornerback) looks to be the one fixture going forward, and it remains to be seen if he can solidify the CB2 spot, let alone lead the pack.

Also of importance to the defense, the pass rush also finds itself under-manned. Should the unlikely continuation of Chandler Jone’s drop-off in performance continue, well...

As the season wears on, it gets harder and harder to pick up something new every week. But it does get easier to put it all together to get the bigger picture. And that picture is one of a team bordering on greatness but ultimately held back. It remains to be seen if coaching and quarterback play are ultimately part of those issues, but the roster construction most definitely is.