It’s hard to tell where Kyler Murray’s head is these days. For the second year in a row, Kyler has not responded well to injuries. His game has suffered and the team has suffered.
Right now, after two disappointing defeats in games where the Cardinals were favored, and games which if handled properly, would have already locked up the NFC West for the Cardinals, the team needs a QB who will calm everything down.
If Kyler can do that —- then he can give the team what it needs the most.
If not, and Kyler’s struggles continue, then...
Wave the right hand to the bullpen and bring in Colt McCoy.
Colt did a magnificent job of calming everything down after Kyler was out with his high ankle injury.
Colt led the Cardinals to two key NFC West division road wins versus the 49ers and Seahawks —- had he not, the Cardinals would not currently own the tiebreaker over the Rams.
The Colts lead the NFL in takeaways and if there was ever a game where the Cardinals need ball security and a poised approach at QB, then this is the game.
Hopefully, Kyler is going to bring calmness and precision to the position this week, right for the get-go.
But, if his current struggles continue, then there is nothing wrong with bringing in Colt McCoy, especially with so much at stake and with the Cardinals now trying to get the 400 pound late season fade gorilla off of its back.
Sometimes, what teams need is a whole lot of calm and steady at the QB position —- where the QB patiently and smoothly takes what the defense is giving them.
Subbing in McCoy in no way means that Kyler isn’t the team’s franchise QB moving forward.
And it doesn’t mean that Kyler shouldn’t start the following week versus the Cowboys. As long as he’s healthy, he should.
It just means that if Kyler, for whatever reason, is not meeting the team’s QB expectations, then it could be very wise to see whether Colt McCoy, who has done so with aplomb this season, can.
The same should be true for any Cardinals’ player who comes out struggling in this game.
If Jordan Hicks isn’t up for the task of meeting Jonathan Taylor in the holes, then bring in Zaven Collins, who, of all of the Cardinals inside linebackers, has the only above average PFF run defense grade. Remember Zaven? The young stud downhill tackler who scored a 90.2 run defense grade versus Derrick Henry and the Titans.
If the Cardinals do not slow down Taylor and the Colts’ vaunted running game, then it is going to be very difficult for the Cardinals to get on the right side of the scoreboard.
As queried on this week’s Red Rain Podcast, one may wonder if Kyler is feeling 100% healthy. His ankle looks fine, but is Kyler nursing arm soreness or some other ailment?
The last two games Kyler at times has been brilliant, but at other times has brought a whole lot of havoc.
Kyler conceded after the season last year that his shoulder injury was far worse than he was saying it was. But, rightfully so, a 75% Kyler was the best option for the team, in light of Chris Streveler’s inexperience.
This year, the Cardinals have a formidable, highly experienced backup in Colt McCoy.
The Cardinals need to do what’s best for the team.
Hopefully, Kyler plays his best all-around game of the season.
But, for the sake of the team, the Cardinals should have Colt primed and ready in the bullpen versus the Colts.
Some may argue, that’s all the Cardinals need right now is a QB controversy.
However, what the Cardinals need to do now as a team, more than ever, is get over the hump and shed that 400 pound late season fade gorilla.
A QB controversy can been simply avoided if Kliff Kingsbury makes it clear that Kyler is the starter and Colt is the closer, when needed.