Like an NFL game, the season is a tale of four quarters and two halves. There is an old saying, “It’s not how you start, but how you finish”. The Arizona Cardinals started the season with a 6-3 record through the first nine games. Before losing five of their final seven games.
What happened? Did defenses have enough tape on Kliff and Kyler’s offense to stifle them? Was the offense missing a piece? There were many questions to find a reason for the *unacceptable slide down the stretch.
During the first nine games, Arizona scored 266 points averaging 29.5 points per game. The issues came during the last seven games, they scored 144 points over that span. Averaging, 20.5 points per game, down nine points from the earlier portion of the season.
One issue that became clear, the offense was in dire need of more talent at the wide receiver position. De’Andre Hopkins is elite but cannot carry a playoff-contending passing attack by his lonesome. Christian Kirk flashed but never located the consistency this offense needed. Insert A.J. Green during free agency to provide veteran leadership opposite of Hopkins.
Andy Isabella’s 4.31 forty was supposed to add a third-level element to Kingsbury’s offense. Due to the lack of chemistry with Murray and success, Isabella’s impact never materialized.
The Cardinals selected Rondale Moore with the 49th pick in the 2nd round of the NFL draft. Moore is one of the best athletes and most explosive playmakers in this class.
The former Boilermaker posted a 4.33 forty and jumped 42.5 inches at his pro day. Moore adds a versatile playmaker that excels in space. Can he become the next field-stretching receiver in Arizona?
Kingsbury must create advantageous opportunities for Rondale Moore to succeed in this offense. A player’s usage that came to mind, Randall Cobb during his tenure in Green Bay. Cobb aligned all over the formation, in the slot, stack/bunch sets, and in the backfield.
As seen in the photo below, Moore has experience aligning in the backfield. This can create mismatches and communication issues when motioned out of the backfield.
In this play, Randall Cobb flanks Aaron Rodgers in the backfield. Mccarthy dials up 3x1 stacked to the right. As a result of this formation, Cobb is covered by linebacker Rob Ninkovich on his wheel route for a big gain!
This is the type of mismatches Rondale Moore can create if used creatively.
Kingsbury will benefit from keeping Moore off the line of scrimmage, reducing his chances of being jammed. Against free releases, Moore is able to manipulate defenders by shifting his speed.
Aligned in the slot, Moore uses a hard head fake and jab step outside to win inside leverage. It became a foot race and Moore easily separates for the score.
Purdue featured Moore as their primary ghost and jet motion receiver. He draws plenty of attention, as a result of his playmaking prowess. In this play, Moore does not receive the handoff but his presence forces the defense to shift. This caused them to abandon outside leverage to spring the running back.
This Cardinals offense is poised for a big season with the new additions. Finding consistency for a full 17 game season is pivotal. Kliff Kingsbury has toys of all variations at his disposal. Rondale Moore adds more speed to stress defenses horizontally and vertically.
Factoring the other options surrounding him, Moore is that dynamite waiting to be lit.