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K2 and K1 Deserve Much Greater Credit

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at New England Patriots Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

It’s amazing, at least to this Cardinals’ fan of close to 60 years, how and why so many fans and media have been so severely critical of Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray.

One of the most demoralizing moments I have had as a Cardinals’ fan was standing in the beer line at the Meadowlands in 1989 with the Giants up 20-0 over the Cardinals and some boisterous Giants fan yelled out, “I love the Cardinals game! Every year we can drink easy because the game is over by half-time.”

Then, of course, some of us will never forget 0-58 at Seattle in 2012.

Competitive Regular Season Games:

2008 Super Bowl Team: 11/16

2012: 9/16 (Whisenhunt)

2013: 13/16 (Arians)

2014: 12/16 (Arians)

2015: 14/16 (Arians)

2016: 13/16 (Arians)

2017: 10/16 (Arians)

2018: 7/16 (Wilks)

2019: 12/16 (Kingsbury)

2020: 14/16 (Kingsbury)

  • When a coach and a QB have their team playing highly competitive football for the vast majority of the regular season games, a whole lot of things are going right.
  • When one thinks of where the Cardinals were in 2019 when Kingsbury was hired and Murray was drafted —- basically at rock bottom of the NFL —- to come in as a rookie head coach and rookie QB and have the team in contention late in 26 of their 32 games, that deserves high praise and it speaks extremely well to their competitive nature.

Team’s improvement from 2019 to 2020:

  • 2019 Offense: 21st in yards; 18th in points —- 2020 Offense: 6th in yards; 10th in points.
  • 2019 Defense: 32nd in yards; 28th in points —- 2020 Defense: 13th in yards; 12th in points.
  • 2019 Record: 5-10-1 —- 2020 Record: 8-8
  • Combined Record: 13-18-1 and in 11 of the 18 losses the Cardinals were within a TD late in the 4th quarter.

Pro Bowl QBs Arizona Cardinals:

  • 2008: Kurt Warner
  • 2015: Carson Palmer
  • 2020: Kyler Murray

Offensive Rookie of the Year Arizona Cardinals:

  • 2019: Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray is the first QB the Cardinals have drafted to win OROY and the second to make the Pro Bowl (Neil Lomax 1984, 1987). Murray has been named NFC Offensive Player of the Week 5 times.

Kyler Murray’s Stats:

  • Passing —- 65.8%, 7,693 yards, 46 TDs, 24 int., 90.9 rating.
  • Rushing —- 226 carries, 1,363 yards, 6.0 ave., 15 TDs

Coach Kingsbury and Kyler Murray have told us many times that they have areas they are working on improving. They might have jumped a little ahead of schedule the first half of last season, and Kyler’s shoulder and ankle injuries were an obstacle.

I believe they deserve a whole lot of praise. Much more than they’ve been receiving. How about you?