The Arizona Cardinals’ offense continues to see heights that simply proceed to develop. Of their victory in opposition to the Los Angeles Rams, Kyler Murray and firm solely had two drives that led to punts.
Everybody knew concerning the Cardinals’ previous historical past in opposition to the Rams. Coach Sean McVay was 8-0 in his tenure in opposition to the Cardinals earlier than their October 3 conflict. However Coach Kliff Kingsbury had little interest in any of these storylines.
“That’s what we tried to keep away from all week,” Kingsbury stated. “Simply get per week higher.”
And that’s what they did. They’re now undefeated and in accordance with NFL Corridor-of-Famer Gil Brandt, they’re the fourth staff because the NFL merger in 1970 to begin 4-0 with 30 or extra factors and accumulate greater than 400 whole yards in every sport. Every of these groups’ quarterbacks received MVP and made the Tremendous Bowl that season.
Murray and the Cardinals’ playmakers received right into a groove in opposition to the Rams. However who was the kingpin of their dominance?
Kingsbury Deserves Tons of Credit score
In accordance with ESPN Cardinals reporter Josh Weinfuss, Murray on October 4 stated their sport plan in opposition to the Rams was the perfect he’s seen throughout his time within the NFL.
That’s largely within the palms of Coach Kingsbury. After two years of mediocre offense, Mike Sando of The Athletic says Kingsbury’s efficiency in opposition to the Rams turned on the sunshine swap for his outlook transferring ahead.
Kingsbury has struggled to shake the skepticism that adopted him from Texas Tech into the NFL. He had a 35-40 report with the Crimson Raiders. He hasn’t confirmed a lot within the NFL but whereas ending 5-10-1 and 8-8. However this 37-20 domination of the beforehand 3-0 Rams was a breakthrough second — the primary time in 5 video games in opposition to the Rams that Kingsbury’s offense was higher than even mediocre. Arizona grew to become solely the eighth staff to attain 37 or extra factors on offense in opposition to the Rams throughout McVay’s five-year, 74-game run as head coach, counting playoffs.
Kingsbury outcoached McVay in each aspect. McVay refused to run the ball extra in opposition to a missing Cardinals speeding protection regardless of Darrell Henderson averaging greater than six yards per carry.
Kliff used all of his weapons and had the Rams protection guessing. He was surgical in getting Murray to throw within the quick space of the sphere. Murray additionally had zero turnover-worthy performs for the primary time in 2021 in accordance with Professional Soccer Focus, which has lots to do with Kingsbury.
Tight finish Maxx Williams was used within the pink zone and within the display screen sport. Kingsbury’s operating backs have been carried out within the second half, which helped run out some clock. The Rams hadn’t allowed 30 factors in a sport for 16 straight video games, and Kingsbury took them to the woodshed.
The Rams have been additionally scared to go for it on fourth downs. Kingsbury outclassed McVay in technique and by no means put the foot on the gasoline.
Don’t Neglect the Protection
Vance Joseph deserves a ton of reward for getting ready nicely in opposition to the most effective offenses within the NFL.
The Rams have been stored out of the endzone in three quarters. Whereas Stafford wasn’t sacked as soon as, they did power two turnovers.
“They nonetheless had some big-time performs,” Kingsbury stated. “However I believed we did simply sufficient to create some turnovers and actually flip the tide. Now, the hope is that the wave can carry all through the remainder of the season.”
The Cardinals’ protection was gritty within the second half. They’d’ve had one other interception from Staffard that was caught by Marco Wilson, however a questionable roughing the passer name on Isaiah Simmons negated the play. Arizona’s protection has now allowed a complete of 23 second-half factors in 4 video games, which is lower than a six factors per sport common.
Total, the Cardinals are permitting 21.3 factors per sport, which is the ninth-best within the league. This can be a protection that hasn’t even hit their stride and will count on higher days out of Chandler Jones and J.J. Watt.
After enjoying a top-tier offense, the Cardinals will head again to their house and tackle an injury-riddled 49ers staff that can begin rookie QB Trey Lance for the primary time.
https://heavy.com/sports activities/arizona-cardinals/arizona-cardinals-kliff-kingsbury-nfl-los-angeles-rams/ | Cardinals Domination ‘Breakthrough Second’ for Kliff Kingsbury, Says NFL Author