While wins against the Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings in the first two weeks of the season hardly feel like big victories, it has set a baseline for what this Arizona Cardinals team can achieve this season. Kyler Murray has sent a wakeup call to the entire league and has started to prove that his playmaking ability can carry a team to wins week in and week out.
Their defense has also been up to the task these first two weeks. Led by Chandler Jones, who already has 5.0 sacks, this Cardinals defense can perfectly complement an explosive offense and help them win the toughest division in football: The NFC West.
Kyler Murray is a Bona Fide MVP Candidate
The main reason the Cardinals have a chance at competing for a Super Bowl under Kliff Kingsbury is because of their star QB. Murray has been absolutely electric through Week 2, completing 73.5% of his passes for 689 yards and 7 touchdowns. This equates to a 121.5 passer rating, as he has also thrown 3 interceptions during the first two games. He has managed to run for 2 touchdowns thus far as well, although he *only* has 51 rushing yards on 10 carries.
Even though the early stat line screams MVP, actually watching Murray with the ball in his hands is can’t miss TV. Some of the plays that he is able to make with his legs and with arm leave you just shaking your head in disbelief. While he has had the propensity to turn the ball over so far, his football IQ is still off the charts and he possesses the ability to carry this Cardinals team all the way to the promised land.
The Defense Has Playmakers at Every Level
This Cardinals defense is very similar to its counterpart in that they have playmakers everywhere. Starting with the defensive front, they have big name players who can change the course of a drive. Chandler Jones and J.J. Watt, although aging, are still elite pass rushers that an offense needs to game plan around.
Jones has already put up 5.0 sacks this season, while just the presence of Watt makes opposing OT tremble in fear. Toss in veteran Corey Peters at DT and this has the makings of a defense that can get after the QB.
The Linebacking corp, while not as noteworthy, still has extremely dependable, versatile players that can change games. Young chess pieces Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins can match up with any position on the football field. Lastly, the secondary features one of the best safeties in the entire NFL in Budda Baker.
He flies to the football like a laser guided missile, always looking to deliver a big hit or make a play on the football. Toss in an up and coming CB like Byron Murphy, and suddenly this Cardinals defense is one that Offensive Coordinators will have to think long and hard about how to attack.
The Offensive Balance is Perfect
When looking at the Cardinals offense as a whole, they feature premium talent at every skill position. At WR, they have the best jump ball pass catcher in the league in DeAndre Hopkins, an electric speedster in rookie Rondale Moore, and an elite slot receiver in Christian Kirk. Toss in depth pieces like A.J. Green and Andy Isabella, and this team lines up perfectly at wideout.
Their RB room features a perfect blend of power and finesse. Chase Edmonds can make big plays out of the backfield and is also a great pass catcher, while James Conner can get the hard yards in between the tackles. With more and more teams going to a platoon at RB, the Cardinals sure seem to have gotten the balance right here.
Overall, the elite playmaking ability on both sides of the ball is what makes the Cardinals such an exciting team to watch. There is surely more to come, as they will certainly be tested plenty. While all the talk in the NFC West seems to center around the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers, don’t overlook the Arizona Cardinals to be the cream of the crop out of this division and make a run at the Lombardi Trophy.
Join our Discord to leave a question or comment regarding this article. We have sports fans talking betting all day — every day! JOIN THE DISCORD NOW AND QUALIFY FOR PRIZES & BETTING SWAG!