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Second impressions: Murray, Cardinals offense post dud against Oakland

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals makes a running throw against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL preseason game at State Farm Stadium on August 15, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals offense couldn’t do much of anything against the Oakland Raiders in Week 2 of the preseason.

Murray completed only three of his eight passing attempts and the only two first downs the first-team offense accumulated came via penalties.

See what 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s hosts, reporters and more thought of Murray’s second stint in preseason play.

Vince Marotta, co-host of Bickley & Marotta

Earlier this week, Kliff Kingsbury talked about how it might be good for Kyler Murray to struggle and be humbled — and that was after a practice!

Both things — struggling and humbling — happened Thursday night at State Farm Stadium.

After an impressive and efficient debut last week, Murray really did nothing right. Heck, he even got flagged for two false start penalties. Everything that was present last week — composure, confidence, throwing touch — was absent this week. The rookie finished 3-for-8 for 12 yards was sacked for a safety, although it was more a case of him going down on his own to avoid a hit.

The only two first downs earned by the Cardinals came courtesy of Oakland rookie Clelin Ferrell hands-to-the-face penalties, and Arizona faced 3rd-and-11 or longer on all four of its possessions.

But really, nobody in Cardinal red did anything resembling making a play on either side of the ball.

I know it’s only preseason, but the disorganization of the Cardinals in Week 2 was on display. If Kingsbury thought the team had a lot to clean up after last week, that to-do list easily got tripled against the Raiders.

Dave Burns, co-host of Burns & Gambo

It was never going to be all popcorn and cotton candy for Kyler Murray. And as encouraging as last week was in his NFL preseason debut every realist out there knew that there were challenges ahead. So … three issues that need to be addressed after his dismal performance against the Raiders.

Wait, four issues. Just thought of another one.

The first is the hand clap and the question of whom exactly needs to adjust to whom. Is it Murray who needs to understand that he has to alter his pre-snap routine or the league who has to take a closer look at what exactly constitutes a false start penalty? Either way, it’s obvious that the guy who doesn’t get rattled easily was rattled Thursday night.

Second issue; the pinpoint accuracy we’ve seen from him all camp long deserted him and he has to figure out why.

Third issue was the blitz and how he (and the Cards coaches and O-line) will need to better account for it.

And finally at four is the understanding and acceptance that struggles like these were inevitable and that just because they happened doesn’t mean he is doomed to fail or the Cards made a mistake. He’s a rookie QB and this is what rookie QBs do.

Kevin Zimmerman, editor and reporter

I suppose we can start by talking about fake hand-clapping. Murray kept doing it pre-snap, and the referees kept flagging him for doing so.

Considering Arizona spent time with a group of officials during training camp, it’s concerning they didn’t get the apparently vague rules ironed out. That’s a red flag on the coaching staff, but the night didn’t go well for Murray, either.

The accuracy was down. The receivers and offensive line didn’t help.

About the only thing that went right was Murray’s ability to escape breakdowns, using slides to put himself out of harm’s way. It cost him two preseason points on his final play, a fitting end to his night where there appeared to be little good to come of it other than a humbling reminder that his first season isn’t going to go as well as he might think.

Doug Franz, co-host of Doug & Wolf

I didn’t see Kyler. People were always laying on top of him.

It’s my fault. I kept getting distracted by all the Raiders running backs going everywhere they wanted.

Kellan Olson, editor and reporter

The overarching factor in the evaluation of Kyler Murray prior to him ever playing for the Arizona Cardinals was that, yes, he’s a dynamic playmaker, but he’s also got fantastic accuracy on just about all of his throws.

That seemed to be the push over the top into him becoming a No. 1 overall pick and what everyone who is sky-high on Murray will talk about first, so it was concerning for his only accurate throws of the night to be screen passes and an eight-yard curl route.

The first misthrow to Christian Kirk in particular on the first drive, a timing loft of the ball over the top of the defense, was a worry.

But we’ve always got to remind ourselves that he’s a rookie and even the most heralded of rookie quarterbacks almost never have the type of year that someone like Baker Mayfield had. He’s gonna have his struggles, but the hesitation lies in if the Cardinals are going to put him in a position where he’s able to grow out of them.

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