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Peter King: Arizona Cardinals are a team to watch all season

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals walk off the field during the NFL preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers at State Farm Stadium on August 08, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Chargers 17-13. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Sunday’s Arizona Cardinals game is drawing obvious attention as head coach Kliff Kingsbury and rookie Kyler Murray take the field for their first regular season NFL game.

Pro Football Talk columnist Peter King told Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Wednesday that this week’s Cardinals and Detroit Lions match up is his game of the week.

“Everybody wants to watch Kyler Murray,” King said. “Everybody, whether you care anything about the Arizona Cardinals, is going to want to watch the extended highlights of Kyler Murray and the Cardinals and what this offense looks like.”

At 5-foot-10, Murray is the first quarterback drafted in the first round of the modern era who is under six feet, let alone selected with the No. 1 pick. Murray said in a press conference Wednesday that he’s not nervous for Sunday.

“We still have to execute what’s called at a high level,” Murray said. “We know the plan and we know it well.”

King said the intrigue doesn’t stop at the rookie quarterback.

For the Cardinals, it’ll prove whether the hire of Kingsbury will pay off.

“I don’t think it’s Kliff Kingsbury being the lightning rod here,” King said. “I think it’s the Cardinals for making this decision.

“Look, it might turn out to be a home run or it might turn out to be a triple play in the first inning. This is a fun compelling thing for this sport and why I can’t get enough of it.”

As a first year head coach, Kingsbury has the chance to dazzle the NFL with an offense that he’s kept under wraps so far.

“I just think a lot of people around the NFL think it was at best a very, very risky hire and at worst a bad decision in hiring a guy who was a good offensive mastermind, who in all of his years in college football couldn’t figure it out well enough to win,” King said.

Additionally, King pointed to offensive innovators like former Cleveland Browns head coach Paul Brown or former San Francisco 49ers head coach Bill Walsh who introduced concepts into the pro game from a coaching standpoint.

Recently, there has been an evolution in NFL offenses that assimilate in college elements, and Kingsbury could evolve into an offensive mastermind if he can overcome hurdles that plagued his success at Texas Tech.

“There’s only one way to find out,” Kingsbury said Wednesday in a press conference. “It’s never been used and nobody really knows what we’re going to do or what it’s going to look like. So, we’ll take it one game at a time.”

Regardless of the Week 1 outcome, King said the Cardinals games will be a regular note for him this season.

“I guarantee you I’ll be watching this team every week,” King said. “This won’t be a one-and-done thing for me.”


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