Kurt Warner: the Cardinals’ offense is still searching for an identity

Oct 2, 2019, 6:30 PM | Updated: 7:48 pm
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)...
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray reared back and launched the football down the field and into the diving arms of wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald in Week 1 against the Detroit Lions.

The crowd at State Farm Stadium erupted and Fitzgerald pumped his fist in the air. The 45-yard strike set up a go-ahead field goal for Zane Gonzalez in overtime. Ultimately, the game ended in a 27-27 tie, but the electrifying late game performance from Arizona jolted optimism around the team.

Since then, the Cardinals’ offense has sputtered and has played worse with each passing week.

Last week, Arizona fell 27-10 at home to the Seattle Seahwaks, the low point of the season thus far.

Former Cardinals quarterback and Hall of Famer Kurt Warner told 98.7 Arizona Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo on Wednesday what he’s seen from the team thus far this season.

“I think the biggest disappointment so far is that offensively they are not generating easy plays,” Warner said. “They are struggling to figure out who they are offensively and how to create opportunities for the young quarterback.

“You feel the upside is huge because Kyler can make some of those plays. Since it is not easy, it has forced him to be a little more uncomfortable in the pocket and not trust what is going on around him.”

Arizona has allowed the most sacks in the NFL through four games. The pressure on Murray has also caused the Cardinals to have the fourth-fewest yards per completion in the league due to the lack of time the rookie quarterback has had to throw.

The lack of protection and Murray’s discomfort in the pocket, as Warner alluded to, is holding him back from performing to his heights. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid offense has been stumbling because of that. The rookie head coach’s ability to adjust the gameplan at the NFL level has yet to be seen as well.

“I think there’s some frustration there because you hope with a new offense coming in you could generate more for Murray early on but that hasn’t happened,” Warner said. “I still feel like they are feeling themselves out, what works in college versus the NFL and understanding what the talent level of the guys there are.”

Luckily for the Cardinals, they are facing a couple of struggling teams over the next few weeks.

On Sunday, they head to Cincinnati to play the 0-4 Bengals followed by a home contest against an underachieving Atalanta Falcons squad. This seems like the best stretch for the offense to gain its footing and maybe find a formula that helps Murray.

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