Up and away: Cardinals’ success on road outweighing home mark
TEMPE — You don’t have to look too far to see how good the Arizona Cardinals have been on the road this season.
Scoring at least 31 points per game and limiting the opposition to no more than 20 points, Arizona has had little trouble navigating through hostile environments on its way to a perfect 5-0 road start.
The Cardinals are embracing that back-against-the-wall mentality and are running with it.
“I think the maturity in the locker room,” quarterback Kyler Murray said Wednesday. “The guys understand what we’re getting on the plane to go do, and we’ve been challenged.
“We’ve heard all the talk all year before the season. Obviously, it’s here now, none of that matters. I think the guys have taken care of business and I think we’re playing with a chip on our shoulder.”
But for as dominant the Cardinals are on the road, there’s been a noticeable drop off at home.
Just once over the team’s 3-2 home mark have the Cardinals score more than 30 points, putting up a season-low 10 points in last week’s loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Defensively, Arizona has allowed at least 24 points in all but one home game.
The Cardinals aren’t the only team experiencing a flip like this, however, with numerous squads around the NFL finding more success on the road than at their home stadium.
It begs the simple question: Why?
“There’s something to going into a hotel, going on a plane together, all of your meetings are right there, you’re around each other the entire time,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Wednesday.
“When it’s a home game, you stay at the hotel but in the morning everyone kind of goes their own separate way before the game, sees their family, all those things. I think just that aspect does bring you together, and kind of that ‘Band of Brothers’ feel as you roll in there taking on the opposition.”
For cornerback Byron Murphy, he feels the energy has been inconsistent at home as opposed to on the road, something that will need to change as the team embarks on the second half of the schedule with the postseason — and potential home playoff games — becoming more and more of a reality with each win.
“Our energy at away games has kinda been out the roof, home games kinda been up and down,” Murphy said Thursday. “I think at away games we’re obviously bringing that energy.
“Everybody’s coming with that energy, everyone’s coming ready to play. And then home games, we just gotta keep that going as well.”