ARIZONA CARDINALS

NFL Network’s Frelund leaves Cardinals off list of top NFL offenses

May 22, 2022, 4:25 PM
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) is congratulated by tight end Maxx Williams (87) aft...

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) is congratulated by tight end Maxx Williams (87) after Murray ran for a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

(AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

The Arizona Cardinals have not had a top-10 scoring offense since head coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray arrived in 2019. The last time the Cardinals cracked the top-10 was in 2016.

They seemed like a lock to break the drought last season after scoring at least 30 points in seven of their first nine games, but a late-season offensive struggle dropped Arizona back to No. 11.

NFL Network analyst Cynthia Frelund constructed a list of the top 11 offenses for next season via win share projections on Thursday.

Frelund did not include the Cardinals.

Remember, win share measures each player, position group and side of the ball’s ability to earn/prevent first downs, points and touchdowns. All rosters used to simulate the season in this exercise are the forecasted 53 through May 17 … Some offenses have great upside, but their projections are extremely volatile due to outsized personnel questions …

She had the Cardinals ninth on her list last season, which was quite close to how it played out.

The offense has much of the same look from 2021 with a few notable switches.

Wide receiver Christian Kirk, who led the Cardinals in catches and receiving yards last year, now plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars. In his stead arrives Marquise Brown, whom Arizona traded a first-rounder for on draft day.

Brown has more position versatility than Kirk, who flourished in the slot last year.

The Cardinals stumbled without receiver DeAndre Hopkins down the stretch last year and will need to adjust more effectively to start the 2022 season, as Hopkins will serve a six-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy.

The tight ends group is deep with the return of Zach Ertz and Maxx Williams plus the addition of second-round pick Trey McBride.

The offensive line is nearly identical with a change being Will Hernandez sliding into the right guard competition from the New York Giants.

Running back Chase Edmonds left in free agency, but James Conner is back.

Much of the offense hinges on continued growth and adaptability from Kingsbury and Murray. The unit looked unstoppable at points last year, but building a sustainable force is the next step.

Six of the 11 listed offenses will face Arizona this season, starting with the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1.

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NFL Network’s Frelund leaves Cardinals off list of top NFL offenses