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Arizona Cardinals Offensive Report Card


The Arizona Cardinals had a year to forget this past season, falling short of expectations considerably. The team fired Kliff Kingsbury come season’s end and now focuses on the future of the franchise. Today we wrap things up by grading each offensive position for the Arizona Cardinals.


After signing a big contract this past offseason, expectations were high for Kyler Murray. Unfortunately, Murray had a rough season from the start. He had some highlight worthy moments early on but for the most part, he was only contributing to this teams lack of offensive scoring. Murray only managed a QBR over 100 twice this past season and overall had lowest QBR of his career at 87.4. Murray’s regression this past year was a main reason for Kingsbury’s firing. In December, Murray would tear his ACL in a Monday night game against New England, cutting his season short. Murray finished the season with 14 touchdowns to 7 interceptions. He also had the second lowest completion percentage of his career at 66.4.

After Murray’s injury the team would rotate through 3 different quarterbacks due to more injuries suffered by the position. Colt McCoy, David Blough, and Trace McSorely all saw time on the field in Murray’s absence. All three played poor, McSorely had five interceptions with zero touchdowns, McCoy had one touchdown and three picks, while Blough had two touchdowns and two interceptions. Despite the stats, McCoy was the best of the bunch until a concussion saw his season end. Overall, this QB room was not good all around. Many fans along with myself believe Kingsbury’s play calling was the biggest issue. If Kyler Murray doesn’t improve next season, fans will be calling for new signal caller very quickly.

Grade: D+


Running Backs

The Cardinals running game was extremely inconsistent throughout the 2023 season. Arizona’s rushing offense was in the bottom third of the league and had the second in most rushing fumbles. James Conner led the charge and struggled mightily early on, but after returning from injury in week nine Conner improved slightly. However, Conner was still fairly inconsistent and it was hurting the Cardinals. It’s important to also mention that Conner only had one game this season where he rushed for over 100 yards. In fact, he only had four games over 75 yards last season. If Conner wants to remain the starter in Arizona he will absolutely need to pick up the pace next season and be far more consistent.

Eno Benjamin saw a fair amount of production before his trade to Houston prior to the trade deadline, but similar to Conner, Benjamin was too inconsistent on a down to down basis for the Cardinals. After the trade Darrel Williams and rookie Keaontay Ingram saw some playing time with Williams playing better of the two. Overall the Cardinals running game was extremely inconsistent not just on a week to week basis, but on a down to down basis as well. This running game needs a revamp come next season.

Grade: D+


Wide Receivers

The strongest position on this offense was the only real bright spot on this side of the ball last season. Arizona traded for Marquise Brown in the offseason to give Murray a top receiving corps. However, DeAndre Hopkins was suspended the first 6 games of the season. This meant Brown was the number one receiver until Hopkins return.

During that time, Brown was by far the team’s best receiver. In a bad Kliff Kingsbury offense, he was the only one able to get separation unlike other receivers such as Rondale Moore. Brown even recorded 14 receptions against the Rams in week three.

Once Hopkins was eligible to return, Marquise Brown suffered an injury and wouldn’t return until week 12. Right before that, they traded for Robbie Anderson from Carolina, but he didn’t amount to much this season. On paper this is quite a good receiving corps. The problem was having almost none of them on the field at the same time. By the time Hopkins and Brown were in the starting lineup together, the season was long gone. In fact, the pairing only got one game together where Kyler Murray was the quarterback. Ultimately, the receivers performed well, but we never got to see the full potential of Murray, Hopkins, and Brown together.

Grade: B


Tight Ends

Arizona started the year with Zach Ertz as the starter before an injury kept him out the rest of the way. When Ertz was in, he played solid and hauled in nearly 70% of passes thrown his way. Ertz hauled in 4 touchdowns which is good but the Cardinals really need a red zone threat at the position.

After Ertz’s injury rookie Trey McBride took over at the position. McBride would have some good games including 78 receiving yards and a touchdown against Atlanta in week 17. Unfortunately, that was McBride’s only touchdown on the season. That being said, Kliff Kingsbury heavily underutilized the young rookie. Before Ertz’s injury McBride was only playing on 30% of the offense’s snaps. That number increased to over 80% after the Ertz injury. That wouldn’t have been the case had Ertz have been healthy. The playing time allowed McBride to show some flashes of potential, but that could have been even greater had the team utilized their draft pick more. This group was solid in receiving and blocking but the lack of a presence inside the red zone forced everything to be thrown outside the numbers. Arizona needs a solid red zone threat at Tight End.

Grade: C


Offensive Line

The Cardinals offensive line was banged up for most of the year, losing both Rodney Hudson and Justin Pugh early on. This offensive line wasn’t as poor as it has been in years past, but it certainly wasn’t serviceable either. The outside tackles spots held by D.J. Humphries and Kelvin Beachum were the bright spots on this offensive line. It was ultimately the interior of the line that would be the teams undoing. They struggled to really push the ball on a down to down basis, which contributed to the inconsistencies seen in James Conner. In fact, Conner didn’t have a solid game until long after both Hudson and Pugh were out of the lineup. Whether that’s on Conner or the interior offensive line, both need a revamp. 9th in sacks allowed is another top ten stat the Cardinals should want no part of. With some big names at guard on the market this offseason, expect the Cardinals to be spenders in order to protect Kyler Murray.

Grade: D+

Overall Grade: C-

The question on most fans minds is whether Murray’s lack of progression was due to Kliff Kingsbury. I believe a vast majority of the problems on offense were due to Kingsbury. The next coach to inherit this team will have a hard time turning this team around and if they have any chance of doing so, it starts with a good offensive scheme.

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