After years of misery, Kyler Murray has transformed the Cardinals into a terrifying offense. He is now coming off his best game ever in which he threw for six touchdowns and ran for another score.
The Arizona Cardinals have a 4-0 record to open the 2021 NFL season, making them the last unbeaten club in the league. The performance of quarterback Kyler Murray, who has leapt out to an MVP-caliber start and made Kliff Kingsbury happy, is a big part of it.
The Cardinals’ defense has also held its own, with JJ Watt’s arrival assisting in this respect. While Murray has been the team’s talk and DeAndre Hopkins remains one of the league’s top receivers, Arizona has had a handful of guys surprise them.
James Conner inked a one-year contract in the summer and has been a good addition, but the performance of veteran wide receiver AJ Green, who is off to a strong start in his first year without a Cincinnati Bengals jersey on, is one of the most important elements.
The Cardinals offense has found its stride, and AJ Green is benefiting from it.
The Arizona Cardinals’ Kyler Murray reacts to the Los Angeles Rams’ Chase Edmonds running with the ball during the fourth quarter at SoFi Stadium on October 3, 2021 in Inglewood, California. Getty Images/Katelyn Mulcahy
After the Bengals parted ways, the Cardinals signed Green in the offseason. During his nine years with Cincinnati, he was named to the Pro Bowl seven times and had six seasons with 1,000 yards. However, he only appeared in nine games in 2018 and was unproductive in 2020, prompting the Bengals to release him.
The Cardinals, on the other hand, took a chance on him and are enjoying the rewards thus far. Arizona’s offense leads the league in points and yards per game, is third in passing yards per game, and sixth in rushing yards per game. Every phase is advantageous to Arizona, for a variety of reasons.
Perhaps the most important reason is Murray’s performance, which has propelled him to the top of the MVP standings after only one month. Murray’s success has aided Green, who has a team-high 15 receptions for 248 yards and two touchdowns in a revival.
Green had just 523 yards in the whole 2020 season, compared to 694 yards in nine games the year before. If this trend continues, he should be able to outperform those figures and resurrect his career in Arizona.
Murray’s MVP performance is a big part of the Cardinals’ success.
Murray’s throw to Green is a perfect illustration of how the Cardinals quarterback is assisting Green in regaining his former form. Furthermore, the former first-round selection is causing everyone on Arizona to thrive.
He has 1273 yards, nine touchdowns, and four interceptions in four games. Murray has also run for 109 yards and three touchdowns. Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore, DeAndre Hopkins, and A.J. Green have all surpassed 200 yards this season, with tight end Maxx Williams coming in second with 179.
Everything is falling into place for Arizona, and Murray could easily earn the MVP award if they continue to win football games. However, there are some worries when the Cardinals started out strong in 2020 but faded down the line.
Green is back, and given Murray’s performance, he should continue to flourish.
(Ordered by receiving yards): Arizona WR through four games: 15-248-2 on 24 targets in green Kirk has a 16-244-2 record on 18 targets. Hopkins has a record of 17-225-3 on 25 targets. Moore has a 16-211-1 record on 18 targets.
October 4, 2021 — Andy Holloway (@andyholloway)
Green was the Bengals’ primary offensive option for several years. As Hopkins, Conner, and Chase Edmonds have all attracted attention, not to mention Moore, Green has suddenly become the second wide receiver option and may be the third or fourth player targeted by opposition defenders.
In Arizona, the ball is being distributed about effectively, and Murray is making fantastic choices time and time again, making Arizona the buzz of the NFL.
Murray could be a frontrunner for the MVP award if they keep playing like this, and Green and Hopkins may become one of the greatest receiving tandems in the NFL.
Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
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