The Cardinals lost a heartbreaker on Sunday to the Buccaneers, but for those looking at the big picture, it was easy to be encouraged yet again.
Quarterback Kyler Murray was 27-of-44 passing for 324 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. He added three carries for 38 yards, finishing with the 11th-best Total QBR of the week.
Murray continues to thrive, as he has the 14th-best Total QBR in the NFL this season, ahead of Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Jared Goff, Baker Mayfield and many others. While some of the most talented quarterbacks in history struggled as rookies, Murray is already turning heads.
The Cardinals’ offense as a whole has been on an upward trajectory for weeks. It racked up 417 total yards at 6.4 yards per play against Tampa Bay and is now No. 9 in the NFL in expected points added per play, according to Pro Football Focus. Expected points added is a metric that calculates the effectiveness of a play based on down, distance, field position and time remaining.
Unsurprisingly, the Cardinals were last in expected points added per play in 2018 by a pretty wide margin.
The defense is holding this year’s team back, but the gigantic strides on offense – led by a first-year coach and rookie quarterback – are extremely encouraging for the future.