Following the peculiar recruiting and bizarre hiring of Kliff Kingsbury as head coach, the Arizona Cardinals are hopeful the alleged QB whisperer will band with top draft pick Kyler Murray to rise from the dregs of the NFL. Though Kingsbury had a rancid 19-35 SU record in Big 12 play at Texas Tech, the Redbirds have abundant conviction the college coaching washout will be triumphant in the pro ranks.
The Air Raid offense that Kliff will instill begets flashbacks of another coach’s cataclysmic climb to the NFL: Chip Kelly. There is little quarrel that talent-wise the Cards should be enhanced. Health alone should upgrade an OL that had to employ ten different starting combos last year. Best NFL handicappers at OffshoreInsiders.com note that they also added two cogs on the OL: J.R. Sweezy (Seattle) and Marcus Gilbert (Pittsburgh).
There was a period when NFL scouts frowned upon 5-foot-10 QBs and minimized athletic ones. Savior Kyler Murray is both. Future Hall-of-Fame WR Larry Fitzgerald did say Murray possesses, “crazy command of the offense.” The rookie will have a lot more weapons than Josh Rosen had last year. In addition to vets, Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk are rookies Andy Isabella, and Hakeem Butler. The Cards will try to establish some TE depth during the preseason.
Expected to be on the field quite often, look for Arizona’s defense to suffer from the six-game suspension of playmaker Patrick Peterson. They need to be much deeper than the 3-13 distressed unit from last year. They aren’t.
Betting outlook for 2019: At best, this team is a work in progress. Kingsbury will likely go all-in on the thrill-a-minute and have some early season overs. He will eventually see the system is not sustainable and slow down the pace. The Cardinals will not be improved and will go under the season total at Bovada.