It figures to be an explosive night in Seattle. And don’t look now, but the once-woeful Arizona Cardinals boast the NFL’s top-ranked offense.
No matter how you break it down, the improvement is simply astonishing. In 2018, the Arizona Cardinals finished dead last in the league in total offense, rushing yards per game and passing yards per contest. They were the first team since the 1977 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – a franchise in its second year of existence – to finish dead last in the NFL in each of those three categories. The club totaled an NFL-low 225 points and Arizona’s offensive unit managed only 24 touchdowns. It was part of a 3-13 campaign and it was one-and-out for head Steve Wilks.
A year ago, general manager Steve Keim would eventually part ways with 2018 first-round draft choice Josh Rosen. That’s because the new head coach would be Kliff Kingsbury and with the first overall pick in ’19, Arizona opted for University of Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray – the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner. He would throw for 3,722 yards and 20 scores with 12 interceptions. He would also rush for 544 yards and four touchdowns. While the Cards finished 5-10-1, Murray was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
From dead last in 2018 to 21st in the league last season to first in the NFL after 10 weeks, the Arizona Cardinals’ offense has gone from the worst to the best in basically a season and a half. Kingsbury’s team also leads the league in rushing.
But back to that 2018 showing for a moment. The Cards totaled 3,845 total yards, an average of 241.6 per contest. They ran for only 1,342 yards, a mere 83.9 per game. After nine outings in 2020, Arizona has already accumulated 3,829 yards per contest (425.4 average) and run for 1,520 yards – a brisk 168.9 per game thanks to Murray and running backs Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds. Kingsbury’s squad has already totaled 32 offensive touchdowns and 266 points. Murray has already run for 604 yards and 10 scores, is completing 68.2 percent of his throws, and has twice as many touchdown passes (17) as interceptions (8). Three-time All-Pro wideout DeAndre Hopkins has already caught 67 passes for 861 yards and four scores.
More importantly, the team has already won one more game than it did all of last season and is currently tied for first in the NFC West with the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams with a 6-3 record. The Cardinals head into their Thursday night tilt in the Pacific Northwest in position to sweep the ‘Hawks for the first time since 2009.