Week 4 Film Breakdown: Arizona Cardinals Offense

This weeks film breakdown is of the Arizona Cardinals offense. I have not had the chance to watch a whole Cardinals game, other than what I’ve watched on Redzone. I am excited to see what Kingsbury and Kyler Murray are looking like after 3 full weeks. Let’s get into it!

Right out of the gate, they dial up a nice outside zone for the first play of the game. The receiver runs a wrap motion and takes the handoff. Fitzgerald does a nice job of trapping the edge.

On 2nd and 2, they go back to the run (would like to see Kyler take a shot here with 8 defenders near the LOS), but I like the design here as well. The jet motion and threat of Murray’s legs freezes #98, allowing Johnson to run behind the LT who takes #99 for a ride into the linebacker.

3rd and 8, and the only thing that kept this drive alive was Kyler’s legs, because while he’s running for his life, 4 OL are blocking #98. 7 man protection vs 4 man rush and somehow they let Clowney be the disrupter. Great play by Murray.

Kyler has to have a little better of a throw here. I love the playcall on 3rd and 3, but it’s a throw that has to happen with rhythm and great timing and he is just a little late. The receiver does a great job of getting the corner to open his hips outside (he recovers well). Ball is just late, if it had been as the receiver was breaking and in his chest this could have been a nice gain.

Simple RB screen turns into disaster. Clowney diagnoses the screen and slides underneath. Johnson decides to settle right in his path. Murray has a defender in his face and the rest is history.

Kyler picks up the first down here, but it’s clear he doesn’t trust his offensive line to keep him clean. He is very unsettled in the pocket on passing downs and if you look closely, at the top of his drop back, he pumps his feet like he’s about to have to run when he isn’t being pressured yet.

David Johnson has gotten a ton of touches in this one so far. I wonder how this impacts him as the season progresses. Anyways, nice screen concept, C/LG slip downfield and Johnson runs an angle route behind them. Christian Kirk also gets in on the blocking.

Pass was incomplete but this is the first pass he has tried popping a throw over the top of the defense. The ball placement wasn’t perfect but it was out of reach of the safety. If the throw was timed just a bit better it could have been caught.

Remember what I said earlier about passing downs. 3rd and 10, Kyler knows the defense knows he’s passing, and at the top of his drop he sees the edge rusher and drops his eyes to run, instead of stepping up in the pocket. At the top of the screen a receiver comes open for a second and Kyler may have seen him if he stood in.

David Johnson led the Cardinals in receiving with 99 yards and rushing with 40 yards. It’s easy to see why when his 6 man protection breaks down on a shot play vs a 4 man pass rush. With the Seahawks playing with 1 safety deep I would like to see Kyler take a shot deep when these plays are called.

No negative plays on 1st down! Kyler is already outside of the pocket, all he needs to do here is toss the ball out of bounds and get to 2nd and 10. Instead, he gets ran down by the defensive end.

3rd and 11, defense knows it’s a pass down, but that doesn’t mean you can’t throw beyond the sticks. Once again, 7 man pass protection against a 4 man rush, and instead of standing in the pocket and giving his receiver a chance to make a play for a first down, he drops his eyes and scrambles, causing a bad throw.

This is poor execution again by the offense, both on the protection call and the actual attempt at protecting. Clowney is once again left on an island with the right tackle, a runningback is left to block two extra rushers, and all of this happens while 4 offensive linemen block 2 defensive linemen on the left side.

The protection plan for Kyler this time is to have the right tackle block the 4i/3 tech (can’t tell from this angle but I’ll assume 3 tech), and the right guard to come outside and block Clowney. Don’t ask me why. Because of this, Kyler wants to throw to Johnson quickly but has to scramble. Good job by Murray to get his eyes back up and find Fitzgerald.

Great job by the outside receiver to break off his slant and find a hole in the zone coverage to settle in.

My favorite play from this game! Arizona to this point had called about a million screens. Kyler fakes the quick swing pass to the field side, then fakes the screen to the boundary side, only for Williams (who was selling the block on the runningback screen) to slip down the seam for 21 yards.

We’ll end on a good note with a playcall I love. I don’t understand why more teams with mobile quarterbacks don’t call the QB draw around this area of the field. The Cardinals get the look they want with 2 high safeties and 1 linebacker to account for, which David Johnson does so. Murray shows his burst and finds the endzone.

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