ARIZONA -- The Arizona Cardinals saw Kyler Murray under center for a second consecutive week in 2023, a good sign moving forward after recovering from ACL surgery back in January.
Murray was already under the microscope for a myriad of reasons, though now all eyes are in Arizona to see if the Cardinals are confident enough in Murray to keep him as their franchise quarterback moving forward.
As such, each performance the rest of the way will be heavily dissected and picked apart. His latest, a 21-16 loss to the Houston Texans, saw Murray struggle a bit more than what we saw in Week 10's win over the Atlanta Falcons.
Former NFL quarterback and league MVP Rich Gannon broke down Murray for The 33rd Team:
"I really felt like today, it was a mixed bag for Kyler Murray. I like the fact that he's moving around, he's healing up. Still not 100% but I think you can see some of that explosiveness come when he decides to pull the ball down and run, he's very decisive. He still runs for a couple first downs each week," Gannon said after Week 11.
"A couple of the throws bother me, the footwork continues to be a bit of an issue. Look at Kyler Murray's record, 26-31-1 as starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals and he hasn't always been surrounded by the best talent but at some point Kyler Murray has to start turning the corner."
Gannon then went into the height problems for Murray, which is often a talking point for those around the league.
"When you're a 5-10 quarterback let me just say this: there are some challenges. Not just for the quarterback but for the team and play-caller. ... He doesn't want to be under center. He's not comfortable under center. He's 5-10, he has a difficult time seeing in the pocket," Gannon said.
"I think when you study Kyler Murray, so many of his throws - even when he's not under duress - are on the move. Even if he's sliding to his right, sliding to his left, why? He's trying to find a hole in the pass rush so he can see downfield."
Gannon pointed to other issues, such as how deep Murray can get when dropping back, which causes problems for offensive tackles in terms of setting an edge.
The Cardinals have also utilized Murray mostly out of shotgun, which has been a changeup from the offensive gameplan fans have come to see from OC Drew Petzing this season. Gannon highlighted how difficult it is to establish the running game out of shotgun before finishing with this:
"I'm keeping my fingers crossed it works for Kyler Murray but the 2-9 Cardinals have a ways to go. Part of it is trying to figure out a way to get more production and consistency from Kyler Murray."