Kyler Murray made his season debut in Week 10 at home against the Atlanta Falcons, leading the Cards with a game-winning drive to defeat the Falcons and secure their second win of the season.
Since Murray’s return, the Cardinals have a record of 3-4. Coming off an upset win in Philadelphia against the Eagles, the offense is more complete with Murray. Although some games have been tough, Kyler Murray gives his team a chance to win every game he plays. With ample cap space and draft picks going into 2024, the Cardinals need to prioritize surrounding him with a more talented roster.
While the Cardinals aren’t a talent-heavy team, they already have a small collection of offensive pieces that can be utilized. A breakout player has been tight end Trey McBride, who has seen significant playing time since former Cardinal Zach Ertz went down with a quad injury. With 791 yards on the season, McBride is a cornerstone for this team, showcasing excellent catching abilities, and his blocking skills are improving as well. Regarding wide receivers, Greg Dortch and Michael Wilson will be names to look forward to next year. Wilson has shown flashes as a rookie, and Dortch has been one of the most consistent receivers for the Cardinals for back-to-back seasons. He should be a key player to re-sign this offseason. Also, Hollywood Brown’s contract situation will be something to keep an eye on as he will be a free agent going into the offseason.
The offensive line needs help, but the right side looks promising, with guard Will Hernandez as a solid piece, and the sixth overall pick in the 2023 draft, Paris Johnson Jr., making strides towards greatness each week.
On a team with many holes, the run game hasn’t been a weak point for the 2023 Cardinals. When James Conner has played, he has been stellar. Coming off a 128-yard rushing game against the Eagles, Conner gives the Cards a constant push with his strong run game and leadership. Additionally, Michael Carter, who was claimed off waivers earlier, has been a great elusive back for the team, with a lot of upside going into 2024.
Concerning Kyler Murray’s future with the team, it has been believed that he would remain the franchise quarterback. Head coach Jonathan Gannon spoke on the matter, with ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss reporting Gannon commenting, “I have been convicted since I got here.” Throughout Gannon’s first season as the Cardinals’ head coach, he has constantly praised Murray, and their strong bond is evident.
Regarding the rest of the team, the Cardinals will need to address many key positions this offseason and continue to build for the future.