The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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Week 5: Biggest Compliment and Question for Cardinals

Kliff Kingsbury, Kyler Murray and the rest of the 2019 Arizona Cardinals finally got on the board with a W on Sunday, beating the Bengals 26-23.

The win against an awful Bengals team isn't likely to catapult the Cardinals into a different stratosphere but it at least keeps them from sucking the same air as the NFL's bottom dwellers. No longer are the Cardinals going to be lumped into the same conversation as the Dolphins, Jets, Redskins and Bengals.

Here is my biggest compliment and biggest question coming out of the momentous but ugly win for the Arizona Cardinals in Week 5:

Biggest compliment: The Cardinals made the adjustments necessary to win an NFL game

Kingsbury and his staff have shown some flashes of delivering an interesting offensive scheme and some creative plays but to this point, Kliff hadn't shown much of an ability to outwit his opponent. The Panthers and Seahawks overwhelmed the Cardinals offensive coaching staff and it felt like the offense was going backwards after both losses.

This week, Kingsbury used all hands on deck to weaponize his offense and incorporated Chase Edmonds and his TE's more effectively than he had all season. The Cardinals had more pass plays down field in this game than the previous two combined. All necessary adjustments the Cardinals needed to make to win.

Additionally, DC Vance Joseph watched his defense get gashed repeatedly in the Bengals opening drive and fortunately made the adjustment to stack the box and prevent Mixon from overpowering the Cardinals all afternoon. It also helped that Zac Taylor, the Bengals rookie head coach, took until the fourth quarter to realize he could actually throw the ball down the field but it proved to be too little, too late.

Kyler Murray also made some major adjustments. He rarely turned and ran backwards to avoid pressure. He stepped into the teeth of the pass rush several times to deliver accurate throws downfield. In fact, Murray had 7 completions on third down during the game and six of them resulted in first downs. He also avoided losing unnecessary yardage and wisely threw the ball away on several plays that were clearly not going to work.

For one week against a very bad Bengals team, the Cardinals collectively made the adjustments needed to win and they did.

Biggest Question: Do the Cardinals have the personnel to win more than 2-3 games?

David Johnson is dealing with a back issue.

Tramaine Brock went down in the secondary. His injury forced Kevin Peterson into plenty of action which temporarily caused me to believe Patrick Peterson snuck onto the field in a different number.

Jordan Mills was placed on IR before the game.

Andy Isabella apparently cannot be trusted to catch a football and has only been used on jet sweeps, despite the fact the Cardinals WR group is down to dressing train hopping hobos for game day.

Rookie Jalen and Deionte Thompson have taken turns making big hits and big penalties.

This is not a roster fit to succeed in the NFL. The Bengals are a disaster and tried to hand the win to the Cardinals on a silver platter and the Cardinals nearly refused.

I'm skeptical this team can scratch out more than another win or two.

The Falcons are up next and as a one win team with a head coach on the brink of being fired, should be ripe for the picking.

But they also have Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Austin Hooper against an injury ravaged and talent depleted Cardinals secondary.

No matter what happens, Cardinals fans get to enjoy the fact they aren't at the bottom of the NFL anymore. For at least the next six days.

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