Seth Cox from Revenge of the Birds was nice enough to answer 5 of our questions about tomorrow’s opponent. Let’s get right in!
1. The Cardinals have been on fire this season. What are the biggest differences between last year and this one that vaulted Arizona to the top of the NFL heap?
Adding of veteran talent and maturation of young players. The Arizona Cardinals came into the season with a number of key players entering only season three or four, they have made the jump from good to very good to MVP candidate. That creates some of the improvements.
Then there’s the off-season moves bringing in key veterans.
Obviously everyone knows about J.J. Watt and that was a huge move, but adding Rodney Hudson may have truly been the most important off-season move for the Arizona Cardinals. What it did was steady things for the offensive line and take pressure off of Kyler in a lot of ways. Very few centers have seen or know as much as Hudson, that will only help Murray get better.
Defensively it is just about guys growing into those positions. Last year Chandler Jones missed most of the season, they had little to no depth at cornerback and their linebackers were a step slow.
This year, Jones is back as is DE Zach Allen, Isaiah Simmons is coming into his own and Byron Murphy Jr. has stepped up to become a legitimate CB1.
2. Is Kyler Murray going to play in this thing? I ask because I don’t really want to watch the Chicago Bears lose to Colt McCoy.
Part of the reason I waited to get this in to you all was waiting for a little more clarification on Murray. If you like Ian Rapoport, he makes it sound like Murray and DeAndre Hopkins will play on Sunday. That will likely come with a little rust, and the weather could make it less than optimal, but it’ll be great to finally have him back out there. He had the whole month of November off.
3. Speaking of Murray, what was the fan experience like watching Murray his rookie season. Were there any doubts? Were there any fans whining that Rosen was better?
This was a hot mess back in 2019. It lead to a number of fans alleging they were done.
Fans loved Josh Rosen because of course you like the guy you just drafted. A lot of fans and some media also wanted Quinnen Williams over Nick Bosa so they were… Not smart.
Watching Murray develop has actually been fantastic. You watched a player in 2019 that had a skill set that was completely different than anything you’d seen in the NFL before, but also had no idea if he could make it work within the confines of the NFL offensive system.
Even at a good school like Oklahoma or Alabama you are only playing against maybe six or seven NFL players. On Sunday’s, everyone is a freak, even the backups.
So, watching Murray mature from an electric highlight reel player, someone who made one or two plays a game that made it on SportsCenter to a guy who is one of the best throwing against the blitz, who uses his legs to extend plays to make throws and who can create when nothing is there has made the journey even more fun.
4. Is the Phoenix housing market at the top of a bubble or is this still a good time to invest?
Hah, my buddy who is a broker says it has to be near the top. Buy the dip.
5. When the Bears don’t make the playoffs, I like to pick a team to root for based on how much I want them to win rather than whether I think they will. Make the case for why playoff-orphaned fans should want the Cardinals to win.
I mean, nearly every year we do this as Cardinals fans, so I’ll go through how I go about it.
- No divisional opponents.
- No Tom Brady (seriously how many rings does this dude need?) it’s really just jealousy on my part.
- Which coaches and or quarterbacks did I want AZ to pursue/draft or did I like? For me that was in no particular order: Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Brian Daboll, Frank Reich.
So, if you look at that criteria, I can’t imagine too many Bears fans have anything against either Kliff or Kyler. They’re young, exciting and should give all fan bases a glimmer of hope for a quick turnaround.
Also, good luck and I hope both teams come out of this healthy.
Seth seems like a nice guy who is certainly taking the Cardinals success better than, say, a Packer fan, might. Personally, I find it comforting to hear him recount what the Cardinals fanscape was like just two years ago. Things can turn around fast in this little league of ours.