LA Rams training camp focus as Cardinals 49ers Seahawks do arms race

(Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images) /
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LA Rams
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Cards offensive arsenal

Arizona Cardinals finished last in the NFC West last season, but they’ve begun to turn the corner due to the marriage of head coach Kliff Kingsbury and second-year franchise quarterback Kyler Murray.  In their first season together, they rose to the 21st-ranked offense of the NFL.  That’s a significant improvement over the 32nd-ranked offense of 2018.

While much of the work to improve the team was handled by QB Murray alone, the Cardinals got a taste of rapid improvement to the offense when they traded a conditional 2020 NFL Draft pick to the Miami Dolphins for running back Kenyan Drake. A minor risk, a slight roll of the dice. The result? Drake played just eight games but led the Cardinals offense in rushing yards, yards-per-carry, and rushing touchdowns.

Read. 2019 LA Rams 5 man pass rush ranks fourth in NFL. light

Cardinals playing on the high-stakes table now

Now, they’re hooked. And the Cardinals are rolling the dice on an even bigger stakes player now, as they traded for one of the top wide receivers in former Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins

So what are the risks for the Cardinals in this one?  Not many.  But the move has elevated expectations for the Cardinals to make the playoffs this year.  Are the Cardinals a playoff team?  A similar event occurred when the Cleveland Browns tried to build off positive momentum in 2018 by signing elite players to the roster. The result was a bit of regression, as it took some time for the new players to gel. With so little preparation time, the Murray-Hopkins connection may take a lot of time to occur. But it does set the stage for the San Francisco 49ers to keep pace.