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Scouting the Cardinals: Week 12


The Bolts are back on the road in Week 12.

The Chargers and Cardinals will meet Sunday in Arizona, with kickoff at 1:05 p.m. (PT).

We chatted with Darren Urban, who covers the Cardinals for, to get a preview of the game.

The Cardinals sit at 4-7 entering Week 12. What's one word that sums up Arizona's season thus far?

DU: Disappointing. The Cardinals started so well in 2021 and then struggled down the stretch and they hoped to wipe that away this season and instead, there has been drama and injuries and not enough wins.

Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray appears to be in line for a return Sunday. What's the biggest element he brings to the offense?

DU: IKyler Murray, when he's on, is a dangerous QB because he can turn nothing into something. The Cardinals have been missing the element of Murray's legs, a threat that defenses have to honor. And this week, with the likelihood that Hollywood Brown will be back on the field with DeAndre Hopkins for the first time, the Cardinals are counting on Murray's return turn that into an effective trio.

Check out the best photos of the Chargers Thanksgiving practice at Hoag Performance Center

Who's the X-factor on Arizona's defense?

DU: Budda Baker. This is a guy who didn't miss a game despite a high-ankle sprain, and even had an interception in his first game after. He's also the emotional leader of the defense – actually, the whole team – and he's always going full speed.

Give Chargers fans a rookie who has impressed so far this season.

DU: Unfortunately the Cardinals haven't had a ton of snaps or contributions from rookies, but linebacker Myjai Sanders has been getting better of late and making an impact in the pass rush. Second-round tight end Trey McBride hasn't been a big factor thus far, but he has taken the top TE role after the season-ending knee injury to Zach Ertz.

Finally, what's the big picture view on where the Cardinals are at with seven games left? Can they get things turned around and make a late playoff push?

DU: The way the NFC has unfolded, it's going to be difficult for the Cardinals to find a path to the postseason sitting at 4-7. Of their six games remaining, only one team (Broncos) aren't fighting themselves for the playoffs. They do have Murray back, but they will likely be missing four of five offensive line starters for the time being and they are also missing top cornerback Byron Murphy. That said, if Murray can get going with these top wideouts, the Cardinals can still be a problem.

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