Alarm bells often sound when an NFL team goes winless through the first two weeks of the season, but there seems to be a more serene feeling in Arizona.
The Cardinals have a tie instead of two losses, which helps, and the overall level of competitiveness has been a marked improvement from 2018.
If rookie quarterback Kyler Murray continues to make strides and the Cardinals (0-1-1) remain in games, it could portend a bright future. However, this rosy feeling could also dissipate if things don’t go well on Sunday.
Quarterback Cam Newton (foot) isn’t playing for the Panthers, which has made the Cardinals the favorites for the first time since last November against the Raiders. While coach Kliff Kingsbury and Murray have lived up to expectations so far, that first win has remained elusive.
“I think the effort has been there, the resiliency, the mental toughness, all those things,” Kingsbury said. “We just have to find a way to get it done.”
Murray completed 25-of-40 passes for 349 yards in last week’s 23-17 loss to the Ravens, but the team bogged down on three of its four trips inside the 5. Even though Murray’s disgust with losing is no secret, he has noticed the progress.
“I know the narrative around the world is how bad we were last year, but for us to be where we are now with a new coach, new quarterback, new system, I think we’re really close,” Murray said. “Obviously, it’s going to take time, but I think we just have to keep working hard, and we’ll see.”