In 2019, big things were expected from Arizona’s offense under new head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Kingsbury was supposed to come in with his pass heavy air raid offense and light the league on fire. Yet, it struggled to lift off as it became too predictable.
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Plus, defenses would stack the box to stop the run, causing Arizona’s offense to really struggle to move the football. Yet, by the end of the season, the Cardinals ranked 24th in passing yards and 10th in rushing yards, so what happened?
For starters, Kingsbury shifted his mentality and personnel groupings showing that he understood that constant changes need to be made in order to have an effective offense in the NFL. Schematically, Kingsbury allowed Arizona's offense to rely more on the run, causing not only for the Cardinals offense to improve, but for their offense to become more balanced and less predictable.
Additionally, the midseason addition of Kenyan Drake really helped Kingsbury turnaround his offense. Not only did Drake give Kingsbury an electric running back to utilize, but Drake was lights out in Arizona rushing for 643 yards and 8 touchdowns, en route to helping Arizona average over five yards per carry on the season.
Personnel wise, the Cardinals played around with different groupings, but they used 11 personnel more than any other personnel grouping last season. 11 personnel is when one running back, three wide receivers, and one tight end are on the field. Expect for 11 personnel to be something that Arizona continues to lean on in 2020, as it allows for tons of options either running or throwing the football.
As Kingsbury moves into his second season in Arizona, look for him to continue to rely on establishing a balanced offense that can throw and run the football. Plus, with the playmakers he has at his disposal, with the likes of DeAndre Hopkins, Kyler Murray, and Kenyan Drake, expect for Kingsbury’s offense to continue to evolve. With the pieces they added this offseason, added to the fact that Kingsbury has had a whole offseason to scheme, don’t be surprised if the Cardinals offense establishes themselves as one of the NFL’s top ten offenses next season.