While Murray may be the master key, other aspects also point toward red zone success. Running back David Johnson can be a power back or a receiver on any particular play, while the speed of Christian Kirk and Andy Isabella coupled with the size of Larry Fitzgerald gives Murray options.
“(Defenses) have to be on alert and pay attention to everyone on the field,” Murray said.
Additionally, the quick passing game style of the Air Raid isn’t as compromised in compressed areas.
“I feel like our playbook is completely open down there,” guard J.R. Sweezy said. “Nothing really changes that much. We’ve got threats everywhere, and I think it’s going to be very beneficial for us.”
If the Cardinals prove to be effective near the goalline, it could be the impetus for Kingsbury to push the envelope with two-point conversions. Now that extra-point attempts are from the 25-yard-line, a riskier approach following touchdowns makes mathematical sense.
“We’ll see how that plays out,” Kingsbury said. “We’re going to be aggressive, and if we have schemes we think are going to work, then we’ll cut it loose.”
The efficiency of the red-zone offense in the regular season is hypothetical right now, but second-year running back Chase Edmonds said he’s already seen the proof.
“It’s already working, man,” Edmonds said. “When we’ve had our red-zone periods, we’ve had a lot of success.”
The Cardinals must improve in many areas to put last year’s meager offensive showing behind them. Capitalizing on red-zone opportunities is one of the most important.
“It’s the difference between winning and losing in this league,” Sweezy said. “When you get in the red zone, you’ve got to score.”