NFC West Notes: Cardinals, 49ers, Rams


Cardinals QB Kyler Murray won’t be participating in the playoffs this year, as Arizona finished the season 5-10-1 and a long ways from qualifying in the NFC. However, as he watches the last two NFL MVP’s — Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes and Ravens QB Lamar Jackson — try to pilot their teams to the Super Bowl, he can’t help but notice some similarities. 

“I think their offenses are very quarterback-friendly,” Murray said via Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic. “I think we have a very quarterback-friendly offense. And as far as the elite status goes, I don’t play to be mediocre. I think that’s a deal that can obtained. So, we’ll see next year.”

In his first year in the NFL after being taken with the No. 1 overall pick, Murray put up some promising numbers. He completed 64.4 percent of his passes for 3,722 yards, 20 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and another 544 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. In HC Kliff Kingsbury‘s second year running the offense, Murray believes the Cardinals have the potential to make a huge jump. 

“It’s amazing to see how bad we were at the beginning of the year,” Murray said. “It’s frustrating. But at the same time, you see the growth, so everybody is kind of optimistic of what we can be and understand that if we do things and we execute, it’s hard to stop us. We’re optimistic about it going into next season.… The more we get reps in the system and everybody gets more comfortable, the more dangerous we will be.”


  • According to the Athletic’s Matt Barrows, 49ers DE Dee Ford (hamstring) returned to practice on Tuesday. 
  • 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan also said there is a “good chance“ LB Kwon Alexander (pec) would be active for the divisional round playoff game against the Vikings this week. 


  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer hears the Rams will look to fill their defensive coordinator vacancy internally with Joe Barry and DBs coach Aubrey Pleasant being candidates to replace Wade Phillips.
  • NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo mentions the Rams as a possibility for former Redskins OC Kevin O’Connell.
  • The NFL fined Rams LB Clay Matthews $21,05 for a late hit on Cardinals QB Kyler Murray that drew a flag for roughing the passer. (Bob McManaman)

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