ARI: Does Kyler Murray have his head on straight?
In other words, can he be counted on to have a good season? Murray has his new contract and hopefully is done throwing shade at the Cardinals in passive aggressive ways. The receivers have been shuffled (No DeAndre Hopkins until Week 7 and Christian Kirk is a Jaguar now) with Rondale Moore elevating to WR2 and Marquise “Hollywood” Brown acting as the No. 1 receiver. There’s also no more Chase Edmonds to use as a safety valve but Zach Ertz will benefit from that departure.
Murray needs to show that he can make his teammates better. He must be more consistent and smarter with the ball. He needs to extract more out of Moore and veteran receiver A.J. Green. Murray might need to tuck and run more often, at least until Hopkins returns. James Connor is going to be the steady rock in this offense, but it’s Murray’s play that will keep the Cards competitive in a tough division.
LAR: How long will Matthew Stafford’s throwing arm stay healthy?
Sean McVay has given the green light to Matthew Stafford’s throwing elbow. That’s a collective sigh of relief for anyone owning a piece of the Rams. Cooper Kupp is a first-round selection in most drafts, Cam Akers apparently has no injury history and Allen Robinson has been able to shrug off the years played in Chicago as if they never existed. A Super Bowl win can mask a lot apparently. Even Stafford’s rumored elbow injury.
A healthy Stafford only adds to the optimism that the Rams carry. An unhealthy Stafford derails the chance to make the playoffs and repeat as champions.
SFO: Is Trey Lance really the man?
I was hopeful for Lance up until the end of training camp in 2021. Since then, I see a young quarterback who is being thrusted upon the 2022 roster whether he is ready or not. Judging by his opportunities in the preseason, the reviews are less than stellar. But we also haven’t seen Lance play with the starters. The 49ers still have Jimmy Garoppolo as insurance but it’s Lance’s job to lose now and Kyle Shanahan sees something the rest of us don’t.
SEA: How long until Pete Carroll admits he has no quarterback?
Carroll could’ve jumped in the sweepstakes for Baker Mayfield or Jimmy Garoppolo, but didn’t. The Russell Wilson situation ended in the ugliest way possible, leaving Carroll is sticking with Geno Smith as his quarterback and Drew Lock as his backup. This makes sense given Carroll’s love of the run game. But he has to get a quarterback if he is to contend in the division. D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Noah Fant are all quality players that will have little fantasy prospects because of Smith and Lock.