Cardinals Fan Favorite Surprisingly Called to ‘Disappoint’ in 2022

Kliff Kingsbury

Getty Images Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury on the sidelines with his team in 2021.

The Arizona Cardinals are hoping to go further in the playoffs in 2022 after being eliminated by the Los Angeles Rams in last year’s Wild Card matchup.

There were new players from the 2021 team that stepped up and contributed to their 11-6 record. Running back James Conner posted 18 total touchdowns and made the Pro Bowl after signing a one-year deal with the team. Tight end Zach Ertz was traded to Arizona during the season and had 47 receptions in 11 games. Then-rookie wide receiver Rondale Moore was third on the team in catches (54) and was

However, Bleacher Report analyst Maurice Moton wrote that one of those three players will be a disappointment for the Cardinals in 2022.

That player is second-year receiver Moore, the Purdue product.

“As a second-round pick from the 2021 draft, Moore has some pressure to play up to expectations, but he could become the third option in the passing attack behind (Marquise) Brown, (Zach) Ertz and (A.J.) Green,” Moton said. “If (Trey) McBride carves out a role in two-tight end sets and (DeAndre) Hopkins commands a high number of targets upon his return, Moore seems unlikely to top his rookie receiving numbers.”

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Overview of Moore’s Rookie Season

Moore showed flashes in the first five games of the 2021 season, averaging 54 receiving yards per game. Unfortunately, he would eclipse 50 receiving yards just once after Week 5 and missed the final three regular-season games due to an ankle injury.

Also, Moore’s average depth of target was 1.36 yards in 2021, which was the lowest in the NFL.

Yet, there were still bright moments from Moore, including a toe-dragging sideline catch against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5.

Christian Kirk, who led the 2021 Cardinals in receptions, bolted to the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency. Yet, there are many targets for quarterback Kyler Murray to choose from. Moton also brought up DeAndre Hopkins, who will come back in Week 7 after his six-game suspension.

Moore will be the slot option with Marquise “Hollywood” Brown on the outside in the first six games of the season.

Appearing on The Jim Rome Show, Moore told Rome that he won’t change his philosophy.

“My approach is the same – continue to get better…continue to put wins on tape and hopefully the pigskin comes my way,” he said.

Kingsbury’s Thought Process Hasn’t Changed

Moton brought up coach Kliff Kingsbury’s comments in March when he said that Moore will be “a much bigger part of the offense in 2022,” Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed tweeted. Moton followed that up with the offensive weapons the Cardinals have added since then, which has a chance to lower Moore’s potential.

Moore had an 84% catch rate last season, which was the highest in the NFL. It would be tough to ignore Moore’s talents, especially knowing his blazing speed.

Despite the offensive additions, Kingsbury told the media during voluntary OTAs that Moore can still take over Kirk’s role.

“I think he wanted to play more last year, but we had all those guys – Christian Kirk, DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green – playing at a high level,” Kingsbury said. “But he’s worked hard this offseason and we feel he can step into Christian’s role and play at a high level inside there. I think the confidence is high right now, and he knows he’s got a big opportunity coming.”

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