Kliff Kingsbury expects Kyler Murray to 'play the best game of his career' in playoff debut vs. Rams

Kyler Murray heads toward his first career postseason game amid a late-season swoon that saw the Arizona Cardinals back into the playoffs. Despite the recent struggles, coach Kliff Kingsbury expects to see the best out of his quarterback come Monday night against the Los Angeles Rams.

"I think this is what he's been waiting for for three years," Kingsbury said Wednesday, via ESPN. "He's a guy who wants to be playing for something and knows he's playing for something.

"This is his first shot at the playoffs, and I expect him to probably play the best game of his career. I know he's going to give it everything he's got."

Sans DeAndre Hopkins, the Cardinals offense has struggled to put up points consistently. In losing four of its past five games, Arizona put up more than 25 points just once -- Week 18's loss to Seattle. The Cards scored 30-plus points in six of his first seven games as Kingsbury's club got off to a 7-0 start.

Murray has just seven passing TDs in his last seven games (17 pass TD in Weeks 1-7). Over that span, Arizona is 2-5, with Murray completing just 65.5 percent of his passes for 6.9 yards per attempt, a 7-5 TD-INT ratio and an 86.5 passer rating. (First seven games: 73.5 percent completion rate, 9.0 yards per attempt, 17-5 TD-INT ratio, 116.8 rating.)

Despite the struggles, there have been flashes of Murray recapturing his early season form. In Dallas, he was phenomenal, and again last week, he made some jaw-dropping throws and moved the ball up-and-down the field, even when he didn't get much help from his receivers.

QBs making their first career postseason start have struggled in the previous five seasons. The 18 QBs making their first playoff start and throwing at least 10 passes the last five seasons have compiled a 57.5% completion rate, 6.2 yards per attempt average, 21 TDs, 13 INTs and a 78.3 passer rating. Their clubs have gone 8-10 in those 18 games.

Murray entered the NFL known for playing big on big stages in college and high school. On Monday night, he gets his first chance to show that star-studded play can translate to the NFL.

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