Kyler Murray was sacked 48 times last year; exactly 3 per game. So an easy offseason storyline is how Arizona needs to sink a lot of resources into its offensive line to make it better. That will probably be on the list of things to do (the defense also needs a lot of help), but it might not be as dire as all that.
While Arizona did allow 50 sacks (2 against backup Brett Hundley), it allowed just 69 total hits on its quarterbacks (on pass plays). While they were 5th-worst in terms of sacks, they were 6th-best in terms of hits allowed. The variance comes in the fact that Murray and Hundley were taken down on nearly three-quarters of the plays the defense touched them. That was the worst rate in the league by a wide margin.
|SACKS / QB HITS, 2019|
|Los Angeles Rams||22||79||27.8%|
|New England Patriots||28||90||31.1%|
|New York Giants||43||119||36.1%|
|Los Angeles Chargers||34||93||36.6%|
|Green Bay Packers||36||85||42.4%|
|New Orleans Saints||25||58||43.1%|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||47||106||44.3%|
|New York Jets||52||106||49.1%|
|San Francisco 49ers||36||73||49.3%|
Murray is a smaller guy, of course. It's not realistic to think he's going to be like Ben Roethlisberger or Dak Prescott, getting rid of the ball with defenders hanging off him, trying to drag him down. Prescott last year was sacked just 23 times, half as often as Murray, despite being hit 87 times. His rate of just 26 percent was tops in the league -- opposite end of the spectrum.
Point is that rather than Murray being under siege behind a porous line, it actually did a better than average job of keeping pass rushers from hitting him. And he was a rookie. Similar line play in 2020 and Murray being more accustomed to the speed of the NFL and getting the ball out of his hands quicker, that sack total should go down, maybe by a lot, even if the personnel doesn't change too much.
We know they'll have blindside protector D.J. Humphries back; he signed a new $45 million contract last month. Center A.Q. Shipley is a free agent, but he could return. Guards Justin Pugh and J.R. Sweezy are under contract. Bottom line: Arizona's line might not be headed for an overhaul. Minor changes might be all that occur, or are needed, for Murray to take another step forward in 2020.