The Cardinals saw some defensive changes, without starting inside linebacker Kyzir White for the first time this season and starting three rookie cornerbacks for the first time as Marco Wilson was relegated to special teams work.
“I feel like the energy wasn’t there,” rookie cornerback Garrett Williams said. “I think we played with a lot of effort, but the energy was a little lower than usual. This is one of those matches. Cut it out, learn from it, and think about Pittsburgh (next week). »
The defensive issues mirrored those that arose in the first half against the Texans last week, although given the personnel and injury issues on that side of the ball, that wasn’t a surprise. The Cardinals have allowed the most yards and points in a game this season.
“We have to continue to be competitive,” safety Budda Baker said. “It’s always about competition. I know our record isn’t what we want it to be, but we have more opportunities to play football and that’s what we need to do. »
Murray’s potential rebounding game was always what was in the spotlight, and he looked wonderful after a practice. Murray was on point with big passes and executed a read option perfectly for a touchdown at the end.
But in the eight possessions between that score and a TD pass to Greg Dortch with five minutes remaining, the Cardinals generated just 54 net yards on 29 plays.
“We got him down with no problem and we executed well,” Murray said. “I hit him, and it kind of went downhill from there. »
After the first drive, running back James Conner only had two carries, the offensive line suffered a series of penalties at one point and there was no rhythm to be had.
“It’s tough when you’re playing with three and the scoreboard is spinning the other way,” Gannon said. “It’s deflating. »
Murray was clearly trying to remain upbeat in his post-match comments, despite his hesitation with the box score.
“I know we’ll be better for it, but these are some of the things we have to get through,” he said. “That’s part of it. »
Gannon said falling behind was going to make it difficult for everyone on the field, and when asked about Murray’s possible regression, he stressed “it’s not just one guy.” .
The Cardinals have one game left before their end-of-season bye, a long trip to face the Steelers – a team fighting for a division title. This will be another game to show improvement, another game for Murray to face a formidable pass rush and try to improve.
That’s the goal of this season at this point.
“We just got our kicked,” Murray said. “We played a good football game last week, we won the week before, but this was really the first time all year that we were beaten terribly. »
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