ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals defense finding legs but not enough to beat Bears

Sep 23, 2018, 8:05 PM
Arizona Cardinals defensive back Bene' Benwikere (23) celebrates a pass broken up on Chicago Bears ...
Arizona Cardinals defensive back Bene' Benwikere (23) celebrates a pass broken up on Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson (12) wth Tre Boston (33) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Tre Boston’s night served as a microcosm of where the Arizona Cardinals stand on defense.

Oh. So. Close.

The safety found himself in the right places at the right times Sunday in a 16-14 loss to the Chicago Bears at State Farm Stadium. He just didn’t handle himself as well as he’d like with those opportunities presented to him.

Take one play midway through the third quarter with Arizona leading 14-3 and its defense holding the Bears off after the Cardinals’ offense went AWOL.

Boston broke on a pass from Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky but in colliding with Bears receiver Allen Robinson went flying. He couldn’t bring in a would-be interception deep in Arizona territory, missing his second pick of the night.

“No matter if he hits my legs or not, got to make that No. 2,” Boston said of the play, which Chicago followed with a touchdown two plays later.

Two Bears possessions later, Boston lined up receiver Taylor Gabriel, who couldn’t make a grab while streaking over the middle. Arizona’s safety shouldered Gabriel to the ground, earning a late unnecessary roughness penalty to turn a 2nd-and-12 on the Chicago 41 into a 1st-and-10 on Arizona’s 44-yard line.

The Bears would score their go-ahead field goal to wrap that drive.

“The biggest thing is we got to learn how to finish,” Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks said. “Penalties were an issue tonight. Sort of hurt us at certain times there. Given an opportunity right there to have an interception in the red zone, we got to come up with that particular play.”

Long story short, Arizona’s defense felt like it was a few key plays away from dragging its offense to the first win of the Wilks era.

The Cardinals recorded three sacks, including a strip-sack by tackle Robert Nkemdiche in the first quarter that set up a quick, 21-yard touchdown strike from Sam Bradford to David Johnson that put the Cardinals ahead 14-0. Boston later picked off a Trubisky pass by blitzing behind pass-rusher Chandler Jones, who tipped the ball on the Bears’ side of midfield.

Arizona’s offense went three-and-out with a minute left in the first half, failing to build a bigger halftime lead.

“We’re getting closer. It sucks that we lost the game,” Boston said. “It’s something Coach said, I said soon as a I walked into the locker room: ‘We’re getting closer.’ Rome wasn’t built in one day. We’re starting to play football the way it’s supposed to be played.”

Life Changer Loans

Arizona Cardinals

Josh Hokit #40 of the San Francisco 49ers runs after making a catch during the preseason game again...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Cardinals sign former 49ers fullback Josh Hokit as TE

Former 49ers fullback Josh Hokit signed with the Cardinals and will be listed as a tight end, the team announced Thursday.
15 hours ago
(Twitter screenshot/@AZCardinals)...
Haboob Blog

Kliff Kingsbury flaunts film remote skills for Cardinals’ ‘Hard Knocks’ preview

The Cardinals are this year's in-season team Hard Knocks, which Kliff Kingsbury gave a preview of with his mastery of a film remote.
15 hours ago
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson waves to fans during an NFL football practice in Berea,...
Associated Press

AP: Browns’ Deshaun Watson suspended 11 games, could return vs. Texans

Deshaun Watson has reached a settlement and will serve an 11-game suspension and pay a $5 million fine, per The Associated Press.
15 hours ago
Josh Jones #79 of the Arizona Cardinals participates in training camp activities at State Farm Stad...
Tyler Drake

Back at tackle, Arizona Cardinals OL Josh Jones is making strides

Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle Josh Jones is back at the position where he belongs and it's showing this training camp.
15 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals rookie TE Trey McBride looks on during training camp on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in ...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals notebook: Rookie Trey McBride set to make debut vs. Ravens

After dealing with a sore back, Arizona Cardinals rookie tight end Trey McBride is on track to play against the Ravens.
15 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals WR Marquise Brown looks on during training camp on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, in Glen...
Tyler Drake

Speeding arrest a learning moment for Arizona Cardinals’ Marquise Brown

Arizona Cardinals WR Marquise Brown spoke Wednesday for the first time since he was arrested for excessive speeding.
2 days ago
Cardinals defense finding legs but not enough to beat Bears