With losses piling up, Cardinals try to stay accountable

Dec 8, 2019, 8:02 PM | Updated: Dec 9, 2019, 3:57 pm
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws as Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Devin Bush ...
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws as Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Devin Bush pursues during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — There could be finger-pointing leading to tail-spinning.

Maybe the Arizona Cardinals, amid their six-game losing streak, begin turning to a youth movement to find out what they’ve really got.

As of 5:30 p.m. Sunday, none of that is the case.

Not after a 34-7 bomb of a performance against the Los Angeles Rams last week or a 23-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at State Farm Stadium.

“We played hard, had a chance to win it at the end,” Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “I thought the fight was much better than last week.”

Kingsbury said it Friday: He is not looking toward playing guys to find out if they can be future pieces. He is all-in on winning the next game. The good news, if there was any coming out of the Cardinals’ sixth-straight loss, is that across the locker room, players were being accountable.

The bad news is that, well, a lot of people have a legitimate claim to be blamed.

“That was as much of a team loss as I’ve been a part of, all three phases,” linebacker Jordan Hicks said. “When one side of the ball isn’t playing as well, the defense or whatever has to be able to pick up the slack.

“That’s what good teams do. That’s what we’re trying to get to.”

It was a bad day for a lot of players. The special teams unit gave up an 85-yard punt return with three minutes left in the first quarter, spotting the Steelers a 10-0 lead.

Defensively, it was a bad night for rookie cornerback Byron Murphy, who had two pass interference penalties on Pittsburgh’s two scoring drives of the second half.

“I just have to play better defense,” he said. “I just have to finish. It starts at the line of scrimmage and (to) play better technique.”

Then there’s Arizona rookie quarterback Kyler Murray, who said the Cardinals would have won “if I don’t throw two interceptions.”

Murray completed 20 of 30 passes for 194 yards, two touchdowns and three picks, the last of which came on a desperate heave on Arizona’s final possession.

Running back Kenyan Drake has only been with Arizona for five games since a midseason trade, but he tried to take the blame away from his rookie quarterback to own it himself.

“I feel like if I’m not part of the solution, then I’m part of the problem,” Drake said.

“He’s a very mature person and player for saying that, but there were plenty of opportunities in the game besides those moments for us to go out there and try to get a win.”

The guy who’s been with the Cardinals the longest, Larry Fitzgerald, has been through times like this before. He said Arizona must develop a “bunker mentality” to get itself out of a losing skid.

“You have to stay engaged and focused on the things that you can control individually,” Fitzgerald said. “If everyone is doing that collectively, you’ll be able to dig your way out of the rut that we’re in.”

Will that come next week at home against the Cleveland Browns? Will it be pushed to road contests against potential playoff teams in Los Angeles or Seattle after that?

Only three games are left, and the pressure for visible improvement is mounting. A visibly frustrated Hicks probably best verbalized the blending of that frustration with the belief that better days lie ahead.

“Potential sucks. Potential isn’t anything,” he said. “We’ve got the guys in the locker room to win a lot of games.”



Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons #9 during the NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals an...
Nikash Nath

PFF’s Renner: Cardinals’ Isaiah Simmons a breakout candidate in Year 3

Cardinals' inside linebacker Isaiah Simmons was named a potential year three breakout candidate by PFF's Michael Renner.
22 hours ago
Rodney Hudson #61 of the Arizona Cardinals in the huddle during the game against the Tennessee Tita...
Wills Rice

Former Cardinals C A.Q. Shipley thinks offense needs to find identity

"For (Kyler) the next step is just grabbing everyone around him, whether he just needs one play and everyone will look to him," Shipley said.
2 days ago
General Manager Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals looks on prior to the game against the Baltimor...
Tyler Drake

Important NFL dates to remember and how they impact Arizona Cardinals

A look at the important league dates to circle on your calendar and how they relate to the Arizona Cardinals' roster decisions.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury takes notes as he watches players taking part in drill...
Tyler Drake

Looming questions for the Arizona Cardinals ahead of training camp

There are quite a few questions marks surrounding the Arizona Cardinals ahead of training camp this offseason.
2 days ago
(Twitter photo/New England Patriots)...
Wills Rice

New England Patriots bring back red uniforms in Back to the Future spoof

The New England Patriots announced the team is bringing back their old-school red uniform and helmet combo for the 2022 season.
3 days ago
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, left, talks with Cardinals offensive lineman Kelvi...
Jake Anderson

Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins reveals what led to PED suspension

DeAndre Hopkins on Wednesday revealed what was in his system that resulted in his six-game suspension for violating the NFL's PED policy.
4 days ago
With losses piling up, Cardinals try to stay accountable