Steve Keim: Kyler Murray, Cardinals did not step up to challenge vs. Detroit

Oct 2, 2020, 9:43 AM
Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim does an interview with The Doug & Wolf Show on 98....
Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim does an interview with The Doug & Wolf Show on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. (Matt Layman/Arizona Sports)
(Matt Layman/Arizona Sports)

The Arizona Cardinals suffered their first defeat of 2020 on Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

Heading into the matchup 2-0, the Cardinals shot themselves in the foot down the stretch that led to a last-second loss to a winless Lions team that was staring 11 straight defeats in the face.

Second-year quarterback Kyler Murray was dinged with three costly interceptions, in the outing, putting together one of his worst showings as an NFL starter.

So when joining Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Friday, Cardinals GM Steve Keim didn’t beat around the bush when talking about the franchise signal caller.

“I think at times he looks like a young guy that’s still trying to improve, Keim said. “I think we all have to take into consideration that this is just his 20th start this week in the NFL. Started for one season at Oklahoma and before that didn’t really play any spring ball because of baseball. That’s not an excuse for anything, just the facts that he’s continuing to improve and it’s going to happen week to week.

“Because of his competitiveness and his passion, I would expect him to bounce back in a big way against Carolina. And again, some of those mistakes are things he can clean up and he’ll grow from. Anything I would say is certainly not going to make a difference because Kyler Murray’s hard on himself as anyone else can be.”

Murray’s first interception on Sunday came after taking the team’s opening drive down to Detroit’s 30-yard line. On the eighth play of the drive, Murray was hit as he threw, with Lions defensive back Duron Harmon coming down with the football instead of tight end Dan Arnold. The QB rebounded in the team’s next drive, connecting with wide receiver Andy Isabella for a 13-yard touchdown to end the first quarter.

The beginning of the first looked much like the second quarter, however, with Murray tossing his second pick of the day, this time to linebacker Jamie Collins Sr. The Lions turned the blunder into points five plays later to take a 10-7 lead. Detroit would convert another Murray interception into points in the third quarter after the quarterback found Lions rookie DB Jeff Okudah for his third pick of the afternoon. The Lions notched three more points thanks to kicker Matt Prater and his 24-yard field goal.

Murray enters the Week 4 matchup with the Carolina Panthers sporting a 5-to-4 touchdown-to-interception rate to go along with 786 yards in the air on 75-of-113 passing (66.4%). He’s also added 187 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground on 26 carries.

But while Murray and his three-interception effort are easy to blame at first glance for the team’s downfall, Keim sees it as a collective effort.

“It’s very disappointing and we all know that a lot of games come down to turnovers and execution and both of those areas we failed mightily in,” Keim said. “Can’t turn the ball over three times and you have to execute when you have opportunities, both on offense and defense as well as special teams. Just felt like we did not step up to the challenge and I would expect us to get it fixed this week and come out swinging against Carolina.

“The fact that we still had a chance to win the game at the end was surprising because of the way we played, but at the same time we just have a lot of mistakes that we have to clean up,” Keim added. “Our leaders need to step up, doesn’t mean that they have to be 10-year vets. We have some guys who are young leaders. Everybody’s got to take accountability, including myself, Kliff, everybody in this organization and we have to get back on track this week in Carolina.”

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