The real McCoy: Cardinals’ Colt McCoy bounces back in win over Seattle
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Colt McCoy was once again thrust into a starting role in Week 11 with signal caller Kyler Murray sidelined for a third straight game with an ankle injury.
It was a mixed bag for McCoy over his first two starts, cruising by the San Francisco 49ers before running into a buzzsaw in the form of the Carolina Panthers the following week.
Sitting at 1-1 as the Cardinals starter, the question entering Week 11’s matchup was: Which McCoy would show up in Seattle?
Those taking in the game got their answer real quick.
Looking like his Week 9 self, McCoy was once again methodical in his approach, completing 80% of his passes for 328 yards and two touchdowns in the 23-13 win. The performance marks the first 300-yard game for McCoy since 2014. For his efforts, McCoy was named the inaugural To The Maxx award handed out by injured tight end Maxx Williams.
— Maxx Williams (@williams_maxx) November 22, 2021
“He was tremendous, and you know last week was an overall struggle I think. The game plan was bad, execution was bad, everybody played poorly so that’s hard to put anything on him,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters after the game. “To be in his role and get two division road wins against those teams like he did and play as efficiently as he did, you can’t ask for anything more.
“He was tremendous, his leadership all week, the way he carries himself, it was awesome. All those guys, you can see how they play, they have a ton of confidence when he comes in that game.”
The victory marks Arizona’s ninth on the season, which paces the NFL.
Unlike Week 10, McCoy had more than enough time to settle in on Sunday, turning Arizona’s first possession into points behind a 16-play, 82-yard scoring drive. Tight end Zach Ertz was on the receiving end of the one-yard shovel pass, a sign of things to come.
“I’ve played long enough in this league to understand that those kind of games happen,” McCoy told reporters after the game. “They are absolutely no fun and the good teams are able to bounce back from that. I didn’t know if I was gonna be a part of that or not this week with Kyler — he was really close — and I just prepared the same way and had the opportunity to come out here and play. … Good teams respond week to week to play really good complimentary football.”
McCoy was an impressive 7-for-8 on a possession that chewed up nearly 9:30 minutes of clock.
It was a sign of things to come from the quarterback, who took things a step further in the second quarter.
After the Seahawks got on the board thanks to a 27-yard field goal, McCoy and the offense was right there on cue to answer back with a massive 13-play, 92-yard drive ending in another Ertz touchdown grab, this time from two yards out.
Ertz was one of McCoy’s go-to options on Sunday, pacing the team with 88 yards and the two scores to go along with eight catches. A.J. Green added 78 yards on four catches, while Rondale Moore finished with a team-high 11 catches for 51 yards.
“Colt’s a great leader first and foremost,” Ertz told reporters after the game. “He’s been in the league a long time, he understands the locker room, he understands what guys want to do and he’s seen all the looks. There’s nothing a defense can do that he hasn’t seen before, whether he’s been playing, whether he’s been studying film over the past however many years he’s been in the league, he’s seen it.
“He’s always confident, he’s always calm, nothing’s gonna rattle him. the past three weeks have been fun with him just seeing what he can do. I think everyone knew what a great mentor he could be to Kyler but he’s a great football player. People should never take that for granted.”
And while he didn’t find pay dirt on the team’s final meaningful possession of the game, McCoy’s play was integral in putting away a Seahawks team that was still showing some signs of life late.
Following a Seahawks touchdown that trimmed the Cardinals’ lead to 16-13 with seven minutes left in the game, McCoy and the offense used a 10-play, 67-yard drive to put the kabash on any sort of comeback from the Seahawks, with running back James Conner closing things out with a one-yard rumble.
“When we got back Tuesday, we are all disappointed with the effort last week and then we just pointed out what’s in front of us,” Kingsbury told Cardinals reporter Paul Calvisi on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station after the win. “We gotta chance to have the best record in football, undefeated in our division going into the bye and a chance to respond.
“Great teams respond and our guys practiced our tails off this week. It showed up today.”