ARIZONA CARDINALS

The 5: Things that stood out in Arizona Cardinals’ MNF loss to Rams

Dec 14, 2021, 12:01 PM
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) tries to elude Los Angeles Rams defensive back David...

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) tries to elude Los Angeles Rams defensive back David Long (22) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

There’s quite a bit to unpack when taking a closer look at the Arizona Cardinals’ loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football.

The 30-23 defeat on the national stage is certainly one to flush, with Arizona unable to get out of its own way paired with some upped play from Los Angeles.

While the Cardinals look to bounce back with just six days before they battle the Detroit Lions, let’s take a look at what stood out in the team’s MNF loss:

Jalen Ramsey’s absence not felt

If you were to take a quick glance at wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins’ stats from Monday, it would appear cornerback Jalen Ramsey won that battle.

Too bad the cornerback didn’t even play after being placed on the COVID-19 list ahead of the contest.

Though he was targeted a team-high 12 times, Hopkins reeled in just five balls for 54 yards and no scores.

Adding to the woes, Hopkins dropped a crucial 4th-and-2 ball deep in Rams territory in the latter part of the third quarter before he was seen visibly shaken up after taking a hard hit in the end zone on the team’s penultimate drive.

That would mark the end of Hopkins’ night as he did not make it back onto the field for the team’s last ditch effort at a comeback.

After the game, head coach Kliff Kingsbury said he did not have an update on Hopkins.

“I’m not exactly sure what it was,” the head coach said postgame. “It didn’t appear too serious, but I have to check on that.”

Leading the way among Cardinals wideouts was A.J. Green, who caught seven receptions for 102 yards.

Cardinals lose the battle of the trenches on both sides

Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald could not be denied Monday night.

After posting just four tackles in Los Angeles’ first meeting with Arizona, the lineman was back to his disruptive ways in Week 14.

Donald posted three sacks throughout the evening, recording one on the first and last play from scrimmage, to go along with three QB hits, three tackles for loss and a pass deflection that resulted in an interception.

Even more glaring is the defensive lineman’s 11 hurries, bringing his total pressures on the night to 14, a new season high for Donald. He posted eight pressures in Week 2 against the Indianapolis Colts.

On the other side of the football, Arizona’s pass rush didn’t put together a full four quarters, allowing quarterback Matthew Stafford to sit back and complete 76.7% of his passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns. He also didn’t turn the ball over in back-to-back games for a just the second time all season, something that has plagued the QB in 2021.

The duo of Chandler Jones and Markus Golden combined for just three pressures throughout the night, with the former picking up a sack.

Cooper Kupp carves up Cardinals secondary after Week 4 dud

Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp’s only off night this season came in Week 4 against the Cardinals.

The loss marked his worst showing of 2021, catching five of his 13 targets for 64 yards and no touchdowns. It’s the only time this season the wideout hasn’t caught at least seven balls and 92 yards.

He and Stafford made sure that wasn’t the case on Monday night, with Kupp reeling in 13 catches (15 targets) for 123 yards and a touchdown.

Even when Cardinals corners like Byron Murphy Jr. or Marco Wilson seemed to have the jump on a route or have Kupp blanketed, the wide receiver found a way to get open and make the catch more times than not.

With Arizona keeping an additional eye on Kupp, that allowed Stafford’s other pass catchers to make an impact, with both Odell Beckham Jr. and Van Jefferson also adding touchdowns.

What can’t James Conner do?

Most of this exercise has been about what the Cardinals fell short in on Monday Night Football.

But if there was one bright spot on the loss, it was the play of running back James Conner, who kept the chains moving with his abilities as a rusher and receiver.

The RB found pay dirt twice on the ground while adding a team-high nine catches for 94 yards as a pass catcher.

For an offense that couldn’t quite maintain a rhythm, Conner proved to be the unit’s lone constant throughout the night.

“I just … did my job as always, that’s my main focus when I take the field is just one play at a time, just trying to put the ball in the right spots and be in the right spots for the check down,” Conner said after the game.

“Just so happened to have a couple catches, a couple runs but it’s just doing my job. Football’s 11-on-11.”

In it until the end

For as much that went wrong on Monday Night Football, the Cardinals stuck around from start to finish.

Penalties and turnovers derailed drives offensively, while the defense sputtered against Stafford in Round 2, yet the game still came down to the final 30 seconds and an onside kick. But much like the rest of the game, the Cardinals were right there to shoot themselves in the foot with back-to-back penalties and a Murray sack to end the game just when things seemed to flipping in their favor.

Even being down as many as 14 heading into the fourth quarter, the team showed its no-quit mentality and nearly came away with a comeback for the ages.

There’s obviously a lot that needs cleaned up over the next week of practice, but being able to hang with a playoff contender like the Rams in a inconsistent game is at least some sort of silver lining heading into Week 15.

Life Changer Loans
Fans of the Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams tailgate in front of State Farm Stadium prior to an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb) Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay, left, smiles as he slaps the helmet of wide receiver Van Jefferson (12) prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) looks for running room against the Los Angeles Rams as Cardinals guard Max Garcia (73) makes a block prior to an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald (99) is blocked by Arizona Cardinals guard Max Garcia (73) during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray looks to pass the ball against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver A.J. Green, right, makes a catch in front of Los Angeles Rams defensive back Kareen Orr (35) during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Von Miller (40) tackles Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) makes a touchdown catch against Arizona Cardinals cornerback Marco Wilson (20) during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) celebrates his touchdown catch against Arizona Cardinals cornerback Marco Wilson (20) during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) celebrates his touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals with wide receiver Van Jefferson (12) and other teammates during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner (6) is pulled down by Los Angeles Rams inside linebacker Troy Reeder, left, and safety Jordan Fuller (4) during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) is pulled down by Los Angeles Rams cornerback Darious Williams (11) during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) tosses the ball to a teammate as Los Angeles Rams defensive back David Long (22) looks on during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Los Angeles Rams inside linebacker Ernest Jones, left, celebrates an interception against the Arizona Cardinals with Rams linebacker Jamir Jones (44) during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws a pass to Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (10) as Arizona Cardinals linebacker Dennis Gardeck, left, is blocked during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford looks to pass against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner (6) celebrates his touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams with offensive tackle D.J. Humphries (74) during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk, left, makes a catch against Los Angeles Rams cornerback Darious Williams, back left, and Rams safety Nick Scott (33) during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner (6) scores a touchdown as he gets past Los Angeles Rams inside linebacker Troy Reeder (51) during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner spikes the ball after his touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 13: A.J. Green #18 of the Arizona Cardinals carries the ball after a reception as Darious Williams #11 and Jordan Fuller #4 of the Los Angeles Rams defends during the fourth quarter at State Farm Stadium on December 13, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp, right, is stopped just short of the end zone by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy, left, during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) An Arizona Cardinals fan shouts after a Los Angeles Rams score during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray looks for running room against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. signals a first down after a pass catch against Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker (3) during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp, left, makes a touchdown catch against Arizona Cardinals cornerback Marco Wilson, right, during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Leonard Floyd (54) celebrates his interception against the Arizona Cardinals as Cardinals center Rodney Hudson (61) looks away during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Leonard Floyd (54) runs with the ball after making an interception against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (10) celebrates his touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals with guard Austin Corbett (63) and tight end Brycen Hopkins (88) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (10) celebrates his touchdown catch against the Arizona Cardinals with wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Los Angeles Rams running back Sony Michel (25) is tackled by Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Corey Peters (98) as Cardinals outside linebacker Markus Golden (44) looks on during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (10) celebrates his touchdown catch with guard Austin Corbett (63) as Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Leki Fotu (95) looks away during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) is surrounded after he is unable to make a catch between Los Angeles Rams inside linebacker Ernest Jones (50), free safety Taylor Rapp (24), cornerback Darious Williams, second from right, and defensive back David Long (22) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rondale Moore (4) makes a catch behind Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Von Miller (40) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) is sacked by Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Jordan Phillips (97) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) runs with the ball as he gets past Los Angeles Rams defensive back Terrell Burgess (26) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals reaches for the ball that ends up being incomplete during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at State Farm Stadium on December 13, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) breaks up a possible interception-attempt by Los Angeles Rams cornerback Darious Williams (11) on a pass intended for Hopkins during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Von Miller smiles as he points to the "88" on his helmet in memory of former Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who passed away recently, after an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. celebrates a win over the Arizona Cardinals after an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Marquise Copeland (93) celebrates with teammates after an NFL football game win over the Arizona Cardinals, Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Von Miller, left, celebrates a win over the Arizona Cardinals with offensive lineman Jeremiah Kolone (60) after an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk (13) hauls in a long pass against Los Angeles Rams safeties Jordan Fuller (4) and Nick Scott (33) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Zaven Collins (25) recovers an onside kick against the Los Angeles Rams during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) tries to elude Los Angeles Rams defensive back David Long (22) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) gives Los Angeles Rams safety Jordan Fuller a stiff-arm after making a catch during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

Comments

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

Quarterback Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals walks off the field following the NFL game at ...
Alex Weiner

Hard Knocks recap: Kyler Murray returns to forefront, Cardinals give back on Thanksgiving

Kyler Murray returned, the Cardinals lost another heartbreaker and several teammates gave back on Thanksgiving in the latest episode.
13 hours ago
Paris Johnson Jr. #77 of the Ohio State Buckeyes in action against the Northwestern Wildcats during...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals nab OL Paris Johnson in Brugler’s 1st mock draft for 2023

The Athletic's Dane Brugler graced us with his first mock of the year on Wednesday and has the Cardinals taking OSU's Paris Johnson at No. 7.
2 days ago
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 20: Quarterback Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals is congratul...
Arizona Sports

Kyler Murray calls out Patrick Peterson for condemning comments made on podcast

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray let his frustration with former teammate Patrick Peterson calling him out on a podcast known.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Andre Baccellia (82) pulls in a pass for a touchdown in front of Ci...
Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals re-sign WR Andre Baccellia to practice squad

The Arizona Cardinals re-signed wide receiver Andre Baccellia to the team's practice squad on Wednesday morning.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals S Jalen Thompson points during practice on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyl...
Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals’ Jalen Thompson left off ESPN’s under-25 ranking

Safety Jalen Thompson has been a constant within the Arizona Cardinals defense over the past couple seasons.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray looks on during practice on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyl...
Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals enter Week 13 with minute chance at making 2022 NFL playoffs

Mathematically, the Arizona Cardinals somehow still have a sliver of postseason hope remaining in the 2022 season.
3 days ago
The 5: Things that stood out in Arizona Cardinals’ MNF loss to Rams