ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals’ season a ‘massive failure’ in eyes of J.J. Watt, Kyler Murray

Jan 18, 2022, 12:09 AM | Updated: 12:56 pm
J.J. Watt #99 and Chandler Jones #55 of the Arizona Cardinals take a knee during an injury timeout ...
J.J. Watt #99 and Chandler Jones #55 of the Arizona Cardinals take a knee during an injury timeout in the third quarter against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at SoFi Stadium on January 17, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

INGLEWOOD — The Arizona Cardinals’ downward spiral hit rock bottom in Monday night’s Wild Card loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Seemingly out of it from the jump, Arizona was ran out of the building with its tail between its legs in a 34-11 beatdown.

The once promising season came to an unceremonious end, along with it any and all of the good feelings left from cracking the postseason for the first time since 2015.

For many, this season will go down as a what-if given the hot 7-0 start and mountain of success the Cardinals saw early on in the year.

“It was a massive failure, from what we were capable of doing and from what we showed we can do, to today,” defensive lineman J.J. Watt said after the loss. “There’s no other way to describe it than as a failure. Part of sports is you get to enjoy the highs and you also have to live with the lows. You hope to have less lows than highs, obviously.

“But if you’re gonna ride high and if you’re gonna enjoy the good times and if you’re gonna be confident and excited during the good times, you also have to understand when (expletive) goes bad, you take that too. I’m not going to stand up here and not take my lumps. We didn’t do what we’re supposed to do. Started the season great and finished the season terrible. It is what it is.”

Quarterback Kyler Murray echoed Watt’s comments.

There’s no consolation prizes in the NFL and that was more than evident postgame.

“I play to win the Super Bowl,” Murray said after the game. “That’s the goal, that’s the mission to make it to the Super Bowl, not to make it to the playoffs or to go to the second round. The goal is to win the Super Bowl. We fell short of that.”

Not lost over the Xs and Os of the Wild Card game is the fact it marks the final time this Cardinals squad is together as one before hitting the offseason.

That added variable to Monday’s loss was felt almost instantly by Arizona players and coaches.

“Everybody worries about one week at a time but you build relationships with these guys, these coaches,” linebacker Markus Golden said after the game. “You wanna get out there and win for them. You go in the locker room and see a lot of guys sad.

“It was a bad game, we got blown out but guys still come in and put the work in all year and we lost. … Me, I’m gonna get motivated, I’m gonna still grind, I’m gonna still work, I’m gonna still come and fight no matter what.”

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