Arizona Cardinals’ lack of urgency glaring in lopsided loss to Chiefs

Sep 11, 2022, 6:51 PM | Updated: Sep 12, 2022, 10:13 am

GLENDALE — The Arizona Cardinals were the lesser team by a mile on Sunday night.

There’s no way around that.

At every turn in a discombobulating 44-21 loss to Kansas City, the Cardinals found themselves scrambling to keep pace with a Chiefs team that was running hot from the get-go.

Simply put, Arizona did not show up in what is now their sixth straight home loss dating back to last season.

“They beat us in every way,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said postgame. “There’s no denying or hiding from it. We didn’t execute in any phase and they played at a high level. … Impressive win by them and we got to get a lot better in a hurry.”

Offensively, the Cardinals lacked consistent rhythm and were stymied for a large part of the game. The only quarter the Cardinals scored twice in was the fourth, when the game was well out of reach.

The offensive woes were summed up before Arizona faced a 20-7 deficit at halftime.

Following a forced fumble by Dennis Gardeck, Arizona had just over a minute to work with in the second quarter at Kansas City’s 42-yard line. The Cardinals were set up to either cut the Chiefs’ lead to one score or, at the very least, make it 20-10 with a Matt Prater field goal.

Instead, the Cardinals came away with zero points and just eight yards gained to show for it. Kingsbury said after the fact that kicking field goals against a team like Kansas City wasn’t going to move the needle.

The snowball of defeat just grew from there for the offense, kicking off the second half with a three-and-out before sputtering the rest of the way.

“They kicked our (expletive),” quarterback Kyler Murray. “I think in key moments of that game we hurt ourselves. I know we hurt ourselves, shot ourselves in the foot in a lot of those moments. Credit to them.

“There’s no shying away from what happened. As far as us, you look in the mirror, attention to detail, the little things, the little things, the little things. We did not execute in the moments where we needed to. That’s what happens when you play a good team.”

Defensively, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes had little to no resistance carving up the secondary, throwing for 360 yards and five touchdowns on 76.9% passing.

It was a blemish-free outing for the signal caller, who didn’t take a sack nor have a turnover. And he didn’t need a full four quarters to do so. He was everything his former coach Kingsbury advertised and more.

“We’re playing a really good team and if you don’t show up — all of us coaches, players, the entire group,” Kingsbury said. “If you don’t show up and be dialed in and take advantage of any opportunities you have, this is what’s going to happen. Crucial moments we didn’t make plays and they did.”

However you slice it, there is a lot to clean up on this football team. Getting back to the drawing board is an absolute must, especially with another formidable AFC West team in the Las Vegas Raiders up next in Week 2.

“We got to practice better, there’s no doubt,” Kingsbury said. “You can’t say you’re going to do it on game day and not do it in practice.

“Have a sense of urgency in everything you do,” Kingsbury added when asked about his message to the team. “Biggest jump is from Week 1 to Week 2. Last year, it was the exact opposite. We came out and played at a high level and I didn’t sense a sense of urgency. Got outcoached, got outplayed in all phases.”

The Cardinals entered the matchup on Sunday as clear underdogs. They got hit in the mouth at home and embarrassed themselves in front of the crowd on the day former owner Bill Bidwill got inducted into the Ring of Honor.

As for any sort of silver lining from the rough start to 2022?

“If we want to be the best team, we got to come out and we got to beat these types of teams,” wide receiver Hollywood Brown said. “We got a long road ahead of us and I think it’s a wake-up call for everybody.”

Murray echoed Brown’s sentiment.

“I think it was good for us for this to happen to us. I don’t know why or whoever felt good about (the outcome). You can’t feel yourself in this league, you’ll get embarrassed and that’s kind of what happened today.

“Good team over there, they executed. You could tell, there was a complete difference. The energy was higher and they didn’t shoot themselves in the foot. That’s what is going to happen when you do those things.”

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