Cardinals organization top-down responsible for embarrassing Week 1 loss

Sep 11, 2022, 5:54 PM | Updated: Sep 12, 2022, 10:12 am

The Cardinals elevated Bill Bidwill into the team’s Ring of Honor on Sunday. To commemorate the occasion, they played just like one of those dog-breath teams from the 1990s.

This was an unmitigated disaster, as ghastly as it was predictable.

The Cardinals lost 44-21 to the Chiefs in their season-opening performance, dropping their sixth consecutive game at State Farm Stadium. They were exposed, embarrassed and thoroughly annihilated. The game wasn’t as close as the final score, and that’s saying something.

Failure funneled from the top-down: from penny-pinching ownership to a general manager that did little to reinforce a shaky defense to a head coach who punted on an entire preseason.

The Chiefs were obviously the better team. They were also far better prepared. The latter is inexcusable, and that’s on Kliff Kingsbury.

“They beat us in every way,” Kingsbury said. “No denying it, no hiding from it. We didn’t execute in any phase, and they played at a very high level.”

As feared, Patrick Mahomes shredded Arizona’s paper-thin secondary. There was very little resistance anywhere on the football field. There were zero sacks and very little pass rush from a team that chose to let Chandler Jones leave for greener pastures. There was no breakout game from Isaiah Simmons, who spent part of the offseason talking about his impending stardom.

Labeled a “star backer” by defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, Simmons was nearly invisible. Unless he was getting worked by Chiefs star Travis Kelce.

“Week 1, I’ve got a long way to go,” Simmons said. “I’m a lot better than what I put out there (on Sunday), but like I said, it’s Week 1. You don’t win the Super Bowl based off Week 1. You don’t make your career based off one game.”

The statistics were sobering. The Chiefs amassed 448 yards, 360 in the air. They ran 66 plays and produced 33 first downs. And after his fourth touchdown pass of the game, Mahomes flashed four fingers to the sideline, staking the Chiefs to a 30-point lead with four minutes left in the third quarter.

But the Chiefs are not a defensive juggernaut by any means, and the Cardinals struggled mightily on offense. Kyler Murray made a few remarkable plays. He also appeared skittish at times, and on cue, jokes began circulating about how much he studied for the opening game. That will be an unfortunate, ongoing punchline accompanying every bad loss.

The obvious takeaway is that Kingsbury should’ve worked out some of the kinks during the exhibition season. He even admitted that his offense had no rhythm for the first three quarters on Sunday.

Yet Kingsbury said he had no regrets about his approach, and that Camp Cupcake worked just fine during an opening week win against the Titans the previous season. He said the issue was a lack of urgency during practice. Murray and others said the team must pay more attention to the details, the little things that always show up on Sunday.

Alas, many have said the same things about their hideous collapse in 2021, a team that got too comfortable after a 10-2 start. So, what has changed around here?

Overreaction is the currency of football, especially in Week 1. But the most troubling element of this loss is the game looked exactly like an extension of last season, where the Cardinals lost five of their final six games, a team blown away like a tent in a tornado.

“Yeah, they kicked our (expletive),” Murray said.

We’ve heard that far too often around here. And while no jobs are on the line in 2022, the schedule is unrelenting, the fan base is losing its patience and early becomes late very quickly in the NFL.

Reach Bickley at Listen to Bickley & Marotta mornings from 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

Life Changer Loans


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

Zach Ertz #86 of the Arizona Cardinals looks on against the Seattle Seahawks during the third quart...
Character Counts

Zach Ertz is Cardinals’ Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year for 2022

The Walter Payton Man of the Year award is given to Zach Ertz for his community service and excellence on the field.
9 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals OL Kelvin Beachum gives back to Champion Schools: South Mountain on Monday, Dec. ...
Tyler Drake

Giving back more than just checking boxes for Cardinals’ Kelvin Beachum

Kelvin Beachum has made it his mission in giving back to the local communities around him in hopes of setting up the future for success.
1 day ago
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reviews print outs of previous plays during the firs...
Arizona Sports

Behind Enemy Lines: ‘Too hard’ for Patriots to make big offensive changes

Entering a Week 14 tilt against the Arizona Cardinals, the New England Patriots offense led by Mac Jones is faced with question marks.
1 day ago
Lecitus Smith #54 of the Arizona Cardinals at SoFi Stadium on November 13, 2022 in Inglewood, Calif...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ Lecitus Smith: People mistake Kyler Murray’s passion for ball

Cardinals OL Lecitus Smith was the latest teammate to come to the defense of QB Kyler Murray following recent criticism from Patrick Peterson.
4 days ago
Arizona Cardinals OLB Myjai Sanders (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)...
Tyler Drake

How the Cardinals should attack the final 5 games

With little hope of turning the season around, it's time for the Arizona Cardinals to turn the page and look to the future.
1 day ago
Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson (7) breaks up a pass intended for Arizona Cardinals w...
Kevin Zimmerman

Patrick Peterson says he has no beef with Kyler Murray, adds more criticism of Cardinals QB

Patrick Peterson's attempt at cooling things down after his comments about Kyler Murray on his own podcast included more criticism of the QB.
5 days ago
Cardinals organization top-down responsible for embarrassing Week 1 loss