Arizona Cardinals’ loss to Seahawks adds evidence changes are needed

Nov 6, 2022, 7:14 PM | Updated: Nov 7, 2022, 9:24 am

The Cardinals aren’t just losing. The Cardinals are lost.

The head coach looks as clueless as he is powerless. The $230 million quarterback is regressing before our eyes. The general manager has laid a foundation from quicksand. And the owner seems more interested in hosting a Super Bowl than winning a Super Bowl.

A 31-21 defeat on Sunday marked their second loss to the Seahawks in a span of four weeks. Barring a miraculous turnabout, it likely dooms a return to the postseason in 2022.

Losing is a contagion in the NFL. And our team is extremely sick.

“I believe in this team,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said.

After the game, Kingsbury said all the same things he usually does ad nauseum. But words are hollow and do not matter at this point because the Cardinals are 7-13 in his last 20 games. They have been routinely bad for some time now.

The offense was once again impotent, presenting no threat or fear to the Seahawks defense. They scored a touchdown on the opening drive, suggesting a corner might’ve been turned. And they promptly went into hibernation.

The Cardinals totaled 15 first downs. After a halftime of scheming and adjustments, they gained 12 measly yards in the third quarter. They had successive false start penalties at home, which is absurd. They had even more trouble getting the ball from center to quarterback.

Collectively, the team finished with eight pre-snap penalties, which represents a recurring and staggering lack of discipline.

“The self-inflicted stuff is killing us,” Kingsbury said.

They made crucial mistakes. Kyler Murray lost a pivotal fumble from carelessness. The sideline featured another scene and sign of turmoil, this time a barking match between Murray and DeAndre Hopkins.

“I’m not going to go into detail,” Murray said. “But miscommunication right there.”

Meanwhile, the recently acquired Robbie Anderson was a liability. The return of James Conner did little to resuscitate the running game.

And the decimated offensive line is giving Murray very little time to get comfortable.

You want answers? Good luck.

“I couldn’t give you the answer of why or what,” Murray said. “Just kept shooting ourselves in the foot.”

The defense carried the offense for most of the game, just like it has for most of the season. But they dropped a pair of red zone interceptions, only to watch the Seahawks score touchdowns on the very next play. And once again, the heavy lifting took its toll.

When Zaven Collins housed an interception return, it marked the fifth touchdown of the season for Arizona’s defense. But the joy was temporary. The Seahawks countered with three touchdown drives, converting 7-of-7 third downs on the final two.

The Cardinals aren’t just losing games. They’re losing fans. There is a growing cry for a new head coach starting on Monday. There is growing evidence that a dramatic culture change and overhaul are badly needed in Arizona. But Michael Bidwill created this mess with bizarre contract extensions to mediocre performers. Chances are, he’s not going to take drastic steps, swallowing both pride and money when HBO’s “Hard Knocks” debuts on Wednesday, revealing our dysfunctional football team to the rest of the country.

By contrast, just look at the Seahawks, who have rookie of the year candidates on both sides of the football. They have a culture that has elevated a journeyman quarterback. They have swept the Cardinals in a year when Seattle seemed destined for last place.

Alas, the Cardinals are back in the basement. And it’s not going to change until the owner brings in a broom and cleans up the mess.

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