Rapid Reactions: Cardinals lose QB Kyler Murray in MNF defeat to Patriots
Nothing went right for the Arizona Cardinals in Monday night’s 27-13 loss to the New England Patriots at State Farm Stadium.
Not only did Arizona lose yet another home game on primetime, but the team lost multiple starters due to injuries.
On just the third play of the game, Cardinals franchise quarterback Kyler Murray suffered a knee injury that required him to be carted off the field in visible distress.
Arizona also lost cornerback Marco Wilson (stinger) and defensive lineman Zach Allen (hand) over the course of the game.
With the Cardinals’ record now 4-9 going into the final four weeks of the regular season, Arizona Sports’ hosts, editors and reporters react to the Cardinals’ loss on Monday Night Football:
Dave Burns, co-host of Burns & Gambo:
A distressing and depressing night from Glendale. Depressing for Kyler Murray, distressing for the baffling decision-making, the undisciplined lack of focus and an otherwise beautiful building that has seen the losses pile up over the last two years.
As I just paused a moment ago to look up at the TV, Scott Van Pelt and ESPN are replaying Kyler’s injury and it’s pointless to start anywhere else. We will, of course, await confirmation but we all know what it’s going to be. He knew it, guys on the field knew it. It was gut-wrenching to watch and then later to hear that he was sobbing once he was out of view of the cameras.
Like the organization itself, it’s been a tough calendar year for Kyler for all the reasons you already know. His response to the adversity of 2022 was the main (the only?) reason to remain dialed into this team for its final five games. Could he channel all the negativity into some kind of a positive finish?
Now we’ll never know and instead we’ll look to Joe Burrow. The Bengals quarterback tore his ACL late in the 2020 season but played all of 2021. Can Kyler follow suit and be ready for next year or is missed time inevitable? We’ve all had our questions about his ability to take his amazing talent and translate it to success at this level but it’s impossible for me not to feel sick for him right now.
There’s so much more to unpack here. While the injuries continue to suffocate this franchise that is hardly the only explanation for all that has gone wrong. The self-inflicted penalties continue to cripple. The bizarre decision to pass on a 50-ish-yard field goal played right into Bill Belichick’s “let them screw it up” mindset.
But nothing insults the senses more than a team that has won one of the last 12 games it’s played inside that building. Benjamin Solak posted a picture of a calendar spanning the last two years; all of 2021 and all of 2022. The wins at State Farm Stadium were circled in red. There were four of them. In two years.
Luke Lapinski, co-host of Wolf & Luke:
What do you even say about this season at this point? Tonight’s game immediately became secondary the moment Kyler Murray went down with that injury. On a human level, it was tough to watch. Another brutal twist to this season of unrelenting brutal twists. Kyler’s immediate reaction said it all, and the reaction of the Patriots players near him drove the point home. Nobody knows what his road back looks like yet, but how do you not feel bad for the guy in that moment?
In terms of football, the ramifications could get really complicated in a hurry. Kyler’s development was the most important storyline left for the final month of this season, and now you can just toss that right out the window too. And without knowing the exact extent of the injury yet, you have to wonder how it might even impact next season now.
As for the game, I give the Cardinals credit for still playing with emotion after the injury. But they’re running out of players and they were facing a desperate team that’s still in the playoff hunt. That’s not typically a recipe for success, and it certainly wasn’t tonigh. They hung around for awhile, but ultimately started taking bad penalties and turning the ball over in the second half.
There’s also a new tradition in Cardinals games this season. One where Zaven Collins appears to make a game-changing play, only to have it called back by the officials. You never know exactly when it’s going to happen, but tonight it was towards the end of the third quarter, and it seemed to be the final straw. Down 20-13, Collins looked to have a defensive touchdown that would’ve tied it. But it was reversed and, four plays later, New England scored to put the game away. I’m not saying it was the wrong call, but that one final emotional swing was the knockout blow.
Now you have four games left with a shell of a lineup left to work with. Do you play Colt McCoy the rest of the way? Or do you give Trace McSorley a look, since you already know what you have in McCoy?
Every team has injuries, but they’ve hit the Cardinals especially hard this year. To the point where it complicates how this team will be evaluated by the decision-makers this offseason, and now you even have to wonder about the start of next season. This team has certainly made its fair share of mistakes in 2022, but they’re not exactly getting any lucky breaks either. Tonight was yet another reminder of that — one that none of us needed.
Vince Marotta, co-host of Bickley & Marotta:
I don’t need to be repetitive and say the Cardinals’ season is over — I’ve been saying that for several weeks.
But Monday night was absolutely devastating for this organization, and I’m not talking about another disjointed loss — this one 27-13 to the New England Patriots. Kyler Murray’s knee injury is not a death blow for this year. But fearing the worst (and based on Monday night’s reports, we should be), it’s really more of a death blow for next season. An ACL injury for a quarterback whose strength is his quickness, scrambling and running is a troublesome reality.
These last five games were marked as very important for Murray’s development as a quarterback and a leader, and now he will miss out on that opportunity. It’s entirely possible we don’t see Murray back until Week 1 of September 2024 (let’s hope that’s not the case). It’s gut-wrenching for him and for the Cardinals, and it’s by far the lowest point in what has been a season spent in pitch darkness.
Tyler Drake, co-host of Cardinals Corner and ArizonaSports.com editor:
If you hadn’t written off the 2022 Arizona Cardinals, you can officially do so after another ugly home loss.
The Patriots are who the Cardinals thought they were. Or at least who Vance Joseph thought New England’s offense was.
Ran by the defensive-minded Matt Patricia, the Patriots offense did all it could to limit turnovers and big plays, keeping screen plays and dink and dunks on the menu throughout the course of the night. Even with Rhamondre Stevenson banged up, New England utilized other bodies successfully on the ground. Credit given where credit is due.
Offensively for the Cardinals, where do you want to start?
Losing Kyler Murray three plays in sucked the life out of the Cardinals’ sideline and a large contingent of State Farm Stadium. Already seemingly out of the playoff picture, hunt or whatever you want to call it at this point, having your franchise QB go down with what appears to be a serious knee injury this late in the season just adds to the overall disappointment 2022 has been for Arizona.
It’s now hope for the best and brace for the worst time in the desert when it comes to Murray. And while we are here, let’s not applaud injuries. Not a good look from quite a few so-called Cardinals fans.
Much like what worked against the Chargers, the Cardinals turned to the run game for some kind of spark. James Conner provided just that with 85 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. He also nabbed six of seven targets for 29 yards. But Conner can only do so much on a team that just can’t get out of its own way at the worst times imaginable.
And while many will point to Kliff Kingsbury on the issues on fourth down, I put more of the blame on the players, especially that rough drop from Hollywood Brown. There was no need to jump there. Could have been a TD.
The Cardinals were already heading into these final weeks of the season needing to look ahead to 2023. With Murray’s status very much up in the air now, Arizona has to juggle seeing what they have without putting other key contributors in harm’s way. That sounds like a tough task that isn’t going to yield much movement in the wins department.
Kellan Olson, ArizonaSports.com editor:
It doesn’t feel right to read much into this game after Kyler Murray’s injury three plays into it. That’s a major emotional blow for a team that’s hard to recover from.
With that being said, this was another uninspiring loss. The Patriots reeked of incompetence through most of the first half and the Cardinals got in the holiday spirit early by gift-wrapping the game in the third quarter over three offensive drives that all ended in mistakes/turnovers. Isn’t this the same Colt McCoy some were willing to start over Murray at a certain point?
This game did not feel close at all, yet Arizona had one more first down and only five less yards of total offense.
I don’t understand what ownership sees in the general manager or head coach, besides the ludicrous guarantees on their contracts from even more ludicrous contract extensions. I really hope they don’t allow the amount of injuries to serve as an excuse to see out another season of this crap.