GLENDALE, Arizona – Despite being on the verge of potentially clinching a playoff berth on Sunday, frustration began to boil over for the Arizona Cardinals following Saturday night’s 22-16 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. .
A series of penalties and missed kicks led to the Cardinals’ third straight loss and the fifth of their last eight games.
“We can feel it, you see it,” said quarterback Kyler Murray. “It’s just that good teams don’t do that and we weren’t doing it at the start of the season, and now you see it kills us in crucial moments where we just don’t score a touchdown because of it , or vice versa, on the other side of the ball.
“As a team squad, offensively and defensively, it’s just mental mistakes you can’t keep making if we’re going to win these games that we know we’re supposed to win. I mean, that’s bad. soccer.”
Arizona recorded 11 turnovers for 85 yards and kicker Matt Prater missed three shots – two baskets and one extra – to leave seven potentially decisive runs on the field.
Still, they are still in a position to clinch a playoff berth on Sunday if the New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles or Minnesota Vikings lose. It will be Arizona’s first playoff spot since 2015 when they lost in the NFC Championship game to the Carolina Panthers.
But Murray says he doesn’t want to play the type of football Arizona recently headed for the playoffs.
“All you have to do is come in,” he said. “That’s all you have to do. But at the end of the day, we don’t want to play like we do. We want to play and feel good about ourselves and what we’re doing. is that it’s fixable.
“We just have to look at ourselves in the mirror, stop making these mistakes because this game was very winnable. But good teams don’t do that and right now we don’t do what we have to do.”
Coach Kliff Kingsbury said the Cardinals “continue to find ways to lose critical situations and penalties and things of that nature.” He added that, “we have to spin it somewhere.”
Arizona, who started the season 7-0, have two more games to go. They are at the Dallas Cowboys one week starting Sunday and finish the regular season at home against the Seattle Seahawks. After Saturday night’s game, the Cardinals fell to fifth in the NFC standings and out of the NFC West lead.
That could all change again if the Los Angeles Rams, who claimed first place in the West after losing Arizona, lose to the Vikings on Sunday.
According to Kingsbury, one way for the Cardinals to find their way back to victory was to “focus on their job.”
“I think some of the guys are missing, guys sometimes try to do too much and we just have to take one game at a time, do your job, reset and start over,” he said.
Running back Chase Edmonds said Arizona must “ignore the noise” that would lead to a third straight loss. “We don’t need that right now,” he said. “We can’t afford it right now.”