Cardinals’ home record drops to 0.500 in MNF loss to Rams
The Arizona Cardinals’ return stumbled in a 30-23 Monday Night Football loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Entering the contest, Arizona had the opportunity to be the first NFL team to land a playoff berth with a win that would also put a hand in the NFC West Division title.
But unfortunately for the Cardinals, their home record this season has fallen to 3-3 from their perfect 7-0 streak outside State Farm Stadium.
Arizona Sports’ hosts, reporters and editors share their thoughts on the Week 14 defeat of the Cardinals:
John Gambadoro, co-host of Burns & Gambo: Arizona lost only the third time in 13 games. Problem is, all three are at home and have come in their last 3 home games. The Cardinals have a “home alone” problem. They play at State Farm Stadium as if the 64,000 spectators weren’t there. They have no advantage in the field.
They have a mind-boggling 11 turnovers at home and just two on the road. They returned the ball two more times tonight and the Rams turned them into 14 points. The Arizona defense, which has been so good all year, has had no response to pressure Matthew Stafford or cover against Cooper Kupp (13 catches of 15 targets for 123 yards and one touchdown) or Odell Beckham Jr., who had six catches on seven targets for 77 yards and a touchdown.
The Rams lost two starting offensive linemen, their tight end and Jalen Ramsey – and won. Aaron Donald had a blast – Chandler Jones was out again. The good news for Arizona is that they’re not home next week – they’re going to Detroit for a short week. The Lions have won only one win, but five of their losses have been one-goal games. So Arizona better be ready. Until then, the Cardinals’ next home game will be Christmas Day against the Colts. And if they don’t want to be the Grinch, they better get these issues resolved at home and quickly!
Dave Burns, co-host of Burns & Gambo: The LA Rams are a top-notch team, depending on their stars to carry them. Their stars came out of Monday Night Football.
Let’s start with the wrecking ball: three bags for Aaron Donald’s. Matthew Stafford 287 yards and 3 touchdowns. Cooper Kupp had 13 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown and Odell Beckham Jr. added 77 yards and a touchdown. The Rams lost Jalen Ramsey on the COVID roster and many (including me) speculated that this LA story would have an unfortunate end for the road team. Instead, the other stars on the list put on a show.
But they got help. Many. Especially in the form of turnovers that continue to plague the Cardinals at home. Two more interceptions from Kyler in his home stadium, both leading to Rams touchdowns and one on the goal line, which undoubtedly took potential points off the board. The Cardinals have now made 11 turnovers in their six home games, seven of which are Murray’s picks. Want to know why the Cardinals struggled for a 3-3 record at home? It starts there.
An unusual drop by DeAndre Hopkins to fourth place and a failure by the Cardinals to even attempt to jump on a Stafford fumble added to the mess. Incorporate Kliff Kingsbury’s curious decision not to kick a basket late in the game when they actually needed both a basket and a touchdown and you have the most frustrating game of the season. The door to NFC West’s loss has been left open, albeit slightly, and the NFC’s No.1 seed will now require more work and more help.
And the Cardinals, trying so hard to prove their legitimacy, instead provided ammunition to their critics.
Luke Lapinski, co-host of Wolf and Luke: I don’t want to overreact. Let’s get that out of the way first. The Cardinals lost a game in December – that doesn’t end your season. And even though they don’t have the tiebreaker, they’re still in a race with the Packers and Buccaneers for the best football record after 14 weeks. Let us not completely lose sight of it here.
Now that I’ve said that, I feel compelled to overreact and totally lose perspective here for a minute. There is a lot to hate about what happened tonight. The Cardinals have just lost their third straight home game, they opened the door for the Rams to return to the divisional race, they did so in prime time with questionable game management and clocking decisions in late and – perhaps worst of all – they did it against an exhausted team.
Everyone’s bumped and missing players this time of year, but THE loss of Jalen Ramsey hours before the game apparently paved the way for Arizona’s attack. And they put in 447 yards. But they also left a lot of points on the board, and they just haven’t had a game where they rode at full power with Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins on the pitch together for almost two months now.
In seven road games, the Cards have a plus-56 first quarter differential. They are truly the elite and the sign of a potentially great team. But that also makes the under-9 they’ve recorded in the first quarter of six home games even more confusing.
Now Valley fans have to put up with the skeptics gleefully pointing to the national narrative that says the Cardinals aren’t ready to win big games just yet. Never mind the fact that they’ve already beaten LA once this year and hammered the Titans, Browns and a few other playoff-related teams. Their 0-2 prime-time record is going to get all the attention. And, rightly or wrongly, they knew it would.
Overall, the Cardinals are still in good shape – assuming Hopkins and James Conner are doing well. They still lead the NFC West and the No.1 seed is always close at hand. But now they’ll need help to get that top spot. And that’s huge, because finishing No.2 or No.3 probably means you’ll have to go through both Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady in the playoffs, instead of just one.
Tyler Drake, Cardinals reporter and ArizonaSports.com editor: Ouch. One step forward, two or three steps back. The Cardinals have never been able to go out of their own way, especially in defense.
Just when it looked like Arizona was starting something, a poor execution or a costly penalty seemed to immediately follow.
The tale of the impossible to win at home (or at least put together four full quarters) lives to see another day. And you better believe the national media is going to tear this one up to kick off the week. The worst part of it all? The Rams lacked several starters, including cornerback Jalen Ramsey and running back Darrell Henderson.
But for a loss as bad as it sounds, Arizona still managed to keep things close for most of the evening. Much of this can be attributed primarily to James Conner, with additional input from AJ Green.
Conner not only scored two rushing goals, but he caught his eight targets on 85 yards as a wide receiver. Only AJ Green had more receiving yards (102) for Arizona.
Arizona’s woes could very well be a coincidence, but at this point the trend is glaring. The Cardinals will need to have short memories this week, with a quicker-than-normal turnaround heading into next week’s game. Luckily for Arizona, the Week 15 tilt isn’t just on the road, it’s against the Detroit Lions. I don’t want them at all after Monday’s loss.
ArizonaSports.com Editor-in-Chief Kevin Zimmerman: Sometimes it’s not your day. Murray threw for 383 yards and posted a 72.1 pass score with a 0: 2 touchdown-to-turnover ratio. Meanwhile, the Rams’ Matthew Stafford made a monumental two or three throws in terms of results but also of insane precision. On the other side, turnovers killed the Cardinals.
No, they haven’t played such a clean game either, but there’s nothing to panic about in a seven-point loss to a possibly very good team that – unfortunately for Arizona – clicked like this no. This was not the case against a winning team this year. If we’re trying to get into the things that are really about, it’s because DeAndre Hopkins and James Conner got pushed around at the end of the Cardinals loss.
It was also at least a yellow flag that the Arizona pass rush seemed to be asleep all night. Los Angeles particularly knocked out the outside linebackers, and it would take someone smarter than me to figure out if this is a formula other teams can steal or just play poorly on the Cardinals’ side.
Arizona’s offense has made enough trips to the red zone to score in the mid-1930s. I wouldn’t be so worried about that side of the ball unless the neglect streaked through a few games.
ArizonaSports.com editor-in-chief Jake Anderson: Coincidence or trend? That’s the worrying question about the Cardinals when it comes to playing at home, especially in prime time.
Arizona are now 3-3 at State Farm Stadium against a perfect 7-0 road streak this year. Granted, two of those losses were suffered by the Packers and Rams – two likely playoff teams – but it’s the way the Cardinals lost that is so frustrating. Turnovers aside, it’s the little missed games that can determine the outcome of games. Tonight’s edition featured a stray pass from Kyler Murray on what would have been a touchdown, in addition to a fourth crash by one of the game’s top wide receivers to DeAndre Hopkins.
The Cardinals’ two prime-time home losses also saw their opponent miss one of their biggest stars in Packers WR DeVante Adams and Rams CB Jalen Ramsey, respectively, while Arizona was mostly in good shape. health. And since both of these games are also broadcast in prime time, don’t be surprised to see the national media attack the Cardinals’ legitimacy as Super Bowl contenders.
Winning close games is a sign of a good team and Arizona has shown that ability this year. And for some reason the majority of them came on the road. So maybe it would actually be a good thing if the Cardinals have nine road games this season instead of eight, with two more on the agenda in Detroit next week and Dallas in Week 17. .