Kyler Murray, Kliff Kingsbury Call Out Cardinals After Loss to Colts on Christmas Day

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 26, 2021

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 25: Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals scrambles away from Kwity Paye #51 of the Indianapolis Colts during the third quarter at State Farm Stadium on December 25, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
Chris Coduto/Getty Images

Saturday's 22-16 defeat against the Indianapolis Colts was the third straight loss for the Arizona Cardinals, and quarterback Kyler Murray and head coach Kliff Kingsbury were not happy about it. 

"We feel it; you see it," quarterback Kyler Murray said, referencing the team's 11 penalties and Matt Prater's two missed field goals and a missed extra point. "It's just good teams don't do that, and we weren't doing that early on in the season, and now you see, it's killing us in crucial moments where we're just not scoring touchdowns because of it, or vice versa, on the other side of the ball. As a collective group, offensively and defensively, like it's just mental mistakes that you just can't keep making if we want to win these games that we know we're supposed to be winning. I mean, it's bad football."

Kingsbury added that the Cardinals "continue to find ways to lose critical situations and penalties and things of that nature" and added that "we got to get it turned around somewhere."

The Cardinals looked like the best team in football after starting the season 7-0. But five losses in their last eight games have dropped them to 10-5 and from atop both the NFC and their division to the No. 5 overall seed, which would be as a wild-card berth. 

Kevin Seifert @SeifertESPN

Here’s what the NFC standings look like at the moment. Cardinals have fallen behind the Rams in the NFC West. (But, with some help, they can clinch a playoff spot tomorrow regardless.) <a href="https://t.co/2prdiWlkGT">pic.twitter.com/2prdiWlkGT</a>

They find themselves chasing the Los Angeles Rams (10-4) in the NFC West, though the Cardinals can still clinch a playoff berth Sunday with a loss from any of the New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles or Minnesota Vikings, all 7-7.

The Vikings play the Rams and the Eagles face the New York Giants (4-10) on Sunday, while the Saints take on the Miami Dolphins (7-7) on Monday. 

"All you gotta do is get in," Murray told reporters. "That's all you got to do. But, at the end of the day, we don't want to get in playing the way we're playing. We want to go in playing and feeling good about ourselves and what we're doing. The thing about it is it's fixable."

The Cardinals will have the chance to turn things around with tough games against the Dallas Cowboys (10-4) on the road and Seattle Seahawks (5-9) at home to close the season. The Cowboys are gunning for the top overall seed in the NFC. The Seahawks are a divisional rival, and hardly a gimme.  

With a losing streak comes consternation and doubt from outside the locker room. But running back Chase Edmonds said the Cardinals need to "ignore the noise."

"We don't need that right now," he added. "We can't afford that right now."

No, they can't.