Kyler Murray on Cardinals' Season: Goal Is to Win Super Bowl, Not to Make Playoffs

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 18, 2022

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) walks off the field after the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cardinals in an NFL wild-card playoff football game in Inglewood, Calif., Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Monday was Kyler Murray's first career playoff game, but the Arizona Cardinals quarterback has bigger goals following the 34-11 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

"I agree," he said during his postgame press conference when told J.J. Watt called the season a failure. "You know, I play to win the Super Bowl. That's the goal, that's the mission, is to win the Super Bowl. Not to make it to the playoffs or go to the second round, you know. The goal is to win the Super Bowl. We fell short of that. So yes, I'd agree."

Murray will be under the spotlight the next time he's in the playoffs considering he struggled during his first opportunity in the postseason.

He finished 19-of-34 passing for 137 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions while adding just six yards on the ground. Los Angeles' defense deserves plenty of credit for keeping him in the pocket and preventing him from making plays like he did with his legs throughout the season.

While one of the interceptions was a screen pass that hit James Conner in the hands and bounced to Marquise Copeland, the other one was 100 percent on Murray and all but iced the game in the second quarter.

He was backed up inside his own end zone and trying to avoid a safety when he just threw the ball up for grabs. David Long Jr. took full advantage and grabbed it for an easy pick-six that extended the Rams' lead to 21-0 after the ensuing extra point.

Los Angeles was never even threatened after that.

It was more of the same for a Cardinals team that collapsed down the stretch of the season. Arizona was once 7-0 and then 10-2 and right in the middle of the race for the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

Then it lost four of its final five regular-season games and had to go on the road for its first playoff contest.

If the goal is the Super Bowl again next season, Murray and the Cardinals will be much better suited playing better down the stretch so they can earn home-field advantage come playoff time.