Kyler Murray was matter-of-fact in his assessment, as obvious it may have been to him or anyone else after the Cardinals’ disappointing loss to the Lions Sunday.
“When you believe you should’ve won the game and you didn’t do the necessary things to win the game, it’s going to be frustrating,” said Murray, who accounted for three touchdowns but also threw three interceptions during the 26-23 setback at State Farm Stadium.
“We had every opportunity to win that game, and kind of just let it slip away. I feel like if I didn’t do what I did today, we win the game.”
Kliff Kingsbury was also sharing the blame, saying at one point “my playcall selection was very suspect” late in the game.
There were multiple things wrong with what the Cardinals did, and yet it still came down to a Matt Prater 39-yard field goal on the final play of the game to hand the Cards (2-1) their first loss of the season.
Frankly, that just made the feeling worse.
“I’m pissed,” defensive tackle Corey Peters said, matter-of-factly. “In this league, you get what you earn. Today, we earned a loss.”
The fourth quarter was painful in how it unfolded, the Cardinals leading by a field goal after the second of two touchdown passes to the emerging Andy Isabella and continued domination by DeAndre Hopkins (10 catches, 137 yards.)
Forcing a punt, the Cards were stuck at their own 2. But there were times Sunday when they looked like they would have no trouble moving the ball at will against the Lions, which had to thrill the approximately 700 family and friends of players, coaches and staff attending for a limited “crowd.”
Then the Cards would get a penalty. Or Murray threw an interception. In the case of their first fourth-quarter possession, it led to an ugly three-and-out which allowed the Lions to score the game-tying field goal. It looked like no worries after Hopkins made a 12-yard catch and Kenyan Drake burst for another 14 yards.
But a Drake run got one yard, a backshoulder throw to KeeSean Johnson was broken up, and then a bomb to Johnson in double-coverage never really had a chance. Murray acknowledged on the latter, Isabella was wide open.
“I made a bad read,” Murray said.
The Cards punted. And the Lions never gave the ball back.
“We had a lot of chances to put the game away,” Kingsbury said, adding “you give that quarterback, a Pro Bowl player, the ball last, he’s going to beat you.”