As good as he was, Jonathan Taylor didn’t beat the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday night. Sure, the Colts’ star running back rushed for 108 yards on 27 carries and his team scored a 22-16 victory at State Farm Stadium.
But it was the Cardinals who beat themselves and that’s why they lost their third consecutive game and fifth in their past eight after jumping out to an impressive 7-0 start to the season.
“We feel it. You see it. Good teams don’t do that,” quarterback Kyler Murray said after the Cardinals dropped to 10-5 and presently hold the No.5 playoff seed in the NFC after owning the No.1 seed just a month ago.
“We weren’t doing that earlier in the season, but now you see it and it’s killing us in crucial moments where we’re not scoring touchdowns because of it or vice versa on the other side of the ball. It’s mental mistakes we just can’t keep making if we want to be where … if we want to win these games and we’re supposed to be winning them. It’s bad football.”
It wasn’t just bad for the Cardinals on a blue Christmas evening. It was ugly, sloppy and embarrassing.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury looks on during the second half against the Indianapolis Colts at State Farm Stadium.
They committed 11 penalties for 85 yards. Kicker Matt Prater missed two field goals and an extra point. The defense surrendered five plays of 20 yards or longer. Murray and the offense, meanwhile, did too much sputtering and haven’t been able to score the kind of points they routinely were putting up during the season’s first half.
Arizona was missing three very pivotal pieces on offense in wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (knee), running back James Conner (heel) and center Rodney Hudson (Reserve/COVID-19 list), but look at who the Colts didn’t have.
They were without their entire interior starting offensive line in All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson and right guard Mark Glowinski (both on the COVID-19 list) and Pro Bowl center Ryan Kelly…