TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — DeAndre Hopkins has provided the needed boost on offense, JJ Watt has productive games on defense, and quarterback Kyler Murray continues to post big numbers.
Yet the Arizona Cardinals are still a mediocre football team.
At this point, they are running out of opportunities to turn things around.
Cardinals (3-5) lost to the Minnesota Vikings 34-26 Sunday and fell to the NFC West basement. They will have three straight games against divisional opponents starting with Seattle this weekend.
A silver lining for the Cardinals is that the division is still tight: the Cardinals are just two games behind the Seahawks (5-3) for first place.
“Obviously there isn’t much room left, with three division games and where we are at record high,” Kingsbury said. “If you’re able to win all three, there’s an opportunity to be there and have a piece of the top spot at the end of this deal. Our guys understand that after starting like we did , it’s a nice carrot in front of you.”
That carrot won’t last long if the Cardinals can’t find a way to be more efficient, especially on offense. They have been plagued all season with small errors such as false starts, bad shots and delayed match penalties. They also made big mistakes against the Vikings, including three turnovers.
Hopkins caught 12 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, delivering a second straight stellar performance since returning from a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
“We need to go back to the drawing board and practice better,” Hopkins said after the game. “You see we’re here and not blowing ourselves up. It was one of the best teams in the NFL, and we had a chance to win today.”
Hopkins provided the elevator Arizona needs in its ballroom. Quite simply,