Kyler Murray had one final chance to lead the Cardinals back from a 14-point second-half deficit against the Rams on “Monday Night Football” after his team recovered an onside kick with 37 seconds left in the game. He couldn’t get the job done.
Arizona led an ugly drive on which the team snapped the ball just three times and moved backward 24 yards to seal a 30-23 Week 14 defeat. The final snap was a microcosm of the team’s struggles throughout the contest.
The Cardinals had the ball on their own 42-yard line with time ticking down after a 9-yard completion to James Conner. Murray lined his teammates up for the second-and-16 play, and the Cardinals snapped the ball with five seconds on the clock. It looked like Arizona was going for a Hail Mary to try to complete its comeback.
Murray never came close to getting a pass off. He was immediately swarmed by relentless pressure from the Rams, and his offensive line did nothing to stop them. Literally. Several players were staring back at Murray shortly after the snap as Aaron Donald chased down the third-year quarterback.
Why weren’t the linemen blocking? Murray explained after the game that there was a “miscommunication” on the final play.
“It was miscommunication between me and the o-line,” Murray said, per Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel. “They thought it was going to be ‘spike.’ But that’s heat of the moment stuff. I don’t even recall what was being said in the helmet.”
SUTELAN: Will Cooper Kupp break the NFL’s single-season receiving record?
This isn’t the first time that the Cardinals have had a miscommunication late in a loss this season. It happened against the Packers in Week 8, when Murray threw an interception in the end-zone down 28-24, as A.J. Green failed to look for the football on a potential go-ahead TD throw. That cost Arizona the game.
So, clearly, the Cardinals need to work on their overall communication, especially in late-game scenarios.
A spike probably would have been the prudent move for the Cardinals. It would have allowed them extra time to line up and get a legitimate shot at a Hail Mary, or some sort of hook and lateral play.
Instead, the play will go down as one of the many missed opportunities from a sloppy Cardinals loss.
“A lot of penalties, the two turnovers, conversions on fourth down,” Murray said. “If we do a lot of things differently, it would have ended differently.”
Source: Read Full Article