Kyler Murray Hurt, Cards Fall to Patriots

(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

On a chilly Monday night in Glendale the Arizona Cardinals’ season went from extremely bad, to unthinkably worse, when starting quarterback Kyler Murray suffered a non-contact left knee injury after falling to the turf on a scramble play near the Cards’ sideline in the opening moments of the game.

Arizona’s ugly 27-13 loss to the New England Patriots was overshadowed by Murray’s likely season-ending injury. The Pro Bowl quarterback was reportedly in tears after being carted off. He waved to the crowd on his way off the field for, presumably, the final time in 2022.

“Doesn’t look good,” a despondent Kliff Kingsbury said after the game as reports surfaced that Murray likely tore his ACL. “But we’ll know more in the morning. It’s tough…non-contact. It’s tough to watch.”

Kingsbury continued.

“I’ve never seen him in that type of shape, so I assumed it’s not good.”

What also wasn’t good was a number a key mishaps in a game the Cards actually seemed to be relative control of in the first half. 

The second half was, well, forgettable as Arizona was outscored 17-0 as New England’s defense turned up the heat on backup Colt McCoy. The Patriots registered six sacks and made the Cards one-dimension, a recipe for disaster against a Bill Belichick team. 

Late in the first quarter, linebacker Isaiah Simmons grabbed Mac Jones’ deflected pass out of the air and returned it into New England territory. McCoy would engineer the game’s first scoring drive, a Matt Prater 33-yard field goal early in the second quarter.

The Patriots (7-6) responded with an eight-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a Kevin Harris 14-yard touchdown run to give New England their first lead of the game.

After another Prater field goal, James Conner finished a pretty 7-play, 63-yard drive with a tough 10-yard touchdown run putting the Cards (4-9) back on top 13-7 with under three minutes to play until halftime.

After a failed fourth-and-one throw by McCoy, Jones would engineer a late-quarter march, and Nick Folk’s 51-yard field goal on the final play of the half drew the Pats to within 13-10 heading into the locker room. 

The seesaw matchup swung back in the Patriots’ favor when linebacker Raekwon McMillan scooped a DeAndre Hopkins fumble and raced 23 yards down sideline to put the New England back in front 20-13 midway through the third quarter. 

A Pierre Strong three-yard touchdown run extended the margin to 27-13. Fans streamed towards the exits on the ensuing Arizona possession following an 11-yard sack of McCoy on third-and-long. 

If Murray is out for an extended period of time, as it appears he will be, Kingsbury is confident McCoy can run the offense full-time moving forward.

“He’s ready,” he explained. “There’s no doubt. I think he’s got a great feel for the system.”

Arizona will look to end their three-game losing streak when they travel to Denver to play the Broncos on Sunday.