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Cardinals lose again: 3 takeaways from Vikings game

The Cardinals showed some fight in week 8 but came up short once again against the Vikings. Let’s dive straight in to our 3 main takeaways from the game

This Cardinals team are fighters

This needs to be recognised even as the Cardinals drop to 3-5. This was a game that could’ve got very ugly early as the Vikings stormed into a 14-3 lead and it looked like the defence wouldn’t stop them all day.

But this team did not quit, fighting back to actually lead 17-14 in the third quarter. Yes it was brief, and they were 28-17 down less than five minutes later, but again they fought back to 26-28. Before eventually coming up short again.

But if anyone was doubting whether Kliff Kingsbury had lost this team, or Vance Joseph had lost the defence those doubts were summarily dismissed with this performance. It’s a moral victory that hopefully will lead to a turnaround sometime soon.

Kyler Murray is pressing, in a very bad way

Kyler Murray hard arguably his best game of the season on Sunday. 326 yards 70.5% completions and 36 yards rushing. But what was also apparent was that he has lost some of the discipline that was starting to show last season.

It was epitomised in one moment. After Murray had brought the Cardinals back from 14-3 down to lead 17-14 the Vikings drove down the field to retake the lead 21-17. Not a disaster. But when Kyler Murray came out onto the field it was like he felt the need to try and win the game on that play.

Yes he was hit on his release, but there was a simple outlet pass available. Instead Murray heaved the ball 30-yards down the field. Unfortunately the receiver was 50-yards down field and it was an easy pick. The Vikings scored quickly after that.

Discipline and understanding what a defence is giving you are the basics, and in year four I expected better of Murray. Clearly the Cardinals record is a factor here as the pressure mounts. But this kind of decision is unacceptable.

DHop changes the Cardinals offence

During the six game suspension of DeAndre Hopkins it was clear that Kyler Murray missed his number one target. But what was also clear was the impact he has on the other receivers. His ability to command double teams, and draw focus of defenders opens up the game for the other receivers as well.

With Hopkins back, Murray’s yards per attempt jumped a whole 1.3 yards on his season average. The offence also produced only it’s second 300-yard passing game of the season, and it was only the second time Murray has completed over 70% of his passes.

With Hopkins in the lineup the Cardinals offence looks all-round better.

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