That is now six straight losses as this young iteration of the Arizona Cardinals struggles to find their way.
You’ve probably heard this one before. Despite a struggling offense coming to town with key pieces missing, WR1 and RB1 JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner among them, the Cardinal’s defense yet again struggles to take advantage.
Of course it’s hard for any defense to keep the score within a winnable margin when your offense struggles to sustain drives and turns the ball over multiple times. That’s not to shift any blame though as the unit struggled to find any semblance of coverage or a consistent pass rush. The tight end nightmare did take a brief break today, though mostly on account of a banged up Steeler’s group.
The bad days at the office for Kyler Murray are starting to mount up, as he’s had his two worst games of the year back to back. His luck with intercept-able passes not costing him last week didn’t hold up against the league leader in takeaways, with Joe Haden breaking on a route that was stared down and T.J. Watt picked off a throw that can only be summed up as a rookie mistake when Murray put it into a congested end zone.
However all was not dour for the rookie as he shined on a few occasions including an absolute dime of a touchdown pass to David Johnson, showcasing a connection that makes one wonder why it isn’t used more.
Unfortunately that shine wore off in the final minutes of the game, as a bad sack followed up with a fumble after mishandling the ball to go with another sack sapped chances to tie things up.
The run game offered little to no respite from a dreary passing attack, as the running backs combined only mustered 65 rushing yards on 15 attempts.
Some questionable decision making was made on the part of the Steeler’s coaching staff, one being a fake punt in their own territory that was promptly fumbled and eventually led to the aforementioned David Johnson score.
Ultimately that mistake did not cost the Steelers as they closed things out at State Farm Stadium.
A combination of youth, personnel woes and coaching issues continue to mount up, and one wonders when, if at all another win is coming this season.
One can only hope the more addressable issues are remedied with serious effort in the offseason and an aggressive approach is taken to make the most of Murray’s rookie deal.