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What We Learned from the Cardinals second straight loss

Arizona Cardinals v New England Patriots Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images

I’m running out of ways to reiterate on the continued growing pains of this team. If I told you Cam Newton would be held to just 9 completions with 2 picks and less than 90 passing yards, well, we should be rolling out the victory drinks, no?

We’re ever further away from the highs of what looked like a top caliber offense led by a dark horse MVP. Instead, we’ve settled into a team that is consistently shooting themselves in the foot. Be it leading the league in penalties, a deficiency in personnel talent, and a head coach and quarterback - that while briefly making us forget - are still learning.

You wanted Isaiah Simmons, you got him.

On the heels of a breakout performance, the rookie came back down to earth. Two big penalties spelled a rough day at the office, the latter of which gave New England crucial yards with less than a minute left for their final drive. It isn’t the end of the world, but at this point in the year the offseason excuses don’t hold up. (Not that they ever did, as there are rookies that didn’t get slowed down by the weird offseason.) You’d like to see more steady improvement.

Conservative decisions continue to plague Kingsbury.

It’s beginning to feel like deja vu. You might think this an odd point to make in a game were two 4th down attempts were made, but once again settling for the late in the game put the team in a rough spot.

Like with Simmons, it’s not damning. Kingsbury is only in his second year and has shown improvement. Though the conservative decision making is a concerning holdover from last year, we can only hope this is a learning point.

Defense keeps up end of bargain.

With as much flak as Vance Joseph seems to get, it’s easy to forget that his side of the ball has mostly helped up their end of the bargain - and this week was no exception, albeit eased by some injuries to an already questionable offense - especially considering they’ve long been without their best player, have withstood a litany of injuries and an overall disproportionate investing in premium/non-premium positions.

The Cardinals now hover above .500 as things are tightening up with an upcoming division battle, the first of three in the final six games of the season.