Let’s just go ahead and pump the brakes on celebrating last night’s Royal Rumble between the Patriots and the Cardinals too much. Sure, a win is a win is a win, but geez, a botched field goal that probably would have put the game away for Arizona isn’t exactly a decisive victory.
So while everyone in New England is waking up this morning thinking "Dang, I’m glad I stayed up late for that!", Cardinals GM Steve Keim and Bruce Arians had some pretty harsh words for Arizona’s performance today.
"You wake up Monday morning with a loss. You're angry, disappointed, embarrassed, and that's the way we should all feel," Keim said on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. "Just didn't get it done, and a lot of reasons why we didn't get it done. And that needs to improve. That's certainly unacceptable."
Despite having all summer to get ready, head coach Bruce Arians was understandably ticked off about his team’s preparation (or lack thereof):
"We were obviously not ready to play. They outplayed us and we will learn from it and grow from it and continue."
"There’s a long way to go and regroup and see if we can win the next one."
Keim went on to say that the Cards’ special teams were "disappointing in every area", Arizona’s third-down defense was "very frustrating", and that the passing game was "out of sync" and Carson Palmer and the Cardinals stud receivers "were not on the same page".
He also wasn’t happy with his defense and not being able to get pressure on Jimmy Garoppolo:
"We knew it would be hard to get to Garoppolo because most of it would be a three-step drop and he would get the ball out of his hands, but the cushion that we played with, the isolations that they got with some of their inside slot receivers on safeties and the lack of leverage and the inability to tackle in space, those were all extremely disappointing and a major reason why we were 10-of-16."
When asked if Sunday’s loss was a "good loss", Keim was short and to the point.
"Not when you’re playing a backup quarterback and they’re missing some playmakers and it’s a game at home. Our mindset is you cannot lose those games in front of our crowd."
His last comments were frustrated and optimistic at the same time:
"We got to regroup. It’s the-sky-is-falling Monday, and that’s the feel that all of us should have and use that as a chip on our shoulder to make sure it doesn’t happen again."
If you’ve seen the "All or Nothing" documentary series about the Cardinals’ 2015 season, where they got agonizingly close to the Super Bowl and then blew it against the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship, you’ll remember that Steve Keim and Bruce Arians are both straight-to-the-point, tough-love, no-BS guys that aren’t shy about handing out criticism where it’s due. Arians also has the most outstanding foul mouth this side of a Quentin Tarantino movie, so this actually is somewhat tame!
(By his standards, anyway).
New England comes home for a showdown with the Miami Dolphins, who played Seattle tight until the last minute on Sunday, while Arizona is hoping to get the bad taste of defeat out of their mouths next week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.