Crash and Burn: Cardinals Season Ends in Loss to Rams

Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

2015 was the last time the Arizona Cardinals made the playoffs. It was sooooooo long ago, and the drought will now only continue after Sunday’s 18-7 loss to the Rams. 

C.J Beathard (49ers) and John Wolford (Rams) were the starting quarterbacks that ended the Arizona Cardinals 2020 season. Yep, from 6-3, to missing the playoffs. Awful. There’s no way that this collection of players should’ve crashed and burned as we saw in the second half of the season. How did this collapse happen? 

Was it Deandre Hopkins rant about not needing practice two weeks ago that didn’t sit well with some? How about Hopkins inability to manage his emotions with a silly penalty in Sunday’s loss. Was not enough made of the early season losses to bad teams like Detroit and Carolina? Was there too much made of the Hail Murray vs Buffalo (um, YES). Give me the most complete game by the Cardinals in 2020 and I’d probably go with the win at Dallas, which was against a bad Cowboys team. Sure, there were flashes, but very few games in 2020 were clean efforts.

In a must-win game, why didn’t Brett Hundley get the call at quarterback after Kyler Murray was hurt? Remember Seattle last year? Hundley had been there, Chris Streveler has not.

Was this the end of the Larry Fitzgerald era? I think that’s another conversation for another day. He’ll let it out on his time and his terms. 

The bigger question that can’t be swept under the rug is why did this team underachieve? It falls on the coach, but I’d be surprised if the owner pulls the rip cord. But the bloom is off the rose for Kliff Kingsbury and yet another year of missing the playoffs.