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Cardinals Try To Get Past Hurdle That Has Been Panthers

Sunday marks fourth time in four Kingsbury seasons the teams have played

Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray runs for a long gain during the team's last visit to Carolina in 2020.
Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray runs for a long gain during the team's last visit to Carolina in 2020.

D.J. Humphries doesn't watch much TV these days, understandably.

The left tackle knows the national talking heads are talking negatively about the Cardinals, losers of two of three games to begin this season.

The Cardinals (1-2) face the Panthers (1-2) at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday. Humphries said the team doesn't feel any pressure to even their record, though, something he usually doesn't think about anyway.

"I don't pay attention to it," Humphries said about the outside chatter. "Inside the building, we're trying to get better.

"Our focus is to win. If it weren't early in the season, I wouldn't be able to tell you our record. Like, I don't even know who we will play next week. That's just how I am; all I think about is now."

The Panthers have been without a playoff appearance in five seasons, but have still succeeded against the Cardinals in recent years.

The Cardinals have not beaten the Panthers since Week 4 in 2013 in Arizona, six games total including playoffs. The Cardinals haven't won a regular-season game in Carolina since 2002, a span of five losses

Last year, the Panthers toppled the Cardinals, 34-10, with both quarterback Kyler Murray and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins sidelined with injuries. Hopkins will miss Sunday's game with his suspension, but Murray is in place, trying to jump-start an offense that has struggled mightily in three games.

"I genuinely don't know what it is exactly as to why it's been that way since I've been here," Humphries said of the Panthers issues. "But we want to snap that because it's been going on for a while."

Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey has recently contributed to the victories against the Cardinals. McCaffrey has 37 carries for 248 yards and a touchdown in two games against the NFC West team while adding 13 catches for 101 receiving yards. McCaffrey missed practice this week with a thigh injury, but Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph is planning for him to play.

"He is a special player," Joseph said. "He's capable of making big players in the run and pass game. That makes him dangerous."

Safety Budda Baker was among the Cardinals to sit out the Week 10 matchup last year but is aware of the streak.

"Every year is a different team," Baker said. "At the end of the day, it's just another game. We're not thinking about the losing streak. It's a whole new year and a whole new team. We're just trying to get the win."

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