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Cardinals Won't Rule Out Postseason Until They Must

Monday night against Patriots remains important to both teams

Wide receiver Hollywood Brown makes a catch during practice last week preparing for the Patriots.
Wide receiver Hollywood Brown makes a catch during practice last week preparing for the Patriots.

Kyler Murray had his first taste of postseason action last season and is still trying to envision ways to return for a second experience.

"There's tons of scenarios that might have to take place," Murray admitted.

The Cardinals (4-8) will need to win their remaining five games on the schedule, but the quarterback emphasized the team has a one-week-at-a-time mindset, starting with the New England Patriots (6-6) on "Monday Night Football" at State Farm Stadium.

"The focus is on us, the team, and to win," Murray said. "We understand what's at stake with the rest of the season. We have to keep the main thing the main thing."

Like the Cardinals, the Patriots can't afford to lose the Week 14 matchup as the AFC East team continues to fight for a playoff spot. In the current AFC postseason picture, they are outside looking in behind the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets, their division rivals.

Reeling from two consecutive losses, the Patriots' offense has struggled this season behind inconsistent quarterback play from Mac Jones. But the defense is legit, ranking top-10 in fewest yards allowed (311.8) and points surrendered (18.8). They also have legendary head coach Bill Belichick.

"It's just an honor to go against him and try to match with him at times," Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "He knows so much about football, he's coached every position, and is the best to ever do it."

The Cardinals enter the matchup with consecutive losses, but they hope their bye last week will have them fresh and rejuvenated, heading into a vital late-season stretch.

Like Murray, safety Budda Baker knows any postseason hopes depend on things falling their way the rest of the season. But it starts with another must-win scenario against the Patriots.

"We preached recovery as we were away from football to be with our families," Baker said. "It's been a week, so guys are excited to be back together and for five opportunities ahead of us. And see where the chips fall from there."