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Kyler Murray: 'Nothing Crazy' Needed For Cardinals To Return To Winning Ways

Quarterback frustrated with 'dramatic statements' about team's troubles

Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray throws a pass on Christmas against the Colts.
Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray throws a pass on Christmas against the Colts.

The Cardinals are not a bad team, and Kyler Murray has grown tired of people believing they are.

The losing isn't OK, the quarterback acknowledges. But "I don't buy into the whole 'cloud over us, we're trying to get to the playoffs,' " Murray said Wednesday.

"The guys, mentality-wise, we were already there. We already knew we were going to be in the playoffs," Murray added. "It was more about executing in the game that we're in. Nobody has been looking forward to the playoffs or anything like that. I just think we've got to execute, and we've got to be better. Individually, everybody has got to be better.

"People are making dramatic statements and all that stuff about the team. There's nothing crazy that needs to be done. It's just everybody has got to do their job. Everybody has got to be a little bit better. Stop turning the ball over, stop making mistakes, penalties, and stuff like that and we'll be fine."

The Cardinals made some mistakes earlier in the season, but few noticed because the team was winning, Murray said. It's easier to point them out after losses.

"There are tons of people out there who don't have a clue what they're talking about," Murray said. "When you win all that stuff gets swept under the rug. It's like I said last year, we were winning, and we were still doing some of those same things and then we started losing and everybody started pointing them out and everybody is talking bad about us. It's the same this year.

"You've got to do the little things right, no matter what you're doing in life. People don't have a clue but if you watch the film and you know what you're looking we're not far off."

The Cardinals have lost three in a row, and it is indisputable the team hasn't played as well. The offense, in particular, has been unable to put up big point totals like they had earlier in the season – the Cards have averaged just 17 points a game the last three weeks.

Murray's statistics have dipped. After leading the NFL in passer rating (over 110.0) and completion percentage (over 70) the majority of the season, Murray has been at 76.8 and 61.7 percent the last three games, with two touchdown passes and three interceptions.

Murray has been "trusting the process," coach Kliff Kingsbury said, noting that it isn't just Murray but the whole offense that has been off.

"That's how you get out of these slumps. We know we are a very good offense when we can play clean and be efficient. We just have to get back in rhythm."

The rhythm isn't just about completions or yards. It's about penalties derailing drives, something the Cardinals had been good about early in the season but have slipped back into 2020 habits. It's about making the fundamental play, like snaps that – while not lost for a turnover – screw up a drive.

(On the season, the Cardinals have only lost three fumbles but have fumbled the ball 28 times, many poorly handled in the backfield at the start of a play.)

"We are moving the ball. It's not an issue," Murray said. "We've just got to put the ball in the end zone and stop kicking field goals."

Murray hopes that starts in Dallas, where Murray is from, in a building (AT&T Stadium) in which Murray has never lost in high school, college or the pros.

"It's the NFL, you lose when you don't do things right," Murray said. "If you make it hard on yourself, it doesn't matter who you're playing, you're going to get beat. When you're playing well, and it feels like everything is going right for you, that's just what happens.

"Me personally, I'm not panicking. I don't think anybody on this team is panicking. Yes, we've lost three in a row. The Rams lost three in a row, everybody was counting them out, the Chiefs. It's not a thing where it doesn't happen. This is the NFL, it's not easy. When you do things right and you don't hurt yourself, you don't beat yourself, I like us in those situations."

Images from Wednesday's practice in Tempe.

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