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Kyler's Difficult Ending, Zach Allen's future, And Patriots Aftermath

Well, Hard Knocks has their main storyline, as difficult as it may be for the Cardinals.

I've seen far too many ACL injuries in my career – they are unavoidable – and far too many that are easy to spot. One of the best seniors on my son's high school basketball team had the non-contact tear and as soon as he went down, you just knew. (But Anthony, you eventually made it back.)

That was what it looked like for Kyler Murray Monday. You have to wait for all the tests and once in a while, there is a miracle. But that's not where this is trending, not with the reports or Kliff Kingsbury's reaction or even the way Murray left the field, eerily reminiscent of Carson Palmer's cart ride off the field when he tore his ACL in 2014.

Whenever Murray has missed games, he's talked about how much he loves the game and how much it guts him when he can't play. And it's genuine. This, when he probably won't be able to do anything for a good long while for the first time in his life, is going to be life-changing.

In the meantime, the Cardinals have four games left to play. They've got to get Colt McCoy set up, although McCoy would be the least of my concerns. Some of those sloppy penalties? Got to get rid of those. Keeping guys upright will also be important. Three of the last four are on the road too.

McCoy bulling his way for a first down on a fourth-and-3 scramble late showed why he's a great guy to have in this position. The way he spoke after the game, he's not going to let the Cardinals just float through the rest of the season. He can't control everything, but even at 4-9 this means something to him. You can hear it in his voice.

Meanwhile, Kyler has a different journey in front of him. The Cardinals have to wait to see what guy comes out on the other side.

-- Zach Allen got another sack Monday, and then he got hurt. We don't know what it might mean yet and was certainly overshadowed by Murray's injury, but Allen is having an excellent year and is also a free agent to be and now the end of his season is up in the air. The Cardinals' defense definitely took a step back when Allen went out early in the second half.

-- Kingsbury said his decision to pass on a 50-yard field goal at the end of the first half had nothing to do with Matt Prater missing a 50-yard field goal earlier in the game. The Cardinals went for it on fourth-and-2 at the New England 32, and McCoy's pass to an open Trey McBride was barely tipped away for an incompletion.

Instead of the Cardinals potentially building a 16-7 lead, the Patriots were able to get into field goal range in 30 seconds and kick their own field goal to cut the halftime lead to 13-10.

"I liked the play call we had," Kingsbury said. "I thought we had a shot at it, and unfortunately they got a hand on it, but Matt's been a clutch kicker in this league for a long time. So that was just a decision based on the play call."

-- According to ESPN, Mac Jones threw 12 screens Monday, the most of his career. So Vance Joseph wasn't wrong. (Although it was good to see Joseph and Patriots defensive OC Matt Patricia talk after the game.)

-- Linebacker Zaven Collins has had two big turnovers taken away in two straight games. They were close calls, but they also would've been game-changers if they had stood so that's rough.

-- Kingsbury challenged a play early in the game – a pass to DeVante Parker that was called a completion, looked like a fumble, and upon review was called a catch – and it was only the second time Kingsbury had challenged all season. He also challenged on "Thursday Night Football" thinking Saints receiver Kevin White had stepped out of bounds on a 64-yard catch-and-run. Kingsbury lost that challenge too.

-- The Cardinals took more deep shots Monday. Not sure if that was going to be the plan had Murray stayed in the lineup, but there were chances down the field on shots to Hollywood Brown and DeAndre Hopkins. One Brown try drew a 39-yard penalty, although another chance misfired when McCoy was hit as he threw and the ball floated well short for an interception.

-- Robbie Anderson actually made some plays, including a pretty incredible one-handed grab for 21 yards. That was good to see.

-- McBride, who has had a rough rookie season, made the play of his year when he somehow held on to a 15-yard catch while being absolutely blasted by defensive back Marcus Jones.

That's it for tonight. It's been a long one.

DE Zach Allen
DE Zach Allen