The team went on the road in Week 1 and posted a blowout win. And yes, that was last year -- when the Cardinals went to Tennessee and won by 25 points.
They absorbed the other end of that Sunday, a 23-point loss that felt worse.
It was ugly. There is no getting around that. Patrick Mahomes – whom has always been the best QB in the league to me, and that hasn't changed – did Mahomesian things, and that was part of it. But Isaiah Simmons struggled at times (which he acknowledged) and between the way Mahomes can escape trouble and short drops and yes, the lack of pass rush, he had too much time to operate.
I asked Kyler Murray if he felt pressure offensively to keep up. He said you know against a team like the Chiefs, "you're going to have to put up points." But it was always likely that the Cardinals were going to have to score a lot against many teams unless their defense outpaces expectations.
It was interesting to hear Kliff Kingsbury lament practice work – "You can't say you're going to do it on game day and not do it in practice" – and that was certainly a message sent. Then again, Murray clearly doesn't see a correlation.
"Nothing that happens during the week matters if you don't execute on Sundays," Murray said. "Everyone can say what they want about the week, the mentality, all that (expletive), it doesn't matter. You come out on Sunday and get your ass beat, that's what happened."
The gauntlet doesn't stop – a trip to Vegas next week against a desperate Raiders team, and then hosting the Rams. But I know this – the Cardinals, while they played well for two months, were not the same team by the end of the season that they were against the Titans last year. So we'll see how this one evolves.
-- For the most part, the Cardinals weren't talking about the players the Cardinals didn't have Sunday, which is good, because, as they say, no one cares. But Kingsbury noted that Cody Ford was going to start at left guard until he got hurt in practice Thursday, and all I could think about was right tackle Marcus Gilbert tearing his ACL in the Thursday before the 2019 season opener and then the Cardinals having to dramatically change things up at the last second. I don't know how Sean Harlow performed instead, but he was a guy who has played exclusively center – and needed to, with Rodney Hudson not practicing much in camp.
-- Cornerback Marco Wilson went down late in the game, but he said he was fine and I'm guessing he'll be OK. And given all the other cornerback issues, you have to hope so.
-- Speaking of cornerback, I won't be surprised if they sign a veteran this week.
-- Second-round tight end Trey McBride was a healthy scratch. Kingsbury said he is still thinking too much, and with three vets – Ertz, Williams, Anderson – the Cardinals can use on offense and special teams, it was the move the coach wanted to make.
-- That was the worst season-opening loss for the Cardinals since they went to New York in 2005 and lost by 23 to the Giants in Kurt Warner's first game with the team.
-- Greg Dortch had a big game. Andy Isabella wasn't used much. I would guess Zach Ertz will be more involved earlier in the game next week.
-- No real reason to worry about RB2 at this point. It was Eno Benjamin, but in reality, it was James Conner or bust. We will see the snap counts later, but Conner was the guy almost all the time.
One down, 16 to go. That's enough for tonight.