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The One That Got Away, And Dolphins Aftermath

Here was one way Kyler Murray shows his maturity. He looked like he wanted to say so much after the game Sunday, after that loss that the Cardinals shouldn't have but do. He smartly took his time to consider what he was going to say with each question. It wasn't much. But it wasn't inflammatory, even if that's how he felt like going in the moment.

Linebacker Jordan Hicks said there was "no anger or frustration," and maybe he was just thinking of himself, but it flowed out of the handful of postgame press conferences and out of DeAndre Hopkins when he took it out on a yard-line marker as the game ended. The Dolphins are better than people give them credit for, and it looks like Tua Tagovailoa has some skills. He certainly showed that "it" factor a couple of times Sunday.

But the Cardinals are back in that spot they were after the Carolina game. They need a win, they need to play smarter. Regardless of injuries and COVID losses, the defense has to find a way for more consistency (and they face a very good Bills offense and QB Josh Allen next week).

"They got it done and we didn't," coach Kliff Kingsbury said.

-- The Cardinals have to hope these injuries heal fast, especially at cornerback. I don't know what Byron Murphy's status is with COVID, nor if Dre Kirkpatrick can make it back this week, but the Bills have a better passing game than the Dolphins. (All those asking about Prince Amukamara, that he was not elevated from the practice squad and Jace Whittaker was probably says something about the depth chart.)

-- What more can you say about Murray. He was great. Yes, that last throw would've been nice to have. Yes, he has to be careful and not have that early fumble. But his throws were excellent – that bomb to Christian Kirk was a thing of beauty – and his running game was on point. He's running well enough that he's even taking some hits to get more yards (let's be smart about that, right?)

-- Speaking of quarterbacks who can move around … the Cardinals were OK on the pass rush but Tua escaped too many times. And Allen next week is really good at that, and bigger. That's a part of the game the Cardinals need to improve upon, quickly. It's not easy – Kyler proves that against every defense he sees – but it's necessary.

-- Isaiah Simmons started the game at outside linebacker, and even made tackles on each of the first two plays. But his time dwindled after that with Markus Golden playing the majority of the time across from Haason Reddick.

-- Hopkins only had three catches but drew a bunch of flags. The passing offense for the Cardinals was pretty good, save for Murray's last incompletion. D-Hop isn't going to go 10-120 every week. But I'll be curious to see how he responds to really the first game in which he didn't get a ton of opportunity. Especially when it turned out to be a loss.

-- I know Kingsbury took the blame for some bad play calls. He's going to do that when things don't work. I don't know if I have a big problem with them though (and again, if you're going to rip him as a playcaller, what about all these calls that are working?)

-- The Cardinals loaded up Chase Edmonds with Kenyan Drake out. Edmonds had 25 carries (for only 70 yards; there was little room between the tackles all night) and another three catches for 18 yards. That's 28 touches and I'm guessing he'll be sore. I would guess they'll be smart with practice all week, especially knowing Drake probably wouldn't play again next week.

-- The tight ends made an impact. Maxx Williams scored a touchdown in his first start back from injury, and the TD catch from Darrell Daniels – improbably stealing an interception from cornerback Byron Jones in the end zone – was an incredible play. It had to feel good for Daniels, who struggled in the last game against the Seahawks.

That's good for tonight.

Tight end Darrell Daniels fights for his touchdown catch against the Dolphins Sunday.
Tight end Darrell Daniels fights for his touchdown catch against the Dolphins Sunday.

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