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It must be hard putting on a good face while losing to the Detroit Lions.
Kyler Murray didn’t seem capable of it last Sunday when he completed only 56 percent of his passes — he was completing 70 percent for the season — while his team was taking a 30-12 whipping from a team that had won only once this season.
When the Cardinals hurt themselves with pre-snap penalties Murray was clearly vexed. And with favorite target DeAndre Hopkins not available because he’s out for the remainder of the regular season with a knee injury, Murray wore his frustrations openly.
“If I’ve lost it, you’ve seen it,” Murray said Wednesday. “There’s no hiding it. You’ve just got to stay composed. At that moment, you’ve got to fight the next play and try to get it back so there’s really not time for it. Maybe Josh Jones, I’ve gotten on Josh a couple times. Those were probably earlier in the season.”
The problem is former Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer thinks the face of the franchise should be putting on, well, a good face — even in tough moments.
When Cardinals broadcaster Dave Pasch asked Palmer on his podcast whether he was concerned with Arizona’s ability to correct recent issues, Palmer offered up a different concern.
“The thing that concerns me is some of the leadership deficiencies that I have seen,” Palmer said. “Some of the body language that I have seen from Kyler. When you are down in Detroit, even though you are faking it, you need to keep a rah-rah face on.
“There’s just certain things you need to do as a quarterback that he’s still young, he’s still learning, he’s still working his way through.”
Interestingly, this comes from a quarterback who got tired of putting a “rah-rah face” on his situation with the Cincinnati Bengals when they were perennially among the worst teams in the NFL.
Palmer in 2010 asked to be traded from the Bengals because he was generally exhausted with all the failure and actually retired when the trade request was denied.
Palmer was indeed eventually traded.
Murray may not be displaying the rah-rah leadership Palmer would love, but he’s not asking to go elsewhere.
Tua, Coming Off Rough Game, Faces Saints D Coming Off Great Performance
Did you notice what the New Orleans Saints did to Tom Brady last week?
They shut him out.
Well, they didn’t shut him out, but rather his entire offense. The Saints dominated in a 9-0 victory that caused Brady to have his worst game of the season in which he completed only 54 percent of his passes and posted a 57.1 quarterback.
Now the Saints, with playoff hopes hanging by a thread, play a Dolphins team which also must win to keep its slim playoff hopes alive. And against that defense that shut down Brady, the Dolphins will match up Tua Tagovailoa who is coming off a rough game.
Last week, Tagovailoa threw a couple of interceptions — including a pick six — against the New York Jets. And, yes, he recovered with a couple of touchdowns, including the game-winner with 3:47 to play.
But that was the Jets. So there is some concern about those errors.
“Those were two costly mistakes because both of those led to points and if you add them all up, that’s 10 points with the pick-six and then obviously the first interception that led to a field goal,” Tagovailoa said. “That’s something that I need to be better with as far as the turnovers and that doesn’t help us stay on track in all three phases of the game.
“You can’t change field position the way you want to. You don’t give the defense a good opportunity to have their offense go three-and-out. That was bad football. I’ve got to obviously not make those same mistakes and move on from it.”
Ben Roethlisberger Key To Keeping Up with Kansas City’s Offense
The Kansas City Chiefs have won 8 of their last 9 games and 7 in a row so it’s not surprising the Chiefs are favored against the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend.
Momentum, you see, is real and something veteran players reach for because it helps.
That’s what Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger might have been doing Wednesday when talking about his own team.
“You got to peak at the right time and I’m not saying we’re peaking or close to it, but we’re winning the close games or we’re coming back or fighting,” Roethlisberger said. “We know that there’s a little bit of life and we’ll just keep fighting.”
That can be a daunting task for the young players on the Steelers offense who will be trying to keep up with a Kansas City offense replete with playmakers who score one TD more a game than the Steelers on average.
“Even with a team like this, you say ‘okay, if you possess the ball that helps’,” Roethlisberger said, “but they can score really fast and do some amazing things. We just have to be smart and play our game … and that’s going to be the key no matter what’s happened.”
Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero