TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim didn’t mince his words when discussing his team’s performance in their 23-21 loss to a back-up-quarterback-led New England Patriots on Sunday night.
“You wake up Monday morning with a loss. You’re angry, disappointed, embarrassed, and that’s the way we should all feel,” Keim said on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “Just didn’t get it done, and a lot of reasons why we didn’t get it done. And that needs to improve. That’s certainly unacceptable.”
After the game Sunday night, coach Bruce Arians didn’t think his team was prepared well enough.
“We were obviously not ready to play,” Arians said during his postgame press conference. “They outplayed us and we will learn from it and grow from it and continue.
“There’s a long way to go and regroup and see if we can win the next one.”
Keim criticized all three phases of the Cardinals’ performance at University of Phoenix Stadium, citing an overall lack of execution. He called Arizona’s special teams “very disappointing in every area,” its third-down defense “very frustrating” and saying the passing game was “out of sync” in the first half when quarterback Carson Palmer and his receivers “were not on the same page.”
Kicker Chandler Catanzaro missed a game-winning kick with 41 seconds left after a rookie long snapper Kameron Canaday snapped it low. Arizona’s offense never began a drive past their own 25-yard-line when receiving a kickoff from the Patriots on Sunday night.
The Cardinals’ defense failed to stop New England on 10-of-16 third downs, and had trouble defending back-up quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo despite knowing what was coming. Keim said Arizona felt “pretty strongly” about the defensive plan Arizona had in place but the Cardinals “just didn’t execute.”
Keim also blamed poor tackling for allowing what should’ve been a short gain on third-and-manageable to turn into a first down.
“We knew it would be hard to get to Garoppolo because most of it would be a three-step drop and he would get the ball out of his hands but the cushion that we played with, the isolations that they got with some of their inside slot receivers on safeties and the lack of leverage and the inability to tackle in space, those were all extremely disappointing and a major reason why we were 10-of-16,” Keim said.
Keim said Monday morning he doesn’t believe in good losses.
“Not when you’re playing a back-up quarterback and they’re missing some playmakers and it’s a game at home,” he said. “Our mindset is you cannot lose those games in front of our crowd.”
Keim said he will bring in players to tryout for the Cardinals on Tuesday – something he didn’t do last week -but wouldn’t specify at which positions.
While the Cardinals’ opening-game loss – and their performance – has caused a panic nationally among those who picked them to play in and win Super Bowl LI, Keim hasn’t levied that type of hype on his own team. He said he’s been focused on building a “talented group.” He noted that when the Cardinals’ roster doesn’t play to its level, “then we’re going to have disappointment, and that’s certainly what happened last night.”
“We got to regroup,” Keim said. “It’s the-sky-is-falling Monday and that’s the feel that all of us should have and use that as a chip on our shoulder to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“It’s that one thing that we have to do is continue to go out and execute and make sure that something like last night doesn’t happen again.”