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Pile of Injuries Doesn't Excuse Cardinals' Humiliating Defeat

The Arizona Cardinals were missing some key pieces throughout the roster, yet that wasn't the reason why they failed to win on Sunday.

The Arizona Cardinals stumbled out of the gates with an embarrassing 44-21 defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs in the friendly walls of State Farm Stadium.

The Cardinals were witnesses to another strong game from Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who picked apart Arizona's defense to the tune of 360 passing yards and five touchdowns. 

With Antonio Hamilton and Trayvon Mullen out of commission, the Cardinals were forced to adjust defensively by mostly playing Isaiah Simmons as a nickelback and having Zaven Collins and Nick Vigil man the middle. 

Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph often sent pressure to Mahomes, but that didn't seem to phase him much.

Pass defense wasn't the only area of concern, either. Missing J.J. Watt has obvious consequences, and Arizona fans saw much of the same problems last season when it came to stopping the run. 

Chiefs running backs Jerick McKinnon (5.5 yards per carry), Isiah Pacheco (5.2) and Clyde Edwards-Helaire (6.0) all found success moving the ball when called upon. 

Offensively, excuses were short despite missing guards Justin Pugh/Cody Ford and receiver Rondale Moore on a squad that was already missing DeAndre Hopkins. 

"It's a next man up mentality, obviously you'd love to have everybody healthy and out there but that's not the situation," said Kyler Murray following the game. 

"That's not the case. So you gotta make more with what you got. The guys we had out there I'm perfectly fine with, we had more than enough, we just need to execute."

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury followed suit.

"When you lose a guy Thursday, at practice, who had potential to start who was really the backup for that position it's not great," said Kingsbury on losing Ford. The Cardinals signed former OL Max Garcia off New York's practice squad on Saturday, and he was on the active roster during Sunday's loss. 

Sean Harlow got the start at left guard. 

"But I'll have to look at the film to see how Harlow played. He's been in the offense. He's played before so i'm sure he handled his own.

"We've had some injuries obviously leading up to the game, guys that were supposed to start but that's everybody this time of year. The guys in the secondary gotta be able to play at a high level, execute at a high level."

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"When you lose some dynamic playmakers and some linemen, where you're at depth wise at corner it's not ideal, but that wasn't why we played so poorly. We just came out, got out-coached, got out-played and didn't execute like we're capable of."

Arizona would have been underdogs to Kansas City regardless of health status, yet the 12 total players on their injury report didn't exactly help their cause, either. 

It was an overall disaster start for the Cardinals, who find themselves stuck between leaning on injuries as an excuse or simply not executing very well. 

Perhaps it was both.

"We need to get some pieces back, we need some depth. All of us know we have to get a lot better," said Kingsbury.

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