Arizona Cardinals: GM Steve Keim Tears Into Cards, Patriots After Heartbreaking Loss

If the Arizona Cardinals want to take any solace or positives from their loss on Sunday night to the New England Patriots, it’s that two teams since 2010, the 2011 New York Giants and 2014 New England Patriots, opened up their season with a loss and then went on to win a Super Bowl. But, with the development the Cardinals organization has undergone these past few years, the time of looking at small positives is likely long gone.

For the first time since Bruce Arians’ rookie year in 2013, the Arizona Cardinals began their season 0-1 after a heartbreaking, last minute 23-21 loss to the Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski-less New England Patriots. Despite a clean game from veteran quarterback Carson Palmer in his first meaningful action since last year’s turnover fest in the NFC Championship Game, and a two touchdown performance from veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals’ hopes of a win evaporated with kicker Chandler Catanzaro’s missed kick from 47 yards out in the final seconds.

Catanzaro, an undrafted kicker in the 2014 NFL Draft who had made 89.1 of field goals in his first two seasons, made no excuses for his performance after the game (via ESPN and the Associated Press).

“Just an old-fashioned miss. I’ll make the next one.”

Though some teams may take some satisfaction in hanging with a team like the Patriots, who are always dangerous, even without Brady and Gronkowski, the Arizona Cardinals are no such team. In a Monday morning appearance on Arizona Sports 98.7’s “Doug and Wolf” show, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim absolutely lost his cool when asked if there was such as a thing as a ‘good loss.’

“Not when you are playing a backup quarterback missing some playmakers, and it’s a home game. You wake up Monday morning angry, disappointed, embarrassed and that’s the way we all should feel…. I know we have a talented bunch, yet at the same time if they don’t play to their level, we’re going to have disappointment. The sky is failing Monday, that’s the feeling we should all have.”

[Photo by Ross D. Franklin/AP Images]
[Photo by Ross D. Franklin/AP Images]

Keim also had some strong words for the Cardinals’ special teams unit, which cost the team a chance at their third straight opening day win with Catanzaro’s miss and a bad hold from punter Drew Butler.

“[The special teams were] very disappointing in every area. Punting, kicking, you name it, returning. That’s certainly an area that needs improvement. It’s pretty simple. You’ve got to block and tackle and we didn’t do a good enough job.”

Head coach Bruce Arians, who last year led the Cardinals to their first postseason victory since 2009, was also blunt about his team’s performance on national television (via

“We should have won the game. As poorly as we played, we still should have won. Obviously a very disappointing loss. We didn’t really play well enough in any phase, special teams, offense or defense, to win this game, although we still had chance and didn’t execute our snap, hold, and kick.”

[AP Photo/Rick Scuteri]
[Photo by Rick Scuteri/ AP Images]

As for the missed kick, Arians was blunt in his explanation.

“It was a low snap, Drew got it down and [Catanzaro] pulled it. It starts at the top, we [were] obviously not ready to play, they outplayed us.”

The reason that the Arizona Cardinals were able to go from one of the NFL’s bottom feeders to a legitimate Super Bowl contender in seemingly no time at all has been the success of both Arians and Keim, neither of whom mince words or see any reason to say anything that’s not the truth. As seen in NFL Films’ All Or Nothing, the two have made the Cardinals’ locker room a safe haven, where players are inspired and encouraged to follow through on their goals, especially when it comes to making up for missed opportunities and learning from failures.

The Cardinals will have a chance to make up for their own missed opportunities next week against Jameis Winston and the 1-0 Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Arizona. If the Cardinals fall short again, they will be 0-2 for the first time since 2005, when the team finished 5-11 under the late Dennis Green. The last team to make the Super Bowl after an 0-2 start, for what it’s worth, was the 2007 New York Giants.

With the win, the New England Patriots are now 2-1 at the University of Phoenix Stadium, with that one loss coming in the 17-14 heartbreaker that was Super Bowl XLII. The team that beat them? Those 2007 New York Giants, of course.

[Photo by Ross D. Franklin/AP Images]