LA Rams: DeAndre Hopkins headlines a litany of NFC West woes

Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News DeAndre Hopkins Kyler Murray
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Cards are stacked … against the cards?

The Arizona Cardinals were the talk of the NFC West in 2021. They landed veteran pass rusher J.J. Watt, traded for former Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins in 2020, signed veteran wide receiver A.J. Green in 2021, and then traded for Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz.

Everyone loved their roster moves and predicted them to not only win the NFC West but to compete in Super Bowl LVI. It all seemed to be going their way as they rocketed to a 7-0 record and then to 10-2 to open December 2021. But as has been the case for these Cardinals, the wheels fell off. They lost four of their last five games, starting with a loss to the severely outmanned LA Rams by a score of 30-23.

They met the Rams once more in the Wildcard Round of the NFL Playoffs and were beaten handily by the Rams by a score of 34-11. That thrashing was so thorough, that starting QB Kyler Murray reportedly refused to take the football field with his teammates to finish the game. That was just the tip of the iceberg apparently.

Summing it all up, Kyler Murray wants a new contract. The Arizona Cardinals picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie deal, which Murray has sworn not to show up under. The Cardinals lost a very effective WR Christian Kirk to free agency (a Jacksonville Jaguars signing that blew the lid off the FMV of veteran wide receivers).

And then things got interesting…