Road Warriors: Cardinals Blow Past Bears for 10th Win

Matthew JohnsonDecember 6, 2021
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The weather was sloppy cold, wet and windy. The Arizona Cardinals’ opponent was sloppier.  

Cardinals defenders Jalen Thompson, Budda Baker, Byron Murphy and Zach Allen all intercepted passes  from Chicago quarterback Andy Dalton on Sunday to lead the charge in a 33-22 victory. Each of those picks put the Cardinals offense inside the Bears 30-yard line and combined led to 23 points. 

On offense, the team welcomed the return of quarterback Kyler Murray and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Both missed the entire month of November with injuries and they kicked down the door to announce their arrival on the very first Cardinals offensive possession. Following the first interception of the game, the Cardinals faced a 4th and 2 from the 20 and decided to go for it with a fade pass from Murray to Hopkins for the game’s first score. It was quite the gamble that paid off and a big puff-your-chest-out moment for head coach Kliff Kingsbury. 

Murray was able to drop back, scramble and run like he’s accustomed to and showed no signs of the high ankle sprain that shelved him the previous three games. An 11 of 15 passing day for 123 yards wasn’t all that impressive, but he did not turn the ball over and he ran 10 times for 59 yards, including two touchdown runs. It was a mix of old Kyler and new Kyler all wrapped up into the complete version of the Cardinals superstar franchise quarterback. 

Physically, the Cardinals were the more dominant team in the cold, wet and windy conditions at Soldier Field on Sunday. Workhorse running back James Conner ran over and through Bears defenders 20 times for 75 yards and had one of the more spectacular one-handed touchdown receptions you’ll see from a big back. 

On defense, despite getting dominated by the Bears offensive line for most of the game, the Cardinals were able to force Dalton into multiple mistakes and took advantage of sloppy Bears receivers. Three of Dalton’s four interceptions were the result of dropped or tipped passes, including perhaps the biggest gamechanging play when Bears tight end Cole Kmet saw a red zone catch slip out of his grasp and pop into the hands of Budda Baker, who came oh so close to the long picksix. 

With the win, the Cardinals improve to 10-2 on the season and continue to assert themselves as the best team in the NFL. Arizona maintains a hold of the top seed in the NFC and a two-game lead over the L.A. Rams in the NFC West. The Cardinals host the Rams next Monday night. 

The victory at Chicago also keeps the Cardinals unbeaten on the road this season (7-0) and all seven wins have been by double digits.  

It’s truly stunning how good this Arizona team has played on the road and now they have to find that same magic playing at home the rest of the way. There are three home games (Rams, Colts, Seahawks)  and two road games (Lions, Cowboys) left before the playoffs. There will be no more inclement weather to worry about because all five of those games are in dome stadiums.  

It’s time to start playing well indoors because the path to the Super Bowl has a roof over it for the Arizona Cardinals.