The funny thing was, after 30 points and 438 total yards, there was still some frustration, good-natured as it might be after a win.
“We’re not as sharp as we’d like to be,” Kingsbury said, again noting the penalties.
“We left a lot out there,” Murray said. “I think it’s pretty evident to see.”
Added Hopkins, “we’ve got a very high ceiling. … For us to be able to put up 30 points against a good NFL defense is pretty good, but there’s a lot of room left for us to improve.”
If the defense can continue its upswing, the offense has some room for error. The first half shutout was the first time the Cards did that since blanking the Giants in the home finale in 2017. While the WFT did score late, it proved moot (and the Cards also stopped two two-point conversions, dulling some of the Washington hope.)
“We understood we were going against a confident team that came back from 17-0 last week,” Campbell said. “They weren’t going to give up. And I think we took care of business.”
Campbell was a star, with a team-high 10 tackles, two for loss, and two passes defended as he continues to show why he was an important free-agent signing (and why rookie Isaiah Simmons might have trouble getting on the field early in the season.)
Kingsbury acknowledged the team had a lull after halftime, noting the lack of fans made a difference. He added that coaches and players were “going through the motions.”
But with a 20-3 lead, the Cardinals figured out enough, marching on a 12-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that ended on second-and-20 at the Washington 21, when Murray made mincemeat out of the defense as he found the end zone and ended the game, essentially.
“Kyler is definitely a special guy with the ball in his hands,” said Hopkins, who had eight catches for another 68 yards.
That’s what the Lions must deal with next week when they visit State Farm Stadium – and it’s hard not to see that the next three opponents on the Cards’ schedule (including the Panthers and Jets on the road) are a combined 0-6.
Those teams will be looking at a Cardinals’ offense in progress. And a quarterback that can provide the thrill of the run game. At least for most people.
“I’m always just saying, ‘Get down, get down, get down,’ ” Kingsbury said. “I can’t even enjoy it, honestly.”