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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Jess Root

What we learned in Cardinals’ 19-16 OT loss to Buccaneers

The Arizona Cardinals lost for the fifth straight game and for the seventh time in their last eight Sunday night at State Farm Stadium. They fell 19-16 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in overtime.

They are now 4-11 on the season and have fallen to last place in the NFC West.

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Trace McSorley started for the Cardinals, making his first start in the NFL.

But in the end, it was the Buccaneers led by quarterback Tom Brady, who erased a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit, forced overtime and then won it.

What can we take away from this week’s loss?

Listen to the latest from Cards Wire’s Jess Root on his podcast, Rise Up, See Red. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Spotify.

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The team is still playing hard

The Cardinals weren’t good overall, but in a lost season, it is good to see that the effort is still there.

The defense held the Bucs for more than three quarters.

They have not given up and are still playing hard, seeking wins.

Greg Dortch continues to make plays in opportunities

Joe Rondone-Arizona Republic

Dortch had only gotten 10 offensive snaps in the last two weeks, but his number was called a lot on Sunday. He was one of the good things from the game as he led the team with 10 receptions for 98 yards. He also three rushes for 25 yards, giving him 123 total yards from scrimmage.

While he seems to make plays every time he is given the chance to do so, coach Kliff Kingsbury does not lament getting him more playing time.

James Conner was the other bright spot

Joe Rondone-Arizona Republic

Conner continues his strong run at the end of the season. He averaged 5.3 yards per attempt for 79 yards and a touchdown on the ground. He added seven catches for 41 yards, giving him 120 total yards from scrimmage.

Dortch and Conner combined for 243 of the Cardinals’ 325 yards of offense.

Trace McSorley wasn't good but he wasn't horrible

Joe Rondone-Arizona Republic

McSorley made his first NFL start and did not do well but he also played well enough to keep the Cardinals in the game.

He completed 24-of-45 passes for 217 yards and an interception.

Two of the three turnovers the Cardinals had, he took the blame for. He had the ball stripped in the first quarter when the Cardinals were in field-goal range.

Keaontay Ingram’s fourth-quarter fumble was the result of a pitch that McSorley said he didn’t get enough ahead of him.

The defense was good again until it wasn't

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona defense has been great early in games and has fallen apart in the second half. They allowed 20 unanswered points to the Patriots in a 27-13 loss. They allowed 21 unanswered last week in a 24-15 loss to the Broncos.

For three quarters, they held the Buccaneers to only six points.

But with a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, they allowed 10 points in regulation and then the Bucs’ game-winning drive in overtime, a total of 13 unanswered points when they had the lead.

Marco Wilson picked off the GOAT twice

Joe Rondone-Arizona Republic

Wilson had two interceptions in the game. Both were big. One game nearly at the goalline and the other set up the Cardinals’ final three points of the game.

Injuries to watch

Wilson left the game holding his wrist. Kingsbury said he believed it was a stinger.

Safety Jalen Thompson was banged up late in the game.

After the game, center Billy Price was in the locker room with vice on his right knee and long snapper Aaron Brewer left with his shoulder or chest area iced.

Moving down in the standings, up in the draft

While it stinks to see the team lose, it was helpful for their offseason work. They fell into last place in the NFC West as the Rams won their game against the Broncos.

By so doing, the Cardinals will move up in the NFL draft. They would have the fourth overall pick in the draft if the season ended today.

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