3 studs (and 2 duds) in Arizona Cardinals Week 11 loss to Houston

The Arizona Cardinals loss to the Houston Texans came via a pedestrian effort from their offense while the defense held rather well.
Nov 19, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Marquise Brown (2) runs with the
Nov 19, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Marquise Brown (2) runs with the / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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The Arizona Cardinals offense didn’t have enough in the tank to steal a win from the Houston Texans in Week 11, and one reason is that some of their players just didn’t have a great game. Kyler Murray wasn’t the same quarterback that he was in the Cardinals Week 10 win, and his performance, though solid, helped contribute to the loss with too many bad passes. 

However, Murray was no dud in his second game back, and he still gets a free pass since it was his first road game in a while. But, he must step it up for the following roadie when the Cards fly into Pittsburgh in less than two weeks. 

Two players on this list put up pitiful performances, and they are both running out of chances with the Redbirds. A trio, however, fared well, and we will recognize them below. We also talked about quite a few players yesterday, like Marco Wilson, Leki Fotu, and Greg Dortch, so they will not be included on the list. 

Jalen Thompson
Nov 19, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Steven Sims (82) stiff arms Arizona / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

3 studs and 2 duds in the Arizona Cardinals most recent loss

Stud: Jalen Thompson

Jalen Thompson enjoyed an under-the-radar performance this past Sunday, snagging eight total tackles, which also happened to be solo tackles. He also had one sack, a tackle for loss, a deflection, an interception, and a quarterback hit, solidifying what was an epic performance from a safety who spent the earlier portion of the season battling a hamstring issue. 

In nine games this season, Thompson is once again putting up Pro Bowl-caliber numbers, with two interceptions, 35 return yards, one sack, two quarterback hits, and four tackles for loss. Thompson, despite being part of the Keim regime, is just 25 and has more than earned a spot under Monti Ossenfort. 

Dud: Josh Woods

Josh Woods will get the first call to step up in Kyzir White’s absence as the primary inside linebacker, and so far, he’s been marginal. While Woods posted seven tackles (six solo), they are almost always between four and five yards downfield, and that won’t get it done long-term. 

Woods’ performances all season have been rather pedestrian, as he has just one tackle behind the line, one quarterback hit, and a half-sack in eight games played, despite seeing the field in 388 snaps on defense so far in 2023.