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Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins: 'I take full responsibility' for game-changing fumble vs. Patriots

Despite Kyler Murray exiting Monday night's game with a serious knee injury after just three plays, the Arizona Cardinals battled for a halftime lead over the New England Patriots. They were locked in a 13-13 tie deep into the third quarter. Then the entire contest flipped.

DeAndre Hopkins caught a short pass and attempted to gain extra yards, but was loose with the football, got it poked out, and Patriots linebacker Raekwon McMillan scooped up the pigskin and rushed for a touchdown that changed the tenor of the entire game. Arizona wouldn't score again in the eventual 27-13 loss.

"It's tough, obviously. The fumble hurt us more than anything and I take responsibility for it, for that," Hopkins said after the game, via the official transcript. "I think that's where everything went downhill when they got the momentum. It just seemed like it kept coming, so it's on me. I take full responsibility."

The Cardinals never recovered from the fumble. Backup Colt McCoy threw an interception on the next drive that the Patriots turned into another TD, effectively ending Arizona's chances.

"He hasn't done that much, but in that situation, he knows you've got to make sure you secure that. It just can't happen in that situation," coach Kliff Kingsbury said.

Hopkins caught a game-high seven passes for 79 yards as Arizona moved the ball well early, punting just once in the first half. But the miscues, as they have all season for Kingsbury's club, sunk them once again.

"I try to be perfect, so for me, I let myself down today," Hopkins said. "I let coach down, I let the guys down. I haven't fumbled all year so it's definitely a reminder of protecting the ball."

The loss eliminated any sliver of hope the Cardinals had in the NFC West and effectively shut out their postseason prayers -- though they're not mathematically eliminated yet. With Murray's season likely over, and questions about his availability to start 2023, it will be an interesting final month in Arizona with Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim on the hot seat heading into the offseason.

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