Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Justin Pugh passionately defended kicker Matt Ammendola after the team’s 20-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Ammendola missed the potential game-tying kick in the final seconds of the game. He had nailed a 20-yard field goal in the second quarter to cut the team’s deficit to just four points.
Arizona Cardinals offensive guard Justin Pugh during the Los Angeles Rams game on Oct. 3, 2021, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
(Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Pugh, who is in his 10th season in the NFL and fifth with the Cardinals, wasn’t about to let Ammendola get bombarded with criticism as the team fell to 2-3 on the year. He addressed the media with Ammendola standing next to him at his locker.
“It’s not one f—ing guy. Everyone’s waiting around on one f—ing guy to come back here? This ain’t f—ing ain’t right. It’s not right. It’s not one f—ing guy,” Pugh told the media scrum in the locker room.
He then turned to Ammendola and said, “So just keep your f—ing head up.”
Matt Ammendola of the Cardinals celebrates with teammates after an extra point during the Philadelphia Eagles game at State Farm Stadium on Oct. 9, 2022, in Glendale, Arizona.
(Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Pugh is right. It’s “not one f—ing guy.” It’s a team of guys that have led to a stagnant offense in a division that seems to be up for grabs.
Arizona was a top 10 offense in 2021 with Deandre Hopkins in the lineup but without him they look like this – 18th in points scored and 15th in yards gained. Kyler Murray has been sacked seven times and has three interceptions to his name with six passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns to his credit.
Ammendola’s struggles have been documented this season.
He was elevated to the Kansas City Chiefs’ 53-man roster after Harrison Butker went down with an injury. But a missed extra point and missed game-tying 34-yard field goal against the Indianapolis Colts in a 20-17 defeat earlier this season led to his release. He was cut by the New York Jets in 2021 for similar reasons.
Matt Ammendola of the Cardinals reacts after missing a game-tying field goal against the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 9, 2022, in Glendale, Arizona.
(Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Arizona’s offense may ignite next week as they hit the road to play the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks are 31st in points allowed and 32nd in yards allowed. It will be chance to get an important divisional win.