Chandler Jones Shares Surprise Coaching from Cardinals QB Colt McCoy

Getty Arizona Cardinals QB Colt McCoy looks to pass against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, November 21.

The Arizona Cardinals needed a bounce-back game from Colt McCoy, and the veteran quarterback delivered — and then some.

Starting in place of injured QB Kyler Murray for the third straight game, McCoy completed 35 of 44 passes for a season-high 328 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Cardinals to a 23-13 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, November 21.

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McCoy did a little bit of everything for the Cardinals, making clutch throws on third down and at times resembling Murray with his ability to scramble and extend plays. And his contribution wasn’t limited to Arizona’s offense.

Chandler Jones says some surprise coaching from McCoy over the weekend played a role in the star pass rusher’s big game against the Seahawks.

“Colt is a leader. He’s someone that our whole team has confidence in,” said Jones, who had two sacks, three QB hits, two tackles for a loss and a forced fumble vs. the Seahawks.

That’s why when McCoy offered him some advice, Jones paid attention.

“With Colt this weekend, he saw me working on some moves, and he’s like, ‘Hey, Chandler. I kind of hesitate on telling you this, but I see you thinking. Stop thinking. Just go,’ ” Jones told reporters after the game. “He said, ‘You’re one of the best players in this league.’ He said to me, ‘Just go. Just be yourself.’ ”

That advice, while somewhat surprising, was appreciated, he said.

“I just met Colt this year,” Jones explained. “For someone to step out and have those words of encouragement to someone you know but you really don’t know, it means a lot. It just goes to show you what kind of person he is. He sees things, and he could have chosen not to say those things to me. But I took it and I definitely retained it, and it definitely showed today.”

When asked about the exchange, McCoy said he simply reminded Jones that “he’s usually the best player on the field.”

“I just appreciate how hard he works,” he said. “I just told him that he’s a closer. ‘So go get your sacks. Work on this stuff all week, but go get the quarterback. Turn your brain off and go.’ ”

Jones said he thanked McCoy for the pep talk, “because he was right.”

“I definitely admire Colt for that,” he said.

McCoy Makes the Most of 3rd Chance to Start

There was a lot to like about McCoy’s game vs. the Seahawks as the Cardinals (9-2) reclaimed the NFL’s best record and remained unbeaten (6-0) on the road this season.

Arizona also improved to 2-1 with McCoy at QB, rebounding from a lopsided 34-10 loss at home to the Carolina Panthers that saw him turn the ball over twice in the team’s worst offensive performance of the season.

“I’ve played long enough in this league to understand that those kind of games happen,” said McCoy, now in his 12th NFL season. “They’re absolutely not fun. The good teams are able to bounce back from that.”

McCoy said he wasn’t sure he’d get the chance for a bounce-back game, as Murray was close to returning from an ankle injury that has sidelined him for three games.

“I just prepared the same way and had the opportunity to come out here and play,” he said.

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Kingsbury: ‘We Wanted to Finish It on Our Terms’

Arizona’s offense was clicking early, with McCoy leading touchdown drives of 82 and 92 yards in the first quarter to build 13-3 lead.

Despite outplaying the Seahawks throughout the game, the Cardinals held just a 16-13 lead midway through the fourth quarter, in part due to three uncharacteristic missed kicks — field goals of 39 and 36 yards, along with an extra point — from Matt Prater.

Needing another TD to close out the victory, Arizona responded with a 10-play, 67-yard drive that was capped by a 1-yard TD run from James Conner to push the lead to 23-13 with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the game.

“We wanted to finish it on our terms, and we did,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said.

McCoy twice used his legs to escape pressure before delivering passes to Antoine Wesley and Zach Ertz to keep the drive alive.

“I think everyone knew what a great mentor [McCoy would] be for Kyler, but he’s a great football player. And people should never take that for granted,” said Ertz, who led the team with 88 receiving yards and a pair of TDs.

Kingsbury even dialed up a QB draw for McCoy in the red zone, which he turned into an 11-yard gain.

“He’s been rolling a little bit, so I wanted to let him scoot, and he did a nice job,” he said.

“I think people underestimate how athletic he is,” added receiver A.J. Green.

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