A day later and I am still sick to my stomach.
So much for being too early to panic in Arizona. After that disgusting loss to the Seahawks Sunday, I am violently slamming my hand down on the panic button.
As a Cardinals’ fan, you get ready for the game every Sunday without the slightest clue which Cardinals’ “team” will take the field.
There’s the good-offense-bad-defense team,which we have become familiar with during the first two weeks, the bad-offense-bad-defense team, the rare good-offense-good-defense team and finally the bad-offense-good-defense team. On Sunday, we got the latter.
Let’s take a closer look.
The defensive line and linebackers I thought played great. They took advantage of a poor offensive line totaling four sacks, seven tackles for a loss and 12 quarterback hits.
Defensive end Calais Campbell and linebacker Joey Porter were the stand outs from the two units. Campbell had a career-best two and a half sacks while Porter had a sack and two tackles for a loss.
They pressured quarterback Travaris Jackson for a majority of the game which is something they had failed to do as a whole in previous weeks.
It feels good to see the secondary bounce back and play like they should. Giving up 932 passing yards through the first two weeks made them the butt of much of the criticism the Cardinals received. They completely shut down the Seahawks’ passing game holding them to measly 139 total passing yards on the day.
It is hard to place any blame on the Cardinals’ defense, but they did have their faults. They missed two great interception opportunities and that fumbled snap would have put them in great field position had they picked it up instead of kicking it. You could also say allowing the Seahawks to drive 72 yards and score the go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter cost them the game. But, if the offense showed up none of this would have matter.
Overall I thought the defense was the one bright spot for the Cardinals in Sunday’s game. Greatly improving from the previous two weeks.
“The stinky part is that statistically we did better but it’s all about the wins and losses,” linebacker Clark Haggans said. “We lost. So it doesn’t matter.”
You're right Haggans but you gave yourselves a chance to win and the offense blew it.
I don’t have much to say about the offensive line other than they were horrible. Late in the game when they needed to give Kevin Kolb time to throw, they couldn’t. They couldn’t pick up the blitz and Kolb paid for it. They allowed three sacks and even more hurried throws. Just a terrible performance by a line that doesn’t seem to be improving when it comes to pass protection.
Kolb had a tough day.
His two interceptions ended hopeful drives. One ended the game.
In the second half I thought he might have looked to a heavily covered Larry Fitzgerald too many times which caused him to miss a wide-open Early Doucet.
His decision to switch the play to a quick screen in the fourth quarter when facing 3rd and 13 at the Seahawks 33 was a poor call to begin with, but knowing that not all of his teammates heard him just made it worse. The result was a 2-yard gain and a further display of the Cardinals’ miscommunications.
The touchdown pass to Fitzgerald was his one highlight for the game.
Jay Feely’s two missed field goals would have won the game for the Cardinals. His 49-yard kick to tie the game was rather shocking as he left it short. Shocking because his career long came from 55 yards. Yes, he was kicking against the wind Sunday but like he said, they were kicks he expected to make.
He is now 1-4 on the season. With the ups-and-downs of the Cardinals’ offense, they need a kicker they can rely on and Feely might be showing he is not that.
Overall I thought the offense was horrendous. Not having Beanie Wells was devastating but not the reason for the loss.
The play calling was too conservative, especially toward the end of the game. You are playing to win the game not settle for a field goal.
Their third-down efficiency was awful. They were 3-14 on the day.
The no-huddle offense worked great for the first half but they stopped using it in the second half. Why?
And blown opportunities remain a constant occurrence for the Cardinals.
"This is two weeks in a row we've had the ball in our hands at the end of the game with a chance to do something with it," Coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "We haven't been successful either time."
The Cardinals should easily be 3-0 right now and the fact that they’re not, scares me.
It is time to stop talking about the mistakes and start doing something about them.
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