Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Let's Just Move On, Arizona

The Arizona Cardinals got smoked last night, 24-3 by the Niners. Alex Smith threw one incomplete pass in 19 attempts. That's not good, for the Cardinals at any rate, Skelton managed to only throw one pick, which is pretty surprising considering how badly Arizona was losing. He also only got sacked 4 times. Not sure how they managed that. Maybe San Francisco went to the prevent defense early? The Cardinals rushed for 7 yards, on 9 carries. And that's with Stephens-Howling getting 11 yards on one carry.

So yeah, let's just forget this happened.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Even John Skelton Can't Save You Now, Arizona!

Which shouldn't come as much of a surprise to anyone. Arizona lost to the Vikings 21-14, which is a lot closer than I was expecting. I figured total annihilation, but the Cardinals held Christian Ponder in check, as he threw 2 picks, completed less than half of his passes, and threw for less than 60 yards. He also ran just once, for two yards.

Then again, when Adrian Peterson rushes for over 150 yards, at almost 7 yards a pop, you don't need to throw much. Still, the Vikings didn't do much more damage on the ground than Buffalo did, which is also better than I expected. Arizona held them to 1 for 10 on third down, and the Vikings only had 2 first downs after halftime. Go defense.

Arizona topped 300 yards of offense for the second week in a row, even won time of possession handily. LaRod Stephens-Howling ran for over 100 yards, at 5 yards a carry, and Skelton threw for 262 and a TD.

Unfortunately, Skelton also threw an INT, which was returned for a TD, and lost a fumble. But come on, he was sacked 7 times! It's a miracle he was still standing by the end of the game. Still, that's Skelton for you. he giveth and he taketh away. Usually the latter before the former. At least he does give, but things could be about to get ugly. San Francisco's coming to town next week, then Arizona has to visit Green Bay and Atlanta.

Yeah, this could be bad.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Arizona's Hit A Bumpy Patch

Losing to the Rams in St. Louis didn't concern. Well, some of the particulars - mostly the beating Kolb took - concerned me, but the fact they lost wasn't a huge deal. The Rams aren't pushovers. Losing to Buffalo in Arizona is another matter.

The running game finally showed up, as the Cards went for 182 yards on 30 carries. Two problems: First, this Buffalo. Their run defense is a joke. They gave up over 300 yards on the ground to the Niners last week, so 182 is nothing. Second, the Cards let the Bills run for 165 yards on 33 carries, which isn't much better.

Really, though, the defense didn't do badly. They held Fitzpatrick to 153 yards, less than 5 yards per attempt. They forced two turnovers. The Cards passing game simply went to sleep. Kolb was only 14 of 26 for 128 yards, so essentially the same per attempt numbers as Fitzpatrick. He threw a pick as well, and was sacked five times. The hits finally took enough of a toll to knock him out, and Skelton came in and largely played horribly (2 of 10 for 45 yards). The Cardinals did get over 300 yards of total offense for the first time all season. That's something, but this is kind of like their victory at New England, with them as the Pats. They couldn't put enough of the yards together to do more than kick long fields goals, which Feely made 3 of the 4.

Next up is Minnesota, and that concerns me. They're a good team, but they just got smoked by the Redskins. They'll be pissed and ready to defend their home turf. Plus, they have Adrian Petersen. The Cardinals' run defense better shore up fast.


Friday, October 05, 2012

Arizona Won't Be Challenging The '72 Dolphins

The Cardinals lost to the Rams 17-3 because the Cards' offensive line is terrible. And because someone on the defense got beaten for a 51 yard TD catch. Not that it would have mattered much. If your offense produces a total of 3 points, you aren't likely to win.

The Cardinals did win time of possession, they held the Rams to less than 250 yards of offense, Peterson had an interception and a better day returning punts than last week. Oh, and Kevin Kolb managed to avoid dying after 9 sacks, on top of the 8 he absorbed last week.

Doesn't change the fact they lost, though. Or that their run game is still nonexistent. Well, now they have a week and a half to recover, sort things out, and prepare for Buffalo.


Monday, October 01, 2012

Arizona Narrowly Survives The Hartline Connection

The Cardinals didn't play a good game yesterday, but they still won, which is notable. Consider everything that went wrong for them:

The offensive line collapsed against the Dolphins, with Kevin Kolb getting sacked 8 times. Massie was completely overwhelmed by Cameron Wake.

The running game was dead (again). 15 carries for 28 yards.

Kolb threw 2 interceptions.

Patrick Peterson fumbled a punt, though Arizona did manage to recover it. In general, the Cards' return game didn't help much.

Previously inept rookie Ryan Tannehill threw for over 430 yards against them. 253 of those to Brian Hartline. For the most part, whatever defensive back Tannehill challenged that wasn't Peterson, they got torched.

Even with all that, Arizona pulled out the victory, 24-21. They're 4-0 now, though they travel to St. Louis for a Thursday night game this week. That could be interesting. Or, given the inconsistent nature of both teams' offenses, it could be really ugly. It's likely to be a close game either way. The Rams are no pushovers this year, and Arizona may already have their blowout victory of the season.