Tuesday, January 26, 2016

That Was An Anti-Climax

Arizona got destroyed by the Carolina Panthers. Carson Palmer went full Delhomme, fitting since the game was in Carolina, and outside of one INT, the Cards' defense couldn't do much to slow Cam Newton.

I don't want to say it's disappointing, because that feels like it slights the season at large. They won 13 games, they won the NFC West, they made it to an NFC Championship game for the second time in the Super Bowl era. It seems wrong to dismiss that. But it's still a downer for them to just get their doors blown off.

I don't know what they do in the offseason. They'll have to stay on top of the offensive line, keep it going well. Looking into some better pass-rushers would be nice. Then they wouldn't have to blitz so much to get pressure. They'll have to start looking for Palmer's replacement at some point. Not because he had a bad game against the Panthers. It's one game, it happens. But he's going into his late 30s, he will start to decline at some point. And I don't think Logan Thomas is the answer. Any guy that gets passed over in favor of Ryan Lindley is going to be a hard sell for me.


Monday, January 18, 2016

Holy Crap, That Was Close

Arizona narrowly escaped the Packers, 26-20 in OT. Rodgers threw another damn Hail Mary to make it 20-19, and then, thankfully, conservative Mike McCarthy kicked the extra point rather than go for two. Then the coin flip was redone, because on the first try, the coin didn't flip. It didn't matter much, since Arizona won both times (though that didn't stop Rodgers from whining about it afterwards), and Larry Fitzgerald promptly did some awesome stuff to help them score a touchdown and win the game.

Cardinals got more than a little lucky there, considering Palmer threw two INTs, and should have had a few more. But then again, the Packers needed a Hail Mary, and a 60-yard gain on 4th and 20 just to tie the game, so they got pretty damn lucky, too. I don't have a problem with Arians sending 7 guys at Rodgers on that pass, either. That's who Arizona is on defense. They don't have a dominant pass rusher, but they generate pressure by sending guys from all directions. They're aggressive, and sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. But I would rather the team try to make something happen to win, than sit back and play conservative and hope it works it out.

I really can't believe McCarthy didn't go for two. He has Aaron Rodgers, who is insanely good, and you're asking him to get two yards, when he just hit a freaking Hail Mary. If you believe in momentum at all, and I feel like a lot of coaches do, wouldn't the Packers have it at that moment? They'd be pumped, the Cardinals' defense would be deflated. Attack! Fortunately, McCarthy wasted his opportunity, and never got another one.

On the good news front, Seattle lost, as their desperate comeback attempt against Carolina fell short. So no more worrying about the Seahawks. Now all Arizona has to do is go on the road and beat a team that only lost once all season, and which has the probable MVP at quarterback. Palmer's going to have to play a lot better than he did, so hopefully this was just jitters and he got it out of system. Hopefully.


Monday, January 04, 2016

This Did Not Assuage My Concerns

The Seahawks are the NFC team that scares me the most, as an Arizona fan. I know this isn't news; I've been saying it for weeks. Yesterday's 36-6 thumping at Seattle's hands did not help any.

When I saw they were losing badly at halftime, I hoped it meant Arians had chosen to sit his starters. Nope, his starters played, they just got creamed. Tyler Lockett torched them returning punts, they gave up 140 yards rushing, Palmer didn't play well (and then they eventually put in Drew Stanton, who did even worse. It was just a bad scene all around for Arizona.

On the plus side for the Cardinals, they have a bye week to get their heads straight. And Seattle is the 6 seed. Which means both teams would have to make the NFC Championship game for them to meet again. Which would require Seattle to go through Minnesota and Carolina first. Which they're capable of, but it wouldn't be easy. I'd just as soon they lose prior to then and render my concerns moot, but we'll see.