Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Another Opportunity Lost

Once again, Arizona had a chance to deal a serious blow to another team's hopes for the season. And once again, they screwed the pooch, losing to Minnesota 30-24. Minnesota's offense was mostly held in check, not that that's particularly difficult, with Sam Bradford throwing for less the 160 yards and the Vikings rushing for about 80 yards. And the Cardinals ran for over 130 yards themselves.

The problem was everything else. The Vikings led off the second half with a 104 yard kickoff return for a TD. Carson Palmer was beaten to a pulp behind a rapidly disintegrating offensive line, threw for fewer than 200 yard (and closer to 150 once you remove the yardage lost on sacks), and two INTs. Including one at the goal line that was returned 100 yards for another TD.

No wonder Bruce Arians was hospitalized for chest pains. I joke, hopefully he's doing OK, though I would imagine this season's string of screw-ups would take its toll. Especially after how successful the team has been his first three seasons.

It's funny, though, how frustrating this has been to watch. Because really, this is what watching them was like for the first 20 years. A team I could convince myself should be better, but that constantly lost games I felt they should win, usually because of stupid mistakes. The 2004 team that I could tell myself would have been 8-8 if they only hadn't lost twice to the 2-14 Niners, and who knows what could have happened if Denny Green didn't start John Navarre against Detroit in that one game? The ravings of a madman to be sure, but that was life. Strange how quickly I got used to Arizona winning close games and playing competently, to the point I almost forgot that wasn't the norm for the franchise.

Well, there's still time for them to reverse the slide into entropy.



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