Sunday, December 25, 2016

I'll Take It

Arizona beat the hell out of Seattle's offense in the first half. That changed in the second half, and the Seahawks started scoring points. Enough points to erase a 13-point deficit in the 4th quarter. Fortunately, Hauschka shanked the extra point, leaving the game tied. Arizona was able to keep Carson Palmer upright long enough to complete some passes (including one big one to David Johnson down the sidelines), and Catanzaro hit a field goal right down the middle as time expired. Arizona wins, 34-31.

Fox switched over to this game with about 3 minutes left, as Arizona was conducting an idiotic offensive drive. They threw on second down, and Fitzgerald went out of bounds, stopping the clock. Then they threw on third down, incomplete, leaving Seattle a timeout. Then the punt was crap, and Arizona got called for holding, so Seattle was practically in the red zone already. Watching the Seahawks score and listening to the announcers slurp Seattle was enough to make me hand the remote to my mother so I didn't put it through her TV.

But Arizona won! Hooray! They went 1-3 against the AFC East. They went 1-3 against the NFC South. But they will manage at least a winning record in the division this year. 3-2-1 at worst, 4-1-1 if they can handle the Rams next week. And the Rams just lost to the fucking incompetent, shitass 49ers, so Arizona better handle them.

Nice to see Arizona win a close game, something they haven't done much lately. I remember, alst year I think, seeing Bill Barnwell write something about how well Arizona was doing in close games under Bruce Arians, and that while records in those sorts of games tended to not be repeatable, maybe Arians really did have a knack. The Cards were something like 16-7 in games decided by 8 points or less his first three years. They're 3-5-1 this year. I don't know if it's regression to the mean, or just a sign of how they aren't good this year because they can't pull these games out. Chicken or egg?

David Johnson ran for 95 yards on 28 carries, not terribly productive (especially with one 30 yard rush in there), but an encouraging commitment to the run. Shades of their 17-10 win in Seattle in 2013, when they ran the ball 43 times. Johnson added about 45 yards in receiving. He's up to the 5th best single-season rushing total in franchise history, moving ahead of both Edgerrin James' good seasons, and one of Ottis Anderson's. He's got a good chance to have the 4th best, and maybe the 3rd best, if he can get 120 yards next week. He's also up to 20 TDs on the season.

I noticed Larry Fitzgerald is over 100 receptions again, but is averaging less than 10 yards a catch. No wonder they don't throw to their tight ends, Fitz is taking all those passing routes. Well, I trust him to catch the ball more than Jermaine Gresham, and I guess they really can't trust Palmer's line to keep him upright for longer passes. Although J.J. Nelson had himself an 80-yard reception in the first quarter. that was encouraging. With Michael Floyd gone, and John Brown struggling with injuries (not mention Fitzgerald's advancing years), they need to find some other receivers.

Anyway, there's a chance to get to 7 wins next week, and all they have to do is beat the bejeezus out of Jared Goff, and keep the Rams' defense from breaking Palmer in half. Seems doable.



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