Sunday, January 01, 2017

The Season Mercifully Ends

Arizona crushed the hapless Rams, 44-6. Which brings the Cardinals' final record to 7-8-1, their first losing season since 2012, although their +56 point differential is roughly what they had in their 10-6 2013 season. But that differential is boosted by this ass-whupping, plus the ones the laid on Tampa Bay and the Jets.

I expected a closer game, if only because the Rams' defense has typically given Arizona problems. But I guess they got tired of carrying the load for their useless offense. The Rams ran the ball 22 times, but only gained 52 yards. Arizona wasn't much better, at 84 yards on 24 carries, but still better. Kerwynn Williams got most of the carries, because David Johnson left early with a knee injury, which Bruce Arians insists is not serious. Well, he has the entire offseason to rest up, but hopefully Arians is correct. So Johnson remains at the 5th-best single season rushing total in franchise history, but hopefully he has many more productive years ahead.

Nice for Williams, though. He hasn't gotten much use this year, only 18 carries total, but he's still going to wind up second on the team in rushing yards, at 157. He got his greatest amount of playing in 2014, when Andre Ellington was hurt (and I have to wonder if this unproductive year marks the end of the line for Ellington's time with the team), and it's gone down the last two seasons. But when he gets to play, he seems to be productive, so maybe he should be the back-up going forward. And given the state of Arizona's receiving corps, and Johnson's skill as a receiver, maybe play Williams in the backfield sometimes and split Johnson out wide? Something for next year, maybe.

The Rams passing game completed 17 passes for 143 yards. But there were two interceptions, and once you subtract all the yardage Jared Goff lost on his 7 sacks, the Rams had a net 72 yards passing. Which again, makes the Cardinals' otherwise unspectacular 260 yards passing on 22 of 42, with 3 TDs and 2 INTs (one of them by Drew Stanton), look pretty damn good in comparison.

The game could have been a lot worse for the Rams, considering they had 5 fumbles but Arizona only recovered one of them. I don't know who they'll hire as head coach, but he's going to have his work cut out making them not suck. Because Goff plays like he's Ryan Lindley. And the 49ers have reportedly fired their GM, and while probably get rid of Chip Kelly, too. Which means 4 coaches in 4 years for them, so hopefully they have a few more years in the wilderness. That still leaves the Seahawks to contend with, but one good team is less of a problem than 2 or 3.



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