Things did not go as planned for the Arizona Cardinals, who are now 1-3 after losing a divisional game at home, to the Los Angeles Rams.
Is the sky falling? I wouldn’t go that far, but I would start scanning the horizon for cover. Arizona is in serious trouble, the Rams did more then just win the game, they stayed on top of the NFC West, and are 2-1 in the division. With their only loss being to the most likely, non consequential 49ers, Los Angeles has to be considered playoff material at this point.
As for the Cardinals, Sunday’s game was yet another example of how costly the late starts on offense can be. Once again Arizona did not score in the first quarter, then they played from behind for the majority of the game. This led to a pass loaded play call, Arizona threw the ball 47 times, and ran it just 25 times. The Cardinals actually averaged about 5 yards a carry, but couldn’t stick with the run.
Arizona was still in the mix until a hit on Carson Palmer put him in the concussion protocol. As Carson Palmer left the field, back up QB Drew Stanton threw the ball to several Rams players. The Rams gave the Cardinals a couple chances at the end, with their generosity being in the form of penalties and a 3 and out by their offense, but Arizona was not in the capitalizing mood.
On offense the Rams made their way through the air. Los Angeles was limited to 41 measly yards on the ground but Case Keenum played very well. I, like many others, were concerned about Arizona’s defensive front, not the secondary against the Rams. Turns out it should have been the other way around.
The Cardinals not only lost the game, they lost a bunch of players. Carson Palmer, Chris Johnson, Tyvon Branch, and Darren Fells all left the game. David Johnson might be injured, still waiting to hear details on that. All and all it was not the Cardinals day, which is becoming the theme for 2016. It’s a combination of things, mental let downs on defense, special teams, and the badly timed turn overs on offense.
Arizona has many concerns at a time when the schedule only gets tougher. The Cardinals have a short week and will travel to San Francisco for Thursday Night Football. This is a game that they should win, but it depends on which team shows up. Then it’s the Jets, Seahawks, and Panthers.. these aren’t easy games ladies and gentlemen.
If Carson Palmer misses the Thursday game, it gets even worse for Arizona. It’s another crucial divisional game that the Cardinals desperately need, if they lose, the hole may become to deep to overcome.
After decades of not winning, Arizona fans have become accustomed to winning. Many felt this year would be our shot at a champagne shower. Statistically, the road to the super bowl is still open. It’s just a lot steeper now, and has some very narrow turns ahead. This team has all of the important pieces that managed to go 13-3 last year. Something is just seriously off.
What the Cardinals need to do now is to go on a monster run, win a good bunch of games in a row, and get their swagger back.
As for positives – We didn’t miss any field goals, David Johnson had over 100 yards from scrimmage again, and John “Smokey” Brown played well. Markus Golden and Chandler Jones have 4 sacks each in the first 4 games, I don’t think that’s ever happened in Arizona.
I reckon I can’t think of anything else right now, I’ll try and get back to you later. These are the tough times my red feathered friends, this is not fair weather country. I do believe in this team and the coaching staff, there is still a lot of time left on the clock, we simply can’t afford any more bad games.
Feel free to comment here, or hit me up on twitter @ShawnRivard777
More stories you might like