The Tom Brady-less Patriots Victorious in Arizona
The Arizona Cardinals fell to the New England Patriots on Sunday night, 23-21. A late start and a bad finish sealed the deal as New England arrived ready to play.
It happens. Bad snaps, rookies getting burned, missed field goals.. it happens. The only real stats that stand out is Arizona benefiting from two turnovers, while New England had zero. That and the time of possession, Patriots had the ball for about 34 minutes, compared to the Cardinals 26.
No Tom Brady, no Gronkowski, no Solder, no Cooper, yet the Patriots repeatedly drove the ball with no worries.
Jimmy Garoppolo went for 257 yards, a TD, never turned it over ,and posted a 106.1 QB rating.
LeGarrette Blount only averaged 3.2 yards a tote but New England rushed for 106 yards.
The Arizona Cardinals had their fair share of opportunities to win this game, the plan just never came to fruition. Carson Palmer was 24 for 37, 271 yards, he had 2 TDs to go with 0 picks.
David Johnson averaged 5.6 yards a carry, but was limited to 89 yards on 16 carries.
Arizona’s defense converted on two fumbles, both of which resulted in Cardinal TDs on the following drives. The big problem Sunday evening was the third down plays, where the Patriots offense excelled going 10/16.
The rookie (CB) Brandon Williams had a rough go at it as well. The Cardinals will have to figure out the secondary’s issues if they want to even think about blitzing. Other than that, and some sloppily missed tackles, the Arizona defense played pretty well. Chandler Jones was beneficial coming off the edge, same could be said for Markus Golden.
On offense the Cardinals need to work on quarterback protection and assignments. Evan Mathis left the game with a left foot injury, Earl Watford came in and did a decent job, but the Patriots seemed to control the line of scrimmage.
On special teams Drew Butler only averaged 36 yards a punt. This was not because he was trying to pin the ball, most were just very short punts. Not sure what can be done here, but when you give Belichick and the Patriots good field position, it’s not looking good.
As for the bad snap, you can drill all week long, but it happens. The goal is to not let it become a reoccurring problem. I suspect that confidence is of no concern here, I think it was more of the fluke variety, but that’s not really comforting to hear after a loss like this.
Some good points:
Larry Fitzgerald got his 100th TD reception, putting him 4 away from Antonio Gates and 4th all time in NFL history.
Palmer had a good game, the offense did well in general after a sluggish start.
David Johnson – 130 combined yards, and a rushing TD.
The Cardinal offense went 3/3 in the redzone.
Arizona won the turnover battle 2-0.
That’s about all I got. It’s early, these games do matter, but all is not lost. The Cardinals didn’t come out and lay an egg, they just didn’t do enough to win the game. You win some and you lose some, but you’re only funky as your last cut. It is now time to prepare for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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