I’m not even sure where to start, where to start with the Arizona Cardinals offense that is. They were practically non-existent Monday night in a 24-3 loss to the San Francisco 49’ers. Sure, the defense is starting to prove it is somewhat overrated too, but you can’t rely completely on defense. The offense has to do it’s part. For the better part of four games now, it hasn’t. It might be time to blow that ship up.
For argument’s sake, I’ll start with the quarterback. John Skelton is not a good NFL quarterback. That point, which I’ve been arguing all season with Skelton lovers, was further proven on Monday night. Skelton continues overthrowing his receivers, throwing balls in places his receiver weren’t. He just can’t manage a game. The third year “project” from Fordham is proving time and again he is just not a starting quarterback in the NFL. That being said, there really is no better option for the Cards right now and fans should understand that too.
Now the offensive line, which continued to be just that, offensive. The line can run block. They can’t pass protect. Give some credit to the Niners defensive front, however right now you or I could make it to the quarterback through that line. There seems to be no urgency to get better. They only gave up four sacks on Monday night, which is actually an improvement.
The running game is a joke. At one point in the third quarter the Cardinals had a total of negative five yards. Yes, negative. It did improve though, they ended up with a whopping seven yards. Wow! It was the least the Niners had given up since the 1970’s. That’s pretty bad folks.
The receivers. I usually don’t harp on them much but last night was beyond ridiculous. They don’t run proper routes. Either that or the play calling is horrendous, which it is. I’ll get to that in a minute. Andre Roberts ran a couple routes short of the first down marker on third down. Run to the marker or beyond! What is so difficult about that? The Cards can’t always rely on their receivers to make plays. The quarterback should be making plays to get the first down.
Now, about that play calling. Awful. I simply don’t understand it. They are down 24-0 late in the third quarter and they have a fourth and two in the red zone. They kick a field goal? Say what? No acceptable. Was coach Ken Whisenhunt having flashbacks to last week when they ran the ball with Skelton on fourth and two and failed? That was a different time and situation. Plus they had gone for it on fourth and two earlier in the drive on the 39 and succeeded. Boggles the mind. They punted on third and eight from the 37 earlier when a field goal would still have been appropriate. Someone needs to be held accountable.
I’m going to harp on the overrated defense too. They’ve kept the team in most games up to this point. They need to have some accountability too. Cornerback William Gay got another pass interference call. Seems like a broken record with him. He is not very good and I’m being nice. Niners quarterback Alex Smith went 18-19. That’s not a typo – 18-19 and the only reason he wasn’t 19-19 was because his tight end dropped an easy one. Get real. The tackling was awful too. Missed tackles on Niners receivers Randy Moss and Michael Crabtree. Bad misses too.
The coaching is poor. I’ve been a huge Whisenhunt fan but I just can’t continue to ignore the fact the play calls have been horrendous. Ultimately all decisions and accountability come through him on the field. He can’t continue to allow the Cards to play they way they are. Sure they’ve had injuries, but they managed to go 4-0 through some of them. Something has changed. They were a bit overrated to begin with but they are only the third team in NFL history to have a four-game winning streak and a four-game losing streak in the same season. Maddening, simply maddening. It doesn’t get any easier from here on out.
It was just an overall poor effort from coaching to the players.