What had started out as a very exciting season for Arizona Cardinals fans has turned into an utter disaster. The Cardinals lost their fifth game in a row, falling to the Green Bay Packers 31-17. Here are eight observations about the game:
1) When John Skelton was given some time to throw, he actually was pretty accurate. However, the Cardinals receivers dropped several easy throws, and the offense failed to convert on several key plays.
2) Blocking … and tackling. You cannot win games if you don’t block and tackle well, and the Cardinals did neither very well against the Packers.
3) Speaking of tackling, one of the Cardinals most reliable tacklers – Adrian Wilson — inexplicably missed a key tackle at the goal line, allowing Randall Cobb to score a touchdown instead of forcing the Packers to settle for a field goal.
4) The final play of the third quarter was the turning point of the game. The Cardinals had cut the lead to a touchdown. However, Aaron Rodgers found a hole in the Cardinals coverage, and Tom Crabtree caught a pass in stride and galloped 72 yards for a touchdown. That knocked the wind out of the Cardinals sails, and the Packers were able to hold on to the lead for the remainder of the game.
5) The Packers were able to run the ball against the Cardinals pretty much at will during the first half, chalking up touchdown drives of 84, 80, and 75 yards. This was also significant in that the success of the Packers running game was able to allow Rodgers to open up the passing game more than he ordinarily would have. That’s a shame because the Cardinals secondary was pretty solid, except for a couple of exceptions.
6) Nate Potter replaced D’Anthony Batiste during the second half and was a significant improvement. Perhaps he should be starting on the offensive line.
7) The Cardinals and Packers came into the game as the top two teams in sacking the quarterback, and the worst two teams in allowing theitr quarterbacks to be sacked. One would have expected a boatload of sacks in this game. Wrong! The Cardinals sacked Rodgers only once, and the Packers sacked Skelton only twice.
8) What was wrong with Dave Zastudil today? He nailed one 65-yard kick, but his other punts were extremely poor. Allowing the Packers such good field position did not help the Cardinals chances of winning this game.