The first game is in the books for the 2013 season for the Arizona Cardinals, and they get beat in a close game that they should have won. The sole reason that the Cardinals dropped this game was not all on the offensive side of the ball, it was lost on the defensive side.
The Cardinals defense was coming off a good defensive effort most of last year under defensive coordinator Ray Horton. This defense did not look at all like that defense.
The Cardinals were not able to get pressure on Sam Bradford all day, as he dropped back to pass for more than 30 plus times, with the exception of a few pressures that forced a few hurried throws; this defense could not sniff a sack.
The prophesy of Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell being able to cause havoc upfront has turned out to be a false over stated prediction. The defense had issues making tackles in key moments all afternoon, after many were raving about how solid this team’s defense tackled in preseason.
The team also had its issues covering the tight end all day long; Jared Cook ran free all day and made the Cardinal linebackers look like they were playing stuck in mud. You cant have an eleven point lead with one quarter to go on the road and lose the game, it should not happen. The Cardinals led 24 to 13 going into the fourth and was not able to stop the Rams offense.
Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowels will have a lot of questions to answer as to the comparison to last years defense, and rightfully so, this defense is a long way from being even good.The Cardinals do not have that beast that can get to the passer on a consistent basis, John Abraham was used in spot duty and may have to get a bigger work load, seeing he was one of the one’s who got some pressure in on two pass plays.
The offensive line had some issues and the issue was Levi Brown’s inability to keep up with the speed of Robert Quinn on almost every play. Brown could not get his hands on Quinn at all resulting in two sacks and two fumbles and numerous pressures forcing quicker throws from quarterback Carson Palmer.
The Cardinals could have made some noise today and got a little notoriety for themselves in this tough division, instead the Rams just added to their own resume.
It’s a long season, but it will be even longer if the defense does not improve dramatically over the course of a week, because the high powered Detroit Lions come into town next week and the defensive backs will have a long day running behind the receivers of the Lions.