Cardinals’ Anderson Improves
By Scott Allen
You can make a lot of excuses for Sunday's Arizona Cardinals loss to the Minnesota Vikings 27-24 in overtime, however one of them had better not be the play of Derek Anderson. The quarterback position did not lost this game for the Cardinals. Sure, DA could have played better, but he sure as heck could have played worse.
What Anderson did well with on Sunday:
DA found receiver Larry Fitzgerald plenty of times. I think the connection between the two is almost fully there. Fitz could have had even a bigger day if not for an overthrow and a dropped pass as Fitz was hitting the ground on Sunday. Fitz had his first 100-yard plus receiving day of the season.
DA was not intercepted. Ok, yes, I know DA had an intercepted pass dropped. It was a bad read by Anderson, but as long as the interception didn't happen, play didn't happen. Every quarterback gets intercepted multiple times in a season. Even all good quarterbacks get a few lucky breaks here and there.
DA managed the game without getting the Cards into trouble. I know that many of you will say well, what about the end of the fourth quarter and overtime? True, the Cards play calling and execution of plays during that span left a lot to be desired, however, how about the offensive line? Where did they disappear to? The offensive line gave up four of the Vikings six sacks in the final two possessions. It's tough to do much when the pass rush is constantly in your face.
DA stepped up in the pocket and avoided the rush for much of the day. For the first time this season, he looked comfortable as the quarterback of this team. He also got rid of the ball in the goal line situation on their field goal drive instead of forcing the ball.
What Anderson could do better with:
Obviously he still overthrew receivers at times. Accuracy has been a huge question mark for him all season and his career for that matter. I will take the overthrows though instead of the interceptions. At least an overthrow gives you another down.
The play calling was conservative. Hence the reason I think Anderson sometimes still tried to force the ball into crevices that weren't open for him to throw into. He was lucky not to have more passes picked off, but as I said, fact is he wasn't intercepted, so I will leave it at that.
Anderson should be the team's starting quarterback until the Cardinals no longer have a shot at the playoffs or can no longer walk on his own onto the playing field, simple enough.