Arizona Cardinals Bird Watching – Week 7
By Erich Becker
In this Monday Night Football Edition of Bird Watching, can the Cardinals rebound from another loss?
The sky is falling in on the Arizona Cardinals after a disheartening loss at the hands of the Steelers (again) this past week. This wasn’t the Super Bowl, but one would think this could be the end of the season for the first place, 4-2 Cardinals as they enter into a week 7 matchup on Monday Night Football against a depleted Baltimore team.
What I’ll be watching this week, live, as always, from the game, and it may not be what you think.
Palmer was to blame for the loss to the Steelers, there, I said it. He threw that costly interceptions and while the defense failed the team in the end with the long touchdown, it was that interception and forcing the ball that really set the table for the Steelers to take the game. But it wasn’t even just that play, several missed third downs and errant throws cost the team in the end of the day.
Palmer needs to rebound, and playing a team without much of a secondary will certainly help in the confidence and morale boost for the whole team. But Carson needs to be sharp, on point, and have minimal mistakes. He’s also my fantasy QB so a few touchdowns won’t hurt anyone.
The Cardinals have become known for their home games, still peppered with opposing jerseys, but a rabid fanbase travels from all around the valley to Glendale 10 times a year and this Monday will be no different. Traffic be damned. The crowd needs to be loud and show the nation what it is to be a Cardinals fan.
This isn’t the 49ers or the Seahawks or Cowboys or Vikings games, its the Ravens, a team who shouldn’t have many transplants here in the valley so it should be a sea of red and very, very loud. University of Phoenix Stadium still has the most false start penalties for opposing teams as any stadium open since 2006. I’ll be there to help the cause.
Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington where basic non-factors in the loss to Pittsburgh, getting back on the right foot (and the left) of both running backs will be key in the Cardinals being able to move the ball, get first downs, and drown some clock if they’re able to get ahead. It doesn’t matter if you beat them by 1 or 100, the win counts the same. Getting a nice mix of rushing plays and passing first downs will help to establish the deep ball.
This had to come up eventually here, but the defense needs to come back with a strong showing, especially after the miscues in last week’s game. A few INTs and maybe a pick-six or two will go a long way to solidify this defense again. The few times they’ve been walked on the Cardinals lost the turnover battle and committed too many mistakes. The games when they were on point and one the turnover count? The Cardinals won.