Arizona Cardinals lack effort, focus in blowout loss
By Scott Allen
The Seattle Seahawks looked all business on Sunday. The Arizona Cardinals looked like a team that wanted to be somewhere else on Sunday. With the first-seed on the line, the Cardinals played like a team alright with having to possibly go through Charlotte on the road to the Super Bowl.
For their part the Carolina Panthers handily defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon as well. They will be the number one seed in the NFC Playoffs.
The Seahawks never allowed the Cardinals to get into any grove, either on offense or defense. The Cardinals made mistakes left and right. Even on their best drive of the first half that resulted in a touchdown from quarterback Carson Palmer to receiver Larry Fitzgerald, kicker Chandler Catanzaro missed the extra point. He also missed a field goal as time expired in the first half.
A few milestones were reached before the game was completely out of control. Palmer eclipsed Neil Lomax for most yards passing in a season, finishing with 4,671 yards for the season. Fitzgerald needed just one catch to set a career high for receptions. He hit 104 receptions in the first offensive drive, surpassing his 103 mark he set in 2005, his second season in the NFL.
Receiver John Brown also reached 1,000 yards receiving on Sunday. After that, it really wasn’t any kind of game, at least from the Cardinals standpoint. The Cardinals really shouldn’t look at the video of this one but in fact it will be a great teaching tool. There is a good chance the Cardinals will see these Seahawks again in the playoffs.
The Cardinals gave very little effort. They missed tackles, missed field goals, missed receivers, missed blocks. The Cardinals are better than that, we all know that. This was all effort or lack thereof. Not even Stanton’s best offensive drive of the day resulted in points as tight end Jermaine Gresham dropped a pass in a the goal line and then Stanton was subsequently intercepted for the second time.
While it is disappointing with the effort the Cardinals gave on Sunday there is no doubt this will be the last time you see an effort like this. Bruce Arians will not allow this team to produce another mess like this come playoff time.
The only disappointment is now the Cards have to stir for the next two weeks with this loss in mind. The Cardinals made the right move benching Palmer in the second half of this loss. He will be healthy for the playoffs so there is good news out of this debacle today. All you can do is move on. For 20 teams they won’t be moving on. For 12 of them, they will be, including these Cardinals. Now the real fun begins.