Arizona Cardinals’ signal-caller Blaine Gabbert played well this past Sunday, but got little assistance from his teammates
Blaine Gabbert had something to prove to the Arizona Cardinals. After stints with two bad NFL teams, the seventh-year pro was given a fresh start in the desert. If his first start in Cardinal red is any indication, the former first-round draft pick may be sticking around awhile.
Though the Cardinals fell 31-21 to the Houston Texans, Gabbert performed well enough to leave NRG Stadium victorious. Unfortunately, many of his teammates didn’t hold up their end. A defensive collapse in the second half, dropped passes and a nonexistent running game squandered the 28-year old’s efforts.
Few knew what to expect from Gabbert, even though he had performed well during the preseason. His impressive showing in August came against mostly third-stringers. How would the former 10th-overall draft pick fare versus a starting unit?
The University of Missouri product completed 22 of 34 throws for 257 yards and three touchdowns in his first start in over a year. Gabbert did toss two interceptions, but both were late in the contest when the Cards were in desperation mode.
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The 6’4″, 235 pounder’s numbers would’ve been even better if not for the butter-fingers of a few of Arizona’s wide receivers. Jaron Brown, J.J. Nelson and John Brown all had drops. Head coach Bruce Arians was noticeably annoyed with the wideouts during his postgame press conference, and promised changes at the position.
Though the offensive line afforded Gabbert adequate time to throw the ball, their run-blocking was pathetic. The great Adrian Peterson was also to blame. The 32-year old future Hall of Famer had a few decent gains, but ultimately appears to be on his last legs.
After a fine first half, James Bettcher’s defense took a powder in the second. They allowed yet another mediocre passer, Tom Savage, to light them up like a Christmas tree. Patrick Peterson held DeAndre Hopkins in check for awhile, but the talented Texans’ receiver had some success later in the afternoon.
The Cardinals need a long-term replacement for an aging Carson Palmer. Gabbert is under consideration for that job, and will get another start this weekend versus the Jacksonville Jaguars. Perhaps he’ll receive a bit more help from his fellow Cards this time around.