Defense continues to be Arizona Cardinals weakest link
For the second consecutive week, the defensive unit of the Arizona Cardinals gave up a double-digit lead late in the game
For the past two weeks, the offensive unit of the Arizona Cardinals has had to play the hero. Vance Joseph‘s defense, when given a healthy cushion, has been unable to prevent the opposition from scoring. The group somehow managed to blow a 14-point advantage over the Cincinnati Bengals on October 6th, and also a 17-point lead to the Atlanta Falcons this past Sunday.
Fortunately for the Cards, quarterback Kyler Murray found a way to bail out his defensive teammates on both occasions. It’s not as if Joseph’s crew is made up of a bunch of inexperienced youngsters. Veteran players like Chandler Jones, Terrell Suggs, Corey Peters and Jordan Hicks have had to rely on a 22-year old rookie to make up for their mistakes during Arizona’s two victories.
Joseph has been around the NFL for quite a long time himself. The 47-year old, who appeared to be a good acquisition by the organization, has been a coach in the league since 2005. Before coming to the desert, Joseph spent time with the San Francisco 49ers, Houston Texans, Bengals, Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos.
On paper, the Cardinals defense appears to have more than enough talent. Granted, being without stud cornerback Patrick Peterson (who’ll return this coming weekend) for the first six contests has not been easy. Even so, there’s no excuse for how bad Joseph’s crew has played without the star performer.
Perhaps it’s time for a change at the top. Joseph has been completely outcoached by opposing offensive coordinators for most of the season. Replacing the struggling assistant right now could be a smart move, considering the fact that the Cards still have a shot at a Wild Card berth.
There’s a candidate on the current staff who could conceivably step in for the ineffective Joseph. Linebackers coach Bill Davis has been coaching at the professional level for 24 campaigns. The 53-year old has experience as a coordinator as well, having held that post for the 49ers (2005-06), Cardinals (2009-10) and Philadelphia Eagles (2013-15).
Kudos to Kliff Kingsbury for proving that there’s a place for him in the NFL. An offense that many believed would be a weakness has become Arizona’s strength. The sky’s the limit if the head coach can find a competent individual to run his defense.