The Arizona Cardinals number-one priority for 2020 should’ve been to find a replacement for their incompetent defensive coordinator
Ask anyone who follows the NFL, and they’d likely agree that the Arizona Cardinals had an outstanding offseason. Superstar wideout DeAndre Hopkins was just one of several talented players that were added to the club’s roster this year. However, it’s the move that wasn’t made by the front office that could possibly extinguish the Cards playoff hopes this fall.
Electing to retain Vance Joseph as the team’s defensive coordinator in 2020 was a huge mistake by the Cardinals hierarchy. Familiar problems, like being unable to get off of the field on third downs, are plaguing the unit again. The performance by Joseph’s group during Sunday’s 31-21 loss to a mediocre Carolina Panthers squad was downright disgraceful.
Teddy Bridgewater, a decent quarterback who will never be ranked with the league’s elite, made mincemeat out of the Arizona defense. Joseph’s crew allowed 444 yards from scrimmage and a whopping 30 first downs to a mediocre Panthers offense that was without it’s best weapon. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina’s Pro Bowl running back, missed the game because of a sprained ankle he suffered in week two.
The most frustrating part about Joseph’s unit, as mentioned earlier, was their inability to stop the Panthers on third down. Bridgewater and company converted on 7 of their 11 third downs. Time after time, the Cards failed to come up with a play when it was badly needed.
Bridgewater completed 26 of his 37 pass attempts for 276 yards and two touchdowns through the air. The 27-year old signal-caller, reconstructed knee and all, also made a couple of Cardinals defenders look silly on his way to an 18-yard rushing score in the first quarter. Bridgewater’s only mistake was a second-quarter interception by Patrick Peterson (who’s best days are well behind him) ) that led to an Arizona touchdown.
The fact that the Cards would bring back Joseph after the pathetic job he did in 2019 is mind-boggling. How a coordinator keeps his job after presiding over a defense that ranked dead-last in the NFL in yards-per-game allowed (402.0) last season is anybody’s guess. Sure, the Cardinals unit played better down the stretch, but Joseph still should’ve been replaced this past offseason.
And now, Arizona fans are stuck with Joseph once again. All of that frustration you felt last fall on an almost weekly basis will likely rear it’s ugly head quite frequently in 2020. It’s shaping up to be a long campaign for the Cards with Joseph in charge of the defense.