Just like most Cardinal fans, I felt incomplete from yesterday’s nail-biter game against the Indianapolis Colts. For three entire quarters, the Cardinals looked very sluggish and out of sync. However, in the 4th quarter something clicked mentally for the Arizona Cardinals as they put together a good string of possessions and won the football game. As promised I’ve decided to grade individual positions this week so that Cardinal fans understand where we stand as a team.
- Don’t let the stat line fool you, although QB Carson Palmer went 19 for 36 with 332 yards he wasn’t very effective for most of the game. Had the Cardinals lost this game against a very bad Colts defense, QB Carson Palmer would be receiving a “F”. The only reason he deserves a “C” in this game was due to his great play in the 4th quarter to help lead the Cardinals to the win. However, don’t expect a close game next week if Carson decides he only wants to play well in the 4th Quarter.
Offensive Line: (D-)
- Once again the Arizona Offensive line was terrible against the Colts on Sunday in Indianapolis – they allowed as a unit on Sunday 4 sacks and 9 QB hits. If the Offensive Line doesn’t start protecting QB Carson Palmer then there is no chance Palmer finishes the season injury-free. Monday Night versus the Cowboys will be a make or break game for the Cardinals Offensive Line, we will have to wait and assess them then.
Wide Receivers: (B)
One may recall what it’s like when there’s a group project and a single person does most of the work while the rest of the group sits back and takes the easy “A”. This is exactly what the Arizona Cardinals Wide Receivers demonstrated on Sunday Afternoon. While Wide Receiver J.J. Nelson hauled in 5 Receptions for 120 Yards, the rest of the Cardinals just decided to sit back and take it easy. Although, in fairness there were some exceptions, for example Wide Receiver Jaron Brown made some decent plays as he caught 4 balls for 73 yards. Next week The Cardinals Wide Receivers need to make a statement and take advantage of a very weak Cowboys secondary – if the Cardinals have plans for a competitive season.
- Anytime you hold an NFL team to only 13 points then it’s an exceptional day at the office. Say what you want but Colts Quarterback Jacoby Brissett played an above average game for only being a part of 6 Colts practices. The Cardinals made him uncomfortable in the pocket and in overtime Tyrann Mathieu picked off a ball to set up the game-winning field goal. I’d say the Cardinal Defense is a huge reason why the team as a whole is 1-1 going into week 3.
Special Teams: (B)
- The Cardinal Special Teams was close to an “A”. Unfortunately, Kicker Phil Dawson completely botched a game-winning kick at the end of regulation to save the game from overtime. Aside from that, Punter Andy Lee was excellent and Kicker Phil Dawson eventually drilled the game-winning kick in overtime. Overall, very decent game from the Special Teams.
Cardinal fans need to listen up. I know the win was ugly but a win is a win. Although, emotions are high and we don’t really know what to expect from this Cardinals team. Give it one more week and If the Cardinals come out and beat the defending NFC East Champion Dallas Cowboys then we know that they are a playoff contender. But if they come out and get beat bad in front of their home crowd on National Television then I would start looking at draft positioning.
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