People don’t like being told the outcomes of games decided by seven points or less are essentially random. On Sunday, the Cardinals lost by 2 points, and they could have won by a similar margin if Carson Palmer doesn’t fire a laser beam at Jermaine Gresham five yards downfield on third down, or if David Johnson doesn’t let a ball slip through his hands on fourth down or even if the Cards can stop a sweep to Todd Gurley on 3rd and 4.
This doesn’t mean that the Cards are a bad team, or that the Rams were the much better team. It means that a handful of 50/50 outcomes went against the Cards, and that happens sometimes. The offense regressed to the mean in a hard way, going from a very high red zone TD percentage to failing 5 straight times.
Michael Floyd, WR
#15 took more than his fair share of heat during the week, and responded with 5 receptions for 59 yards and a pair of penalties (one enforced, one negated by an offsetting holding penalty).
Chris Johnson, RB
CJ1K looked tough running between the tackles and in the open field. For his career, he’s fumbled on once out of every 100 carries. He deserves to be the starting running back until he loses the job, with Andre Ellington coming in for relief.
Patrick Peterson, CB
The scheme of the defense this week was to remove the threat of the deep passing game and allow the safeties to work their magic underneath. PP21 did his job by absolutely smothering Kenny Britt for the entire game.
James Bettcher, DC
The Cards had the opportunity in the first red zone stand to again express what they do when the chips are down. On 3rd and 5 on the Cards’ 12 yard line, Bettcher rushed four and trusted Kevin Minter and Deone Bucannon to man the middle of the field. The result was a touchdown that seemed familiar for the rest of the day.
Carson Palmer, QB
It’s a vintage Carson Palmer performance! The Rams front seven and T.J. McDonald make Carson Palmer look like Drew Stanton. Palmer’s mechanics and ball placement were all over the map.
Bruce Arians, HC
Uncle Bruce was placed in a bad position with an early turnover that ended up putting the team in a 7-point deficit, but that doesn’t change the underlying circumstances of beating a team at home. The Cards were bad at situational football this game, and it began with the head coach.