1 Q Season Review

Chopper0080

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This is another post that I almost kept in the chamber as most of these things have been discussed a ton. I can tell you that we will likely disagree on some things (maybe a lot) but that makes a fun board.

All in all. I had this team 3-1 at this point prior to the season and we are 2-2. Not the end of the world and I was pretty aggressive in how I believed the Cardinals could take advantage of a weak schedule.

What is working?
Right now...it doesn't seem like a lot. That said, free agency worked and worked really well as I will include the trade for Hopkins in that assessment. Jordan Phillips...hit. Devondre Campbell...hit. Devon Kennard...hit. Re-signing Humphries...hit. Trading for Hopkins...hit. Transition tag for Drake...hit. Beachum and Kirkpatrick...hits. Outside of Isaiah Simmons, this might be the best offseason Keim has had as a GM. Also, Special Teams seems to continue to be a strong area for the Cardinals. The revamping of the defensive line looks promising even coming off a down game vs Carolina. It is tough to tell with the defensive players due to the scheme which I will cover later.

What is not working?
For all of the woes of the offense, the defense is the most dysfunctional area of the Cardinals team. There are many threads that provide insight to the Vance Joseph issues, but what is clear is that his system is antiquated and he doesn't seem to be able to adjust it for injuries or to counter what opposing teams do to exploit it. It is one thing to concede throws to backs out of the backfield and it is another to let it happen over the course of a game and week after week. Unlike the offense, I don't believe our defensive issues can be solved with better personnel or better execution, I think this is a bad process resulting in bad results.

The other thing that is not working is the offense. Where I know many of you will disagree is that I don't believe the scheme as a whole does not work. I think there are parts of the scheme that should be dialed back or refined, but as a whole, I see a good scheme. For those who scoff, we are #4 in the NFL in TD scoring % in the red zone at 78.57%. You can't have success in the red zone with a broken scheme. Same for 4th down conversions which we are 3 for 3 on. Secondly, I see WR running wide open multiple times every game. This is another indicator that the scheme is creating opportunities even if those do not result in a successful outcome. The miss to Fitzgerald vs Carolina is a prime example of that and it is happening every game. So if we are good situationally and good at getting WRs open, why is the offense struggling? Well, execution by the QB and a lack of a running game which at this moment are one in the same. Defenses are daring Kyler to complete passes in the intermediate areas by allowing short throws and taking away deep passes. This aggressive coverage approach also impacts the running game because defenders are just playing downhill and it creates more bodies close to the LOS. The nice part of this is it is a Good process resulting in a bad result. Kyler starts attacking that area of the field, the defense will back off and things will get easier.

Units
QB - Kyler has been average to below average so far this year. His lack of snaps in college is showing and he is seeing things by NFL DCs that he has never seen before on a weekly basis. They are making him uncomfortable and taking away the things he likes to do. His game lacks refinement which is highlighted when he is being asked to do things he has never traditionally had to do to be successful. I had questions about his work ethic pre-draft which many deemed as unsubstantiated, and I feel like that is correct so far. So, as long as Kyler has the internal drive perfect his craft, this should just be a bump in the road.

RB - One of the best moves Keim made this offseason was giving Drake the transition tag. Drake seems to be reverting back to the running style of early in his career where he would not press the hole and hit the cutback lane and instead just gets strung out to the sideline. He does not look as quick or explosive to me and it may be because he put on weight in the offseason. Either way, Drake has looked off and the struggles of Kyler also have a part to play in that. Edmonds looks like a nice change of pace back. I am not convinced he will be more than that, but not every back needs to be that guy. If he can be our version of Austin Eckler, we have to be happy with that.

TE - I have enjoyed the usage of this unit so far this year. Kliff seems to have identified the mismatch that TEs create in the NFL and has tried to exploit it. Maxx Williams being hurt may be impacting the running game, but it doesn't sound like we will find out this week. Dan Arnold has disappointed a bit, but some of that also seems to be due to an inability for Arnold and Murray to hit a stride. Murray tends to throw high to Arnold and even overthrows him which is crazy as he is 6'6. As Kyler works out some of his issues, I think Arnold plays better because the opportunities have been their every game. Daniels and now Thomas are making the most of their shots as well. Nice to see Kliff find ways to get the 2nd and 3rd TEs involved to keep defenses guessing while keeping their role appropriately small as well.

WR - Outside of Kirk's injury and KeeSean Johnson's role, I have been pretty happy with this unit despite sub-par results. Fitz still finds ways to get open even if it is in the intermediate areas of the field where Kyler has struggled. Hopkins has been nearly unstoppable with only Kyler's desire to spread the ball around as the means of doing so. Isabella has found his niche and, similar to Arnold, just seems like he is close to being a legit threat if he and Kyler could work out some kinks. KeeSean had a terrible game back, but you can question whether he shoulld have been put in that spot to begin with. Kirk being limited has limited his impact. No reason to give up on him yet, but it always seems to be something.

OL - This unit has mostly stayed healthy and played to their talent. They are an average unit in terms of talent and have produced a league average result. Nice to see Humphries staying healthy as that has long been his knock. He does his job at LT with little help provided. Pug hand Sweezy are largely the same players they were last year. Tough to see the team re-signing Sweezy. There seems to be a battle at C between Cole and Gaillard. Hopefully by the end of the year one player emerges at the spot. Beachum has played to his abilities as well.


DL - Jordan Phillips and Corey Peters form a nice duo. I would love to see Peters play another year after this one. Allen has been meh. I thought he would be a better interior rusher, but has not showed that yet. Fotu and Larence are getting worked in, and seem to be doing well enough respective to their draft positions. As stated above, this unit is a positive for the team.

LB - Chandler Jones has not been dynamic and it is tough to tell why as the scheme always has to factor in. Hicks and Campbell have been good. Kennard fills a role and even Reddick has shown that he can be productive if only in a limited role. Isaiah Simmons has been a disappointment and I have been on record since week 2 that it isn't his fault. This group has talent. The scheme limits them.

DB - Byron Murphy has been progressing nicely. He has limited QBs to a 52.2% completion rate on 23 targets. It seems that it is when and not if he starts creating turnovers as he is around the ball a bunch. Dre Kirkpatrick is what he is. He is allowing 68.8% completion % despite a sub package role. That said, he stays in position and generally makes the tackle. For a street FA, he is fine. Peterson has been meh to bad. We have been playing more zone and he struggles in that area. Teams have been avoiding him as he has not been targeted a ton, but I expect that to change. He has allowed 57% and 83% comp% in games he has been targeted more than 5 times (2). Teams will start to get after him. I had high hopes for Jalen Thompson and injuries has put the kibosh on that so far this year. I still expect him to do well when he returns. Budda Baker's absence vs Carolina showed why people talk about his tackling so much. It will be tough for him to justify his contract if he doesn't start creating turnovers, but he limits big plays and tends to tackle opponents short of the 1st down often. Riley sucks. he had no business playing. We missed Banjo and not because Banjo is good.

That is it for the review. I am still mostly positive on the direction of this team. It really comes down to two areas for me. Kyler Murray elevating his game and playing better on offense. Getting rid of Vance Joseph as DC. I am more confident on one of those than the other. Either way, this doesn't remind me of the Wilks/McCoy fiasco as we don't seem to be hemorrhaging everywhere. This team has talent.
 

AZman5103

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Resigning DJ Humphris is NOT a hit. He is getting smoked and allowing almost constant pressure. Worse than that...we committed so much money to him, we won't even look to upgrade the LT position during Kylers contract.

We should have let DJ test free agency. COuld have drafted a starting LT at #8...could have signed Beachum to play LT and kept Murray on the right side.

We are now stuck with a bottom 5 LT for Kylers entire rookie deal.
 

WisconsinCard

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Resigning DJ Humphris is NOT a hit. He is getting smoked and allowing almost constant pressure. Worse than that...we committed so much money to him, we won't even look to upgrade the LT position during Kylers contract.

We should have let DJ test free agency. COuld have drafted a starting LT at #8...could have signed Beachum to play LT and kept Murray on the right side.

We are now stuck with a bottom 5 LT for Kylers entire rookie deal.


Disagree on this. It's like budda you won't know what you have until it's not there.

Great write up chopper, and thank you for taking the time.
 

BritCard

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Disagree on this. It's like budda you won't know what you have until it's not there.

Great write up chopper, and thank you for taking the time.

It's nothing like Budda. Hump is a below average LT. He's not, dare I say it, even as good as Beachum. Through 4 games he has already allowed 2 sacks. Thats the same amount as the whole of last year (although last years figures were BS as Kyler avoided about 6). Whatever you think of PFF I assume they grade them both on the same scale. Hump has a 62, Beachum a 65. Beachum hasn't allowed a sack yet.

I don't get why people make excuses for him and being healthy is the least we should expect.

He's a solid 4 out of 10 tackle. He's only positive factor is that he's consistently below average.
 
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Chopper0080

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Resigning DJ Humphris is NOT a hit. He is getting smoked and allowing almost constant pressure. Worse than that...we committed so much money to him, we won't even look to upgrade the LT position during Kylers contract.

We should have let DJ test free agency. COuld have drafted a starting LT at #8...could have signed Beachum to play LT and kept Murray on the right side.

We are now stuck with a bottom 5 LT for Kylers entire rookie deal.
If you don't believe Humphries is a top 24 LTs in the NFL you are letting your bias show. For most positions in the NFL you can divide them like this...top 8, bottom 8, and middle 16. The top are clearly better than their peers supported by eyes and stats. Same for the bottom 8. The middle 16 is where, as fans, it gets tricky and is mostly subjective. We just do not have enough info to separate Dion Dawkins and DJ Humphries. Some of it is scheme, QB play at the time, and supporting cast.

I agree that he could have been upgraded and we probably missed out on an opportunity in drafting Wirfs or Wills, both who have been fantastic. However, we did not pass on them because of Humphries and it would have been negligent to head into the draft with Murray or Gilbert as our LT.
 
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Chopper0080

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It's nothing like Budda. Hump is a below average LT. He's not, dare I say it, even as good as Beachum. Through 4 games he has already allowed 2 sacks. Thats the same amount as the whole of last year (although last years figures were BS as Kyler avoided about 6). Whatever you think of PFF I assume they grade them both on the same scale. Hump has a 62, Beachum a 65. Beachum hasn't allowed a sack yet.

I don't get why people make excuses for him and being healthy is the least we should expect.

He's a solid 4 out of 10 tackle. He's only positive factor is that he's consistently below average.
So sacks didn't matter last year, but they do this year? I also don't believe that you can acknowledge Murray is playing poorly and not factor that into Humphries level of play. If Murray was playing better, the entire line would look better. Humphries is average...and that is ok.
 

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So sacks didn't matter last year, but they do this year? I also don't believe that you can acknowledge Murray is playing poorly and not factor that into Humphries level of play. If Murray was playing better, the entire line would look better. Humphries is average...and that is ok.

I mean, he got embarrassed and fell on his face by a rookie 2nd rounder in only his 3rd game with only 40 previous NFL snaps but sure, he's average.
 
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Chopper0080

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I mean, he got embarrassed and fell on his face by a rookie 2nd rounder in only his 3rd game with only 40 previous NFL snaps but sure, he's average.
Every tackle looks bad at times...come on. We can't now change it to style points. Humpries is not one of the 8th best OTs and he is not one of the 8 worst. He is in that middle 16 where none of us are qualified to separate and it is mostly personal preference.
 

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I mean, he got embarrassed and fell on his face by a rookie 2nd rounder in only his 3rd game with only 40 previous NFL snaps but sure, he's average.
What about against Bosa or chase young? Last week I watched Trent Williams on back to back plays get called for a hold then get blown by given up a sack... Must be bottom tier right? Players on the other side of the ball get paid too
 

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I think the defense has the personnel to be sound. The CBs have been marginal at best. Teams are clearly not avoiding Peterson even on third down, as they have in the past. Murphy is very inconsistent. On one play he’s in decent position. On the next play he allows way too much separation. The only interception came from cover 1 receiver with 2 corners. That’s not typically something that can be done often.

The D-Line needs a quality blitz package to make feints disrupt the opposing O-line. Better better line stunts would help as well. You rarely see that opposing line point at defenders to avoid confusion. It’s easy for them to identify their blocking assignments. There is no deception.

This is a unit looking for design and leadership. It’s time for a change at the top.
 

BritCard

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What about against Bosa or chase young? Last week I watched Trent Williams on back to back plays get called for a hold then get blown by given up a sack... Must be bottom tier right? Players on the other side of the ball get paid too

Chase Young had a sack, 2 TFLs and a QB hit.
Bosa had a QB hit and a forced fumble.

He's not going to suck every week but he does more often than not.

Being on the field and getting in the way a bit most of the time doesn't make a good LT.

And this is playing a scheme designed to be friendly to the O line with a bunch of quick passes. God help us if we had BA as coach.
 

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The Cardinals looked good for the first game and a half of this season.

Since the end of halftime of the WFT game the Cardinals look terrible. Kyler is getting worse each game.


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Chopper0080

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I think the defense has the personnel to be sound. The CBs have been marginal at best. Teams are clearly not avoiding Peterson even on third down, as they have in the past. Murphy is very inconsistent. On one play he’s in decent position. On the next play he allows way too much separation. The only interception came from cover 1 receiver with 2 corners. That’s not typically something that can be done often.

The D-Line needs a quality blitz package to make feints disrupt the opposing O-line. Better better line stunts would help as well. You rarely see that opposing line point at defenders to avoid confusion. It’s easy for them to identify their blocking assignments. There is no deception.

This is a unit looking for design and leadership. It’s time for a change at the top.
Agree on almost all of this. Targets against show that QBs have targeted Peterson the least of our CBs but it has been increasing, and Carolina challenged him the most so far with significant success. I feel like Murphy has played a little better than you are giving him credit for. To have the lowest completion % allowed across from Peterson and on the second most targets is pretty good for a 2nd year CB. Especially when you consider our lack of pass rush on the year.

The blitz packages are super vanilla and when I dug into Vance's history in Denver, they were equally unsuccessful which is crazy when you consider between Arizona he has had Von Miller and Chandler Jones. To not have a larger increase in success bringing more players with those edge players is telling. For me, I think Vance just calls run blitzes as his blitz package. Those blitzes almost always result in every gap being covered and rarely, if ever, result in an overload to any one side.
 

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I think the defense has the personnel to be sound. The CBs have been marginal at best. Teams are clearly not avoiding Peterson even on third down, as they have in the past. Murphy is very inconsistent. On one play he’s in decent position. On the next play he allows way too much separation. The only interception came from cover 1 receiver with 2 corners. That’s not typically something that can be done often.

The D-Line needs a quality blitz package to make feints disrupt the opposing O-line. Better better line stunts would help as well. You rarely see that opposing line point at defenders to avoid confusion. It’s easy for them to identify their blocking assignments. There is no deception.

This is a unit looking for design and leadership. It’s time for a change at the top.

Statistically Murphy is playing better than Jalen Ramsey. He is a allowing a 78 QB Rating.
 

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[b[Chase Young had a sack, 2 TFLs and a QB hit.
Bosa had a QB hit and a forced fumble.[/b]

He's not going to suck every week but he does more often than not.

Being on the field and getting in the way a bit most of the time doesn't make a good LT.

And this is playing a scheme designed to be friendly to the O line with a bunch of quick passes. God help us if we had BA as coach.
Were those actually on Humphries’ side because we know how you are when it comes to box score-watching.
 

AZfaninMN

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Chase Young had a sack, 2 TFLs and a QB hit.
Bosa had a QB hit and a forced fumble.

He's not going to suck every week but he does more often than not.

Being on the field and getting in the way a bit most of the time doesn't make a good LT.

And this is playing a scheme designed to be friendly to the O line with a bunch of quick passes. God help us if we had BA as coach.
I don’t know how to copy the video of his sack but it was for a 1 yard loss after kyler was flushed from the pocket to his left by Sweezy getting beat and instead of throwing it away kyler slides to avoid contact. Not exactly DJs fault but shows up in the stats as his fault... he has only missed one play so far this year after not missing any last year. Scheme doesn’t have anything to do with it. There’s plenty of snaps where Murray has no pressure on his blind side with not chip, rb assistance, or even rollouts away from his side. If it was as big of an issue some make it to be I’m sure we’d have start doing some of that and it would drastically change some of our offense
 

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nice write up. Agree with 95% of it.

we should remember there needs to be an asterisk by "1 Q Season Review".... the games count but it was somewhat of a preseason as teams are still figuring out their strengths/weaknesses.

I hate to say it cause I want Vance fired but I can see him putting together some nice games with his safeties back and settling into the season.
 

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Were those actually on Humphries’ side because we know how you are when it comes to box score-watching.

lol, says the people who think Hump was good last yeah because PFF only assigned him 2 sacks. And yes, they came on Humps side.
 

AZman5103

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Every tackle looks bad at times...come on. We can't now change it to style points. Humpries is not one of the 8th best OTs and he is not one of the 8 worst. He is in that middle 16 where none of us are qualified to separate and it is mostly personal preference.

He is paid as the 6th best in the NFL.

Over the course of his career...his is absolutely one of the 8 worst. A first round pick who has played in 47/84 games...(56%)....and is consistently ranked in the bottom tier of LT's.

Analytics say he was worth about 9.5 million on the open market....we paid him 15. Next year he has a cap hit of 19.9 million!

We drafted a 3rd rounder in Josh Jones, who could have provided the same production...let alone the fact we could have taken a sure fire starter in the 1st round.

DJ is knee deep for a reason. He sucks, and has never lived up to his potential. We have heard all the excuses...."he was always a project....he was a young 1st rounder.....he has been injured....BA doesn't like to play rookies...blah blah blah". Meanwhile, BA has no problem starting Wirfs...who is a rookie...moving from RT to LT....to protect a 44 year old QB...in an offense that requires him to hold the ball in the pocket.

The reality is that DJ is another bust of a pick by Keim. He should have never been drafted where he was, and he has never done anything to earn his current contract. Keim didn't want YET ANOTHER 1st round pick leaving the team (even though DJ would have probably been a backup somewhere else). Keim doesn't trust his own drafting, and so keeping and massively overpaying Humphries seemed like a better deal than going with the "unknown".....even though it was not. This is yet another reason why Keim should probably be fired.

He will go all in on KK and KM...make trades...bring in FA's....but he couldn't find someone better than Knee Deep??

Look how much money Keim has paid to DJ Humphries and Marcus Gilbert over the last couple of years. Its literally flushing money down a toilet. We bring in Beachum on a minimal deal and he's the best OT we have.
 

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He is paid as the 6th best in the NFL.

Over the course of his career...his is absolutely one of the 8 worst. A first round pick who has played in 47/84 games...(56%)....and is consistently ranked in the bottom tier of LT's.

Analytics say he was worth about 9.5 million on the open market....we paid him 15. Next year he has a cap hit of 19.9 million!

We drafted a 3rd rounder in Josh Jones, who could have provided the same production...let alone the fact we could have taken a sure fire starter in the 1st round.

DJ is knee deep for a reason. He sucks, and has never lived up to his potential. We have heard all the excuses...."he was always a project....he was a young 1st rounder.....he has been injured....BA doesn't like to play rookies...blah blah blah". Meanwhile, BA has no problem starting Wirfs...who is a rookie...moving from RT to LT....to protect a 44 year old QB...in an offense that requires him to hold the ball in the pocket.

The reality is that DJ is another bust of a pick by Keim. He should have never been drafted where he was, and he has never done anything to earn his current contract. Keim didn't want YET ANOTHER 1st round pick leaving the team (even though DJ would have probably been a backup somewhere else). Keim doesn't trust his own drafting, and so keeping and massively overpaying Humphries seemed like a better deal than going with the "unknown".....even though it was not. This is yet another reason why Keim should probably be fired.

He will go all in on KK and KM...make trades...bring in FA's....but he couldn't find someone better than Knee Deep??

Look how much money Keim has paid to DJ Humphries and Marcus Gilbert over the last couple of years. Its literally flushing money down a toilet. We bring in Beachum on a minimal deal and he's the best OT we have.

The only saving grace regarding our tackle situation is that we are paying a better Beachum vet min to play RT which offsets the massive over payment to Hump. At least we can say we are paying our tackles $7m on average. For this year at least.
 

AZman5103

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He hasn’t been active yet this season. What makes you believe he could step in and be a left tackle?

How could he be worse? DJ is rated as one of the worst OT's in the league.

Jones started 45 games at LT in college and graded out well. It's an unknown of course, but I just can't imagine he would be that much worse than DK...if not better.

But I also think we could put a parking cone at LT and it would be about as good as Humphries.
 
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Chopper0080

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How could he be worse? DJ is rated as one of the worst OT's in the league.

Jones started 45 games at LT in college and graded out well. It's an unknown of course, but I just can't imagine he would be that much worse than DK...if not better.

But I also think we could put a parking cone at LT and it would be about as good as Humphries.
As a Cardinals fan you shoul dknow that the answer to "how could he be worse" is usually "yes". Either you are being disingenuous or you haven't watched a lot of Cardinals football. We have all seen worse LTs on this team than Humphries.
 

AZman5103

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As a Cardinals fan you shoul dknow that the answer to "how could he be worse" is usually "yes". Either you are being disingenuous or you haven't watched a lot of Cardinals football. We have all seen worse LTs on this team than Humphries.

Starting LT in 2021

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