LAR 33 AZ 0: How? Why? What's Next?

Mitch

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Here were the key points I made in my mid-week preview: (In red are today's comment)

On Offense:

1---Run Off-Tackle: Deuce Blocks on Brockers and Donald, Angle and Kick Out Blocks on Quinn and Barwin (most of the early runs were right up the middle, where the Cardinals even had trouble blocking NT Tanzel Smart. 12 rushes for 25 yards and 2.1 ypc the whole game. When asked about the lack of running game, Adrian Peterson said he thought the energy level was low and he wasn't sure why.)

2---Wall the Middle on Pass Plays, keep a RB in to take first penetration, A gap blitzes (the Rams in the 2nd quarter were all over Palmer in the pass rush. The lack of added protection is one of the reasons why Ogletree got a straight, unimpeded shot at Palmer, which led to costly interception and even more costly season-ending broken arm for Palmer. No Navy Seals training could save him from taking that shot---which has been a worry for weeks with the amount of hits Palmer was taking. Yet, such little to no adjustments from the coaches.)

3---Help on DE Quinn---chips, double teams (Quinn was beating the Cardinals' offensive line off the snap because he knew the snap count---everyone knows the Cardinals' snap count, week after week.)

4---Win WR/CB matchups (15/32/168/0 TD, 2 INT.)

5---Isolate RB in passing game on Ogletree (one time Adrian Peterson caught a ball on a swing pass and took it for 9 yards. The passes for Peterson over the middle were forced and nearly intercepted.)

On Defense:

1---Swarm tackle on Gurley (Cardinals gave up a 100 yard rusher for the first time in 20 games as Gurley rushed for 22/106/4.8/1 TD---it was clear from the start that the Cardinals were not all that interested in tackling anyone in this game---it was a weak effort, save from Bucannon and Bethea and Tramon Williams, although T-Williams made a number of his tackles on WRs he played loose coverage on.)

2---Pressure Goff, collapse pocket, get him to throw off back foot---make blitzes count (on most pass plays, Goff had all the time in the world and he made the Cardinals pay. Clearly the Cardinals do not have effective blitzes anymore and their 4 man rush is weak, save from Chandler Jones.)

3---DL get hands up in passing lanes to stifle short passing game---get 3rd down stops (The Rams did this all day---they got 5 deflections...because they are coached by Wade Phillips---the Cardinals don't do this and they have plenty of chances to because they do not get good inside rush penetration.)

4---Do a quicker job reading and blowing up screens---get a big game from Buc and Dansby (pitiful effort on the WR screen to Cooper Kupp---easy TD for Rams---Bucannon played well in run defense and coverage, Dansby continues to struggle in both---now a shell of his former self and he was never great or all that willing at stuffing holes, but he used to be great in coverage and now he is slow and easily beatable.)

5---Abandon the zones---play tight man exclusively---Peterson (Watkins), Bethel/T.Williams (Woods); Mathieu (Kupp); Branch (Higbee); Dansby (Everett), Bethea deep help opposite Peterson and at times sneak up to jump Kupp or Higbee (abandoning the zones was imperative especially following the 27 point 4th quarter versus the Bucs and the soft zones the Cardinals played during that poor stretch---and yet---for some reason---the plan this week was to play a lot of zones versus the Rams---which with little pressure on Goff made for easy pitch and catch all day---just as Tiki Barber who bristled at the Cardinals' consistent failure in zones. It felt especially weird to see Patrick Peterson on 3rd and long, giving Sammy Watkins a 10-12 yard cushion and then Watkins simply running a post across Peterson's face for an easy first down.)

On STs:

1---Limit Pharoh Cooper's touches on returns with touchbacks and hang-time on punts (Cooper had 3 punt returns for 30 yards.)

2---Pressure Hekker and Zeurlein, disturb their timing and rhythm (Hekker had 2 punts for an average of 59.5 yards each, one was a 65 harder. Zeurlein was 4/4 on FGs---including a last second 53 yard kick to end the half---and 3/3 on XPTs. Conversely, after the offense drove all the way down to set up a 32 yard chip shot FG to start the game, Phil Dawson shanked it wide left following a low snap by newbie Justin Drescher, but a good hold by Lee---it's just more of the same momentum destroying STs mistakes by the Cardinals. Dawson has now missed 5 FGs---Zeurleiin is 22/23 FGs on the year and 21/21 XPTs.)

3---Put Bethel back as one of the gunners, pair him with Baker (Bethel was back as gunner, but could not pin the Rams deep on a pooch punt because he ran out of bounds and wasn't getting to Pharoh Cooper in time.)

4---Don't let STC John Fassel and the Rams' very good STs be the difference maker in this game (Fassel's STs were excellent, as always---Amos Jones' were poor again.)

5---Get Scooby Wright going---play these teams with passion (Didn't see Scooby, but Josh Bynes made a good tackle on STs and good pass breakup versus Kupp in the end zone, but later got flagged for unnecessary roughness. As for playing with passion---that pretty much stopped for the Cardinals after 31-0 versus the Bucs.)

What's Next?

The bye week---and a chance to come up with a new plan following the loss of QB Carson Palmer. BA has already declared Drew Stanton as the starter. Hmmm. Last week we watched the Bucs' backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick pass for over 300 yards and 2 TDs and 27 2nd half offense points versus the Cardinals. With almost exactly the same time frame coming into the game for an injured QB in the 2nd quarter, Drew Stanton threw for 5/14/64 yards/0 TDs/1 INT. His interception was on 1st down with 33 seconds left in the first half---that's right 33 seconds-- following another Rams' scoring drive. It led to Zeurlein's 53 yard FG to end the half and a 23-0 first half deficit.

Blaine Gabbert is not being considered as a starting QB option, but he has a stronger, more accurate arm than Stanton's and far better escapability from the pocket, which in this offense has become a necessity and may actually be a blessing from time to time.

The coaches really have to take a strong look at the following, struggling, under-achieving players:

QB Drew Stanton
RG Earl Watford (all other OL not far behind following this embarrassment)
TE Jermaine Gresham
DT Josh Mauro
DE Kareem Martin
LB Karlos Dansby
CB Tramon Williams
CB Justin Bethel
S Tyrann Mathieu
LS Justin Drescher
K Phil Dawson

The Cardinals will lead the league in excuses once again---long travel, key injuries, early playing times---BUT---anyone who has watched the first 7 games knows that the coaching and the general effort from the players on this team has been unacceptable and just a continuation from last year's problems. The coaches and the players do not deserve a pass or a mulligan this year for what is going on between the lines. This team has given up 66 points in the last 6 quarters and 100 points in the last 3 games. They now have a -72 point differential on the season. The talent on this roster is being wasted by self-destructive, lethargic play. It looks like the players are playing not to get hurt or totally out of focus. Go back and watch the lack of effort on the Cooper Kup screen pass TD...it looks like the defenders are doing everything they can to avoid having to make the tackle. Go back and watch Jared Goff waltz easily into the end zone off a read option that he knew would be wide open because every time the Cardinals' edge player takes the bait and crashes inside. Go back and watch 5 off-sides penalties by the defense---because, unlike the Cardinals, the Rams' QB was giving hard counts to keep the defense off-balance.

Hopefully, Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim will hold every coach and player accountable, because the Cardinals' are quickly descending toward to bottom of the NFC (2-4 NFC record) and the NFC West. They are getting accustomed to losing---anyone can see it in their faces and in their demeanor. And now they just lost maybe their fiercest battler in Carson Palmer. Adrian Peterson wondered why the energy level was so low. Welcome to the Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde Cardinals, AP. Maybe you can get in a few faces and stir this pot. This team needs leadership more than ever.

 
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Proximo

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The season is completely over.

It is rebuilding time, there is zero chance they make the playoffs.

They should tank now, but even if they aren't trying to tank, drew stanton almost guarantees losses.

What a swing from one week to the next.
 

eastcoastSUN

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With that loss and a little over 1/3 into the season, we are second in the league in point differential at -72 and worse than the winless Cleveland Browns in that category. In fact, not sure we could even beat the Browns at this point. This season is toast. Clean house.
 

Jetstream Green

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If you are Gabbert, why even stay on this team. I wonder what expression Michael Bidwill would make if you told him that Stanton might be our starting QB next season? Exactly
 

az jam

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IMO Gabbert gives them the best chance to win SOME games. But BA already declared Stanton the starter for the rest of the year. It should be about winning not being a stubborn sob that BA has become. Being a season ticket holder, I'm not looking forward to going to the games and seeing this poorly coached team play. Very depressing.
 

Harry

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The season is completely over.

It is rebuilding time, there is zero chance they make the playoffs.

They should tank now, but even if they aren't trying to tank, drew stanton almost guarantees losses.

What a swing from one week to the next.
Maybe that’s why Stanton is starting
 

Buckybird

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:notworthy:

Winning is about commitment, desire & drive to be the best & willingness to play hard every play every second. The coaches & majority of these players aren't doing none of those things IMO.

Most of them rolled over & played dead today especially when #3 was hurt :bang:

Our defense is one of the worst in the NFL these days.
Here were the key points I made in my mid-week preview: (In red are today's comment)

On Offense:

1---Run Off-Tackle: Deuce Blocks on Brockers and Donald, Angle and Kick Out Blocks on Quinn and Barwin (most of the early runs were right up the middle, where the Cardinals even had trouble blocking NT Tanzel Smart. 12 rushes for 25 yards and 2.1 ypc the whole game. When asked about the lack of running game, Adrian Peterson said he thought the energy level was low and he wasn't sure why.)

2---Wall the Middle on Pass Plays, keep a RB in to take first penetration, A gap blitzes (the Rams in the 2nd quarter were all over Palmer in the pass rush. The lack of added protection is one of the reasons why Ogletree got a straight, unimpeded shot at Palmer, which led to costly interception and even more costly season-ending broken arm for Palmer. No Navy Seals training could save him from taking that shot---which has been a worry for weeks with the amount of hits Palmer was taking. Yet, such little to no adjustments from the coaches.)

3---Help on DE Quinn---chips, double teams (Quinn was beating the Cardinals' offensive line off the snap because he knew the snap count---everyone knows the Cardinals' snap count, week after week.)

4---Win WR/CB matchups (15/32/168/0 TD, 2 INT.)

5---Isolate RB in passing game on Ogletree (one time Adrian Peterson caught a ball on a swing pass and took it for 9 yards. The passes for Peterson over the middle were forced and nearly intercepted.)

On Defense:

1---Swarm tackle on Gurley (Cardinals gave up a 100 yard rusher for the first time in 20 games as Gurley rushed for 22/106/4.8/1 TD---it was clear from the start that the Cardinals were not all that interested in tackling anyone in this game---it was a weak effort, save from Bucannon and Bethea and Tramon Williams, although T-Williams made a number of his tackles on WRs he played loose coverage on.)

2---Pressure Goff, collapse pocket, get him to throw off back foot---make blitzes count (on most pass plays, Goff had all the time in the world and he made the Cardinals pay. Clearly the Cardinals do not have effective blitzes anymore and their 4 man rush is weak, save from Chandler Jones.)

3---DL get hands up in passing lanes to stifle short passing game---get 3rd down stops (The Rams did this all day---they got 5 deflections...because they are coached by Wade Phillips---the Cardinals don't do this and they have plenty of chances to because they do not get good inside rush penetration.)

4---Do a quicker job reading and blowing up screens---get a big game from Buc and Dansby (pitiful effort on the WR screen to Cooper Kupp---easy TD for Rams---Bucannon played well in run defense and coverage, Dansby continues to struggle in both---now a shell of his former self and he was never great or all that willing at stuffing holes, but he used to be great in coverage and now he is slow and easily beatable.)

5---Abandon the zones---play tight man exclusively---Peterson (Watkins), Bethel/T.Williams (Woods); Mathieu (Kupp); Branch (Higbee); Dansby (Everett), Bethea deep help opposite Peterson and at times sneak up to jump Kupp or Higbee (abandoning the zones was imperative especially following the 27 point 4th quarter versus the Bucs and the soft zones the Cardinals played during that poor stretch---and yet---for some reason---the plan this week was to play a lot of zones versus the Rams---which with little pressure on Goff made for easy pitch and catch all day---just as Tiki Barber who bristled at the Cardinals' consistent failure in zones. It felt especially weird to see Patrick Peterson on 3rd and long, giving Sammy Watkins a 10-12 yard cushion and then Watkins simply running a post across Peterson's face for an easy first down.)

On STs:

1---Limit Pharoh Cooper's touches on returns with touchbacks and hang-time on punts (Cooper had 3 punt returns for 30 yards.)

2---Pressure Hekker and Zeurlein, disturb their timing and rhythm (Hekker had 2 punts for an average of 59.5 yards each, one was a 65 harder. Zeurlein was 4/4 on FGs---including a last second 53 yard kick to end the half---and 3/3 on XPTs. Conversely, after the offense drove all the way down to set up a 32 yard chip shot FG to start the game, Phil Dawson shanked it wide left following a low snap by newbie Justin Drescher, but a good hold by Lee---it's just more of the same momentum destroying STs mistakes by the Cardinals. Dawson has now missed 5 FGs---Zeurleiin is 22/23 FGs on the year and 21/21 XPTs.)

3---Put Bethel back as one of the gunners, pair him with Baker (Bethel was back as gunner, but could not pin the Rams deep on a pooch punt because he ran out of bounds and wasn't getting to Pharoh Cooper in time.)

4---Don't let STC John Fassel and the Rams' very good STs be the difference maker in this game (Fassel's STs were excellent, as always---Amos Jones' were poor again.)

5---Get Scooby Wright going---play these teams with passion (Didn't see Scooby, but Josh Bynes made a good tackle on STs and good pass breakup versus Kupp in the end zone, but later got flagged for unnecessary roughness. As for playing with passion---that pretty much stopped for the Cardinals after 31-0 versus the Bucs.)

What's Next?

The bye week---and a chance to come up with a new plan following the loss of QB Carson Palmer. BA has already declared Drew Stanton as the starter. Hmmm. Last week we watched the Bucs' backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick pass for over 300 yards and 2 TDs and 27 2nd half offense points versus the Cardinals. With almost exactly the same time frame coming into the game for an injured QB in the 2nd quarter, Drew Stanton threw for 5/14/64 yards/0 TDs/1 INT. His interception was on 1st down with 33 seconds left in the first half---that's right 33 seconds-- following another Rams' scoring drive. It led to Zeurlein's 53 yard FG to end the half and a 23-0 first half deficit.

Blaine Gabbert is not being considered as a starting QB option, but he has a stronger, more accurate arm than Stanton's and far better escapability from the pocket, which in this offense has become a necessity and may actually be a blessing from time to time.

The coaches really have to take a strong look at the following, struggling, under-achieving players:

QB Drew Stanton
RG Earl Watford (all other OL not far behind following this embarrassment)
TE Jermaine Gresham
DT Josh Mauro
DE Kareem Martin
LB Karlos Dansby
CB Tramon Williams
CB Justin Bethel
S Tyrann Mathieu
LS Justin Drescher
K Phil Dawson

The Cardinals will lead the league in excuses once again---long travel, key injuries, early playing times---BUT---anyone who has watched the first 7 games knows that the coaching and the general effort from the players on this team has been unacceptable and just a continuation from last year's problems. The coaches and the players do not deserve a pass or a mulligan this year for what is going on between the lines. This team has given up 66 points in the last 6 quarters and 100 points in the last 3 games. They now have a -72 point differential on the season. The talent on this roster is being wasted by self-destructive, lethargic play. It looks like the players are playing not to get hurt or totally out of focus. Go back and watch the lack of effort on the Cooper Kup screen pass TD...it looks like the defenders are doing everything they can to avoid having to make the tackle. Go back and watch Jared Goff waltz easily into the end zone off a read option that he knew would be wide open because every time the Cardinals' edge player takes the bait and crashes inside. Go back and watch 5 off-sides penalties by the defense---because, unlike the Cardinals, the Rams' QB was giving hard counts to keep the defense off-balance.

Hopefully, Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim will hold every coach and player accountable, because the Cardinals' are quickly descending toward to bottom of the NFC (2-4 NFC record) and the NFC West. They are getting accustomed to losing---anyone can see it in their faces and in their demeanor. And now they just lost maybe their fiercest battler in Carson Palmer. Adrian Peterson wondered why the energy level was so low. Welcome to the Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde Cardinals, AP. Maybe you can get in a few faces and stir this pot. This team needs leadership more than ever.
 
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THESMEL

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Great read I have a list of 1

1. Run the damn ball more
 
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Mitch

Mitch

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Great read I have a list of 1

1. Run the damn ball more

Yes, they should. But, the irony is---do you remember the series where the offense went 0 RB, bunch trips to one side and twins to the other and they marched down into Rams' territory and were moving the ball and the sticks...Palmer made a great scramble throw to Jaron on 3rd down...so now they have the Rams' defense on its heels and what does BA do? He brings Peterson back in, runs two dives for 0 yards and Palmer gets sacked on 3rd and long and the drive is over...couldn't even try to kick a FG. And then couldn't down the perfect pooch punt because Bethel had stepped out of bounds. Ugh.
 

Buckybird

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Yes, they should. But, the irony is---do you remember the series where the offense went 0 RB, bunch trips to one side and twins to the other and they marched down into Rams' territory and were moving the ball and the sticks...Palmer made a great scramble throw to Jaron on 3rd down...so now they have the Rams' defense on its heels and what does BA do? He brings Peterson back in, runs two dives for 0 yards and Palmer gets sacked on 3rd and long and the drive is over...couldn't even try to kick a FG. And then couldn't down the perfect pooch punt because Bethel had stepped out of bounds. Ugh.
Yep. It was maddening!

Sometimes a team has to throw the rock to open up the run game, today was that day Mitch. You will never convince Thesmel of that though.
 

THESMEL

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Yes, they should. But, the irony is---do you remember the series where the offense went 0 RB, bunch trips to one side and twins to the other and they marched down into Rams' territory and were moving the ball and the sticks...Palmer made a great scramble throw to Jaron on 3rd down...so now they have the Rams' defense on its heels and what does BA do? He brings Peterson back in, runs two dives for 0 yards and Palmer gets sacked on 3rd and long and the drive is over...couldn't even try to kick a FG. And then couldn't down the perfect pooch punt because Bethel had stepped out of bounds. Ugh.

Yep and the d seemed lost in coverage
 
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