Saints’ Game Reaction

Harry

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A win is a win. That’s a good manta, but it’s a long season. So what should be taken away from Thursday’s win. Was there progress? Yes, but halting progress. Keep in mind the Cards’ offense scored fewer points than the Saints’ offense did. Also the Cards have intercepted a pass in only one other game. Getting similar defensive scoring would probably be rare. Consider the Saints have given up 270 passing yards a game, yet the Cards got only 204 with the Saints top 3 CBs out. The Cards figure to get better when Anderson gets involved and Hopkins should be even better with time, but there were still many of the issues that have plagued the Cards all year. On defense, the 34 points the Saints got was their second highest total of the year and they were missing 2 of their top receivers. The Saints were a wounded team but the Cards had to recover an onside kick to finally put them away.

It’s true the Cards had injuries also. However, I thought Price and Ford outplayed Hudson, Harlow and Garcia. Pugh’s absence hurt some. Brown was out but arguably Hopkins was more useful. On the whole the Cards were in much better shape.

So, what’s the outlook. Connor’s immediate availability is questionable. Brown is like gone for likely 6 weeks. On the plus side, Anderson figures to be far more productive than Green assuming Murray comes to believe in him. At times I feel Murray has trust issues. Maybe Murray will even risk a throw to McBride. Maybe Kingsbury won’t forget about Ertz in quarter one. Benjamin played great and figures to get even better. This team has numerous weapons offering solid diversity. When Brown & Connor come back the offensive potential could be off the charts.

So it all comes down to Murray and play-calling. Murray has a great arm. That said, he lacks poise. So Kingsbury must call plays that are focused to Murray’s strengths, using speed and accuracy to move the ball. Murray’s responsibility is to improve his technique to acquire a broader array of strengths. A perfect example would be slants, like the one Murray threw to Dortch at the goal line. Slants are one of the hardest passes to defend, especially when throw accurately. However, they function best with a throwing lane, particularly for short QBs. Murray needs to learn to shift in the pocket, like Wilson & Brees learned to do, so he can complete more of these each game. These are also great throws for blunting blitzes. The addition of Anderson brings the deep threat lost when Kirk departed. There’s no question Murray has the arm to throw deep, but he needs the time. For my money this falls more on play calling. Hold in a back or roll out Murray to buy the time for Anderson to beat his cover. He will.

I don’t expect Murray to become a great reader of defenses, though he called an outstanding audible that went for a TD in the Saints gams. Instead success means using the skills he already possesses and maximizing his productivity.

Regarding Kingsbury, Murray is right to be angered as he was on the sideline. Kingsbury seems to overthink many calls and fails to anticipate game situations. His confusing delay on the call to go for 2 was bizarre. He surely knew throughout the drive he would go for 2 if they scored and should have had a play in mind, unless he faced some odd defense. His red zone calls in particular are often terrible. When inside the 5, he seems to always begin with a delayed handoff. The Saints knew it and appeared to run blitz. That play is now continually thrown for a loss near the goal line, as are his deep wide runs. When you’re close only go forward unless you’re passing. Dortch should always be in for the red zone plays. He has some of the surest hands and excellent quickness. I think he would have made the catch on the lob they intended for Moore. Moore seems to be a useful player in the open field, but they need to dump the behind the line travesties.

While getting rid of things, it’s time to dispense with thinking Murray is an option QB. He often dumps the ball too early and you could see Thursday night the defenders outsmarted him and dictated the option. Murray is a great athlete, but just not a great decision maker. He’s fine on designed runs, but again I don’t see him as a great RPO director. Draws and edge runs are okay, but complex paths are not his area of expertise.

There still seems often to be chaos on the sideline. A 12 men in the huddle is a careless or a penalty caused by indecision. TOs are thrown away in too many games. Plays come in too slowly. The 2 minute drill is excruciating. Murray is excellent in a hurry up offense, that is too seldom seen. The Cards use far less pre-snap motion than other offensive minded teams. This allows the defense to nest and seldom be confused. When the Saints used it you could see the problem it caused Hamilton to experience when he tried to move through traffic to cover his man.

This team has the potential to become an offensive juggernaut if it can get out of its own way and play to its strength. The defense has played above what I expected, though teams with strong passing games will be an issue. It it can continue to be a bend but not break structure, perhaps the Cards can sneak into the playoffs. However, it looks to me like 8-9 is the best case scenario unless this offense breaks lose enough to simply outscore a few remaining opponents. The offense has a long way to go. I hope everyone doesn’t read too much into the Saints game. It was a step forward, but only a small one. The team has potential but must maximize it to offer any real hope.
 

Russ Smith

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I will say this on the their offense outscored us. we had 10 possesions the 10th being the kneel down. The offense scored on it's first 3 possessions and 4 of the first 6.

The last 2 were basically kill time to run out the clock including the kneel down. So we scored on 5 of 8 times we had the ball and actually were trying to score.

The big disappointment to me was the first 2 of teh 2nd half 3 and out 5 yards, 3 and out -13 yards. We had a chance to bury them there with another score and didn't.
 

AZ Native

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Harry,

Thank god our defense had 2 pick sixes and the interception in the endzone. They would have killed us. The rest of the defensive stats are not so great:

494 total yards
7.0 yards per play
25 1st downs
7/14 3rd and 4th down conversions
3/5 red zone conversions
etc..
34 points on the offensive when their team was a mess.

I agree with most of what you said. We have a lot of work to get to 9-8.
 
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Cardsfaninlouky

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I'm still not sold on Keim but one thing I do give him props for is this, last night 9 out of 11 starters on defense he drafted, yes I'm counting Golden because he was originally drafted by Keim. Now on to the kicking situation with Keim. I don't care what he says about the tryouts, height on the ball etc etc, I've seen Blankenship kick with the Colts, he isn't automatic but he has a strong leg. Ammandola (sp) absolutely sucks. Blankenship missed an extra point last night yes but he also made a 50 yarder, the other bozo couldn't even touch that. If Keim signed Blankenship we could easily be 5-2 right now, in my mind he makes those kicks against the Eagles & we win outright or at least go into OT, lose a close one & we're 4-3. We went for it against Seattle like 4 times were Blankenship makes at least 3 or those kicks.


KK drives me nuts with those sideways passes that lose yards & his game management oh my lord, no wonder Kyler yelled at him, he's sick of burning timeouts. Our so called offensive guru needs to be more prepared & have plays ready to go for any situation down & distance, especially deep in the red zone.


We have Ertz & McBride, KK needs to run some double crossing patterns with a TE & slot (no mesh) to free up Ertz across the middle, instant first down if executed properly.


KK did use a little motion last night & moved WR around, which he needs to do more of. For instance, one play, Hopkins went in motion, ran like a down & out, Kyler hit him & he had separation, I believe it went for a 1st down? It's hard enough for a CB to cover Hopkins when he's straight off the LOS but he's almost impossible to cover while getting a running start in motion with his catch radius. How come us as fans can see this but our genius play caller can't?


People talk about Kyler not being able to see the field because of his height, I'm very guilty of that very thing. How bout put him under center more, play fake & rollout where he can see the field better? You know, the exact play the Rams burn us on about 4 times per game. Kyler has been deadly in the past rolling to his right & throwing downfield, this only works from under center & play action though which almost never happens. I think Kyler was under center once last night & that was on a running play to either Eno or Ingram & a TD was scored.


Don't even get me started on Rondale, there's so much more to his game that KK isn't utilizing. He needs more routes downfield in space, he can make people miss, not just on bubble screen gadget plays. Kyler went the wrong way with his pass to Rondale in the end zone fade, that's not his strong suit, that fade should've went to Hopkins, he was single covered, I even called that as the play started & I saw Hopkins single covered, instead Kyler went to Moore.


I do like Conner, he gets the tough yards but he's slow, reads blocks, waits for them to develop yes but still slow. He needs the tough yardage carries. Eno, need I say more, that dude is a stud, I was so wrong about him. He hits the hole hard, he needs to be the starter. Ingram hits the hole hard & can cut on a dime, the long run he had last night he made like 4 guys miss on cutbacks. He also needs to be used in the passing game more on check downs with his cutting ability.


I could go on & on, I'm glad we won but our offense could be so much more, I wish KK would take some advice from this board lol but it ain't gonna happen. Does he have a call in show like the college football coaches do?
 

BurqueCardFan

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Not nearly as doom and gloom as I expected from you Harry, seems a pretty fair analysis
Harry always has a fair analysis. Some people just don’t like to hear the truth.
I think that was his point with the “lucky streak” thread. Some on here get all butt hurt when someone posts something that isn’t all rose colored glasses
 

oaken1

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it was better.

the score doesnt mean anything. the saints played an entirely different game when we took the lead which led to inflated yardage in the passing game...we won....a good thing.

I was actually surprised...seemed to me we ran motion on damn near every single play the first half.

we got all these speed guys...Brown, Moore, Dortch, Anderson....
they would be a lot more effective if kyler hit them in stride...our guys run to a spot, then turn and wait for the ball to get there... I agree, kyler has serious trust issues.
 

nashman

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If Vance doesn’t go into prevent nonsense leaving 10-15 yard cushions they don’t score multiple times late imo. Score and game wasn’t as close as final score anyone watching knows that. And of moron Kliff runs the ball instead of throwing around late with a big lead we likely burn a lot of the clock instead of handing the ball back. We need this mini bye to hopefully get some players back and hopefully Hop and the new guy get some much needed reps in the offense. We have some tools Kliff need to start using them correctly. Dortch should be getting at least as many snaps as RM and we desperately need to cut the sideways passing out! Balanced playcalling has always been a factor when we play well, if Kyler is throwing 50 passes something is terribly wrong!
 

cardpa

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Kind of felt bad for Dalton as his WRs did him no favors. The Wilson pick 6 and several passes right through the hands that should have been catches. The defense really turned this game with the two pick 6 and the stop forcing NO to kick a FG on their opening second half drive pretty much took away the NO run game which had been getting good yardage early in the game.
 

Garthshort

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A win is a win. That’s a good manta, but it’s a long season. So what should be taken away from Thursday’s win. Was there progress? Yes, but halting progress. Keep in mind the Cards’ offense scored fewer points than the Saints’ offense did. Also the Cards have intercepted a pass in only one other game. Getting similar defensive scoring would probably be rare. Consider the Saints have given up 270 passing yards a game, yet the Cards got only 204 with the Saints top 3 CBs out. The Cards figure to get better when Anderson gets involved and Hopkins should be even better with time, but there were still many of the issues that have plagued the Cards all year. On defense, the 34 points the Saints got was their second highest total of the year and they were missing 2 of their top receivers. The Saints were a wounded team but the Cards had to recover an onside kick to finally put them away.

It’s true the Cards had injuries also. However, I thought Price and Ford outplayed Hudson, Harlow and Garcia. Pugh’s absence hurt some. Brown was out but arguably Hopkins was more useful. On the whole the Cards were in much better shape.

So, what’s the outlook. Connor’s immediate availability is questionable. Brown is like gone for likely 6 weeks. On the plus side, Anderson figures to be far more productive than Green assuming Murray comes to believe in him. At times I feel Murray has trust issues. Maybe Murray will even risk a throw to McBride. Maybe Kingsbury won’t forget about Ertz in quarter one. Benjamin played great and figures to get even better. This team has numerous weapons offering solid diversity. When Brown & Connor come back the offensive potential could be off the charts.

So it all comes down to Murray and play-calling. Murray has a great arm. That said, he lacks poise. So Kingsbury must call plays that are focused to Murray’s strengths, using speed and accuracy to move the ball. Murray’s responsibility is to improve his technique to acquire a broader array of strengths. A perfect example would be slants, like the one Murray threw to Dortch at the goal line. Slants are one of the hardest passes to defend, especially when throw accurately. However, they function best with a throwing lane, particularly for short QBs. Murray needs to learn to shift in the pocket, like Wilson & Brees learned to do, so he can complete more of these each game. These are also great throws for blunting blitzes. The addition of Anderson brings the deep threat lost when Kirk departed. There’s no question Murray has the arm to throw deep, but he needs the time. For my money this falls more on play calling. Hold in a back or roll out Murray to buy the time for Anderson to beat his cover. He will.

I don’t expect Murray to become a great reader of defenses, though he called an outstanding audible that went for a TD in the Saints gams. Instead success means using the skills he already possesses and maximizing his productivity.

Regarding Kingsbury, Murray is right to be angered as he was on the sideline. Kingsbury seems to overthink many calls and fails to anticipate game situations. His confusing delay on the call to go for 2 was bizarre. He surely knew throughout the drive he would go for 2 if they scored and should have had a play in mind, unless he faced some odd defense. His red zone calls in particular are often terrible. When inside the 5, he seems to always begin with a delayed handoff. The Saints knew it and appeared to run blitz. That play is now continually thrown for a loss near the goal line, as are his deep wide runs. When you’re close only go forward unless you’re passing. Dortch should always be in for the red zone plays. He has some of the surest hands and excellent quickness. I think he would have made the catch on the lob they intended for Moore. Moore seems to be a useful player in the open field, but they need to dump the behind the line travesties.

While getting rid of things, it’s time to dispense with thinking Murray is an option QB. He often dumps the ball too early and you could see Thursday night the defenders outsmarted him and dictated the option. Murray is a great athlete, but just not a great decision maker. He’s fine on designed runs, but again I don’t see him as a great RPO director. Draws and edge runs are okay, but complex paths are not his area of expertise.

There still seems often to be chaos on the sideline. A 12 men in the huddle is a careless or a penalty caused by indecision. TOs are thrown away in too many games. Plays come in too slowly. The 2 minute drill is excruciating. Murray is excellent in a hurry up offense, that is too seldom seen. The Cards use far less pre-snap motion than other offensive minded teams. This allows the defense to nest and seldom be confused. When the Saints used it you could see the problem it caused Hamilton to experience when he tried to move through traffic to cover his man.

This team has the potential to become an offensive juggernaut if it can get out of its own way and play to its strength. The defense has played above what I expected, though teams with strong passing games will be an issue. It it can continue to be a bend but not break structure, perhaps the Cards can sneak into the playoffs. However, it looks to me like 8-9 is the best case scenario unless this offense breaks lose enough to simply outscore a few remaining opponents. The offense has a long way to go. I hope everyone doesn’t read too much into the Saints game. It was a step forward, but only a small one. The team has potential but must maximize it to offer any real hope.
Harry, I hope that you are being paid by the word. And, while I might have missed it, did you mention the short week of practice? And, one of the big reasons why I feel that the Offense will improve, this week is the added time to game plan and practice.
 

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The TD’s off 2 picks eliminated 2 offensive opportunities we otherwise could have to bolster our possession numbers.
 
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Harry

Harry

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Harry, I hope that you are being paid by the word. And, while I might have missed it, did you mention the short week of practice? And, one of the big reasons why I feel that the Offense will improve, this week is the added time to game plan and practice.
I’d use more small words if I got paid that way.
 

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