Week 3 2022: Heroes and Goats

kerouac9

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The 2022 Arizona Cardinals are boring. Extremely boring. Their running game lacks pop. Their passing game lacks explosion despite investing heavily in skill position players through the draft, free agency and trades.

The defense lacks an attitude or identity. The to best players are safeties, but they can't make plays like some of their competitors because they're constantly having to cover the backside for limited cornerbacks and linebackers. The defensive line lacks any character outside of J.J. Watt (who everyone understands is a ticking clock before he makes a trip to IR so we're enjoying him while it lasts). Every game seems like the first game they've played together.

It was clear this past offseason that the organization's intent was to just try and run it back with the same group of players, hope the 10-2 start was not a mirage, and load manage our way through the first half of the year to prevent a collapse. The result has been that we carried the collapse from the end of last season into the new year. No one cares; everyone's expecting someone else to come to the rescue.

Kyler Murray is averaging 5.6 yards per passing attempt this season. James Conner is averaging 3.0 yards per carry and on pace for six touchdowns after scoring 18 last year. We can't win a game at home.

Yikes.

Heroes
Budda Baker, S
- Eight tackles and a forced fumble is pretty nice work. Baker is so slippery and truly an evolutionary Adrian Wilson in the backfield. It would be good to see him liberated to do more by stronger secondary play.

Will Hernandez, RG - The one thing that you can respect Kliff for is his commitment to pace. The Cards played 83 offensive snaps, and Will Hernandez participated in every one of them while also holding Aaron Donald largely in check.

Vance Joseph, DC - The Arizona Defense held the Rams to their season average in points. In the second quarter the defense held the ramps to three consecutive three-and-outs. This happened while Jace Whittaker was playing 94% of the defensive snaps and Isaiah Simmons played one more snap than Ben Niemann. In unrelated news, Dennis Gardeck can be released at the start of the 2023 league year to save a little over $2.4 million on the salary cap.

Goats
Zaven Collins, ILB
- Has shown real Kevin Minter traits as he's been integrated into the defense. I've said it many times -- elite inside linebackers showcase their skills almost immediately when they move up to the next level. Maybe Zaven can continue on in Minter's footsteps. It's not his fault that Keim drafted him where he did. But there's little evidence that anyone on the defense looks to him.

Kliff Kingsbury, HC - I don't mind Kliff's press conferences, TBH. He takes the responsibility on himself, doesn't point the finger, doesn't push blame anywhere. It's true that they have to get better. But he's starting to act like he doesn't belong here, and that's a big problem. If Kyler didn't respect him when he had a little swagger, he might actively undermine him when he looks this shook.

Kyler Murray, QB - Athletes who truly want to pursue greatness spend each offseason adding something new to their game. You hear this in basketball all the time. It was obvious last year that this offense needed to get better at situational football and not looking panicked in the two-minute offense. This week, Kyler didn't look panicked, he looked like he wasn't much interested in the final outcome. Someone posted a tweet that said that there isn't a quarterback that looks less interested in winning than Kyler Murray. Couldn't agree more.
 

Shane

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Well done K9
 

unseenaz

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I hope the silver lining in all of this is that Kyler recognizes he has a ton of work to do in certain areas and makes those improvements. Through this offseason and things he has said in the past, he seems to think that he isn't part of the problem at all.
 

cheesebeef

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I hope the silver lining in all of this is that Kyler recognizes he has a ton of work to do in certain areas and makes those improvements. Through this offseason and things he has said in the past, he seems to think that he isn't part of the problem at all.
That should have happened THIS off-season. While proving he was worth a quarter billion dollars.

And it’s the most disturbing thing about this season. He’s in his fourth year and it’s not just that he hasn’t gotten demonstrably better. He’s seemingly gotten a little worse. That’s not the trajectory of a someone who’s going to be and is paid to be a great player.
 
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kerouac9

kerouac9

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No love for Hollywood?
I actually almost had him as an honorable mention. Great fantasy day — what was his most impactful catch, though?

14 receptions for 140 yards and what everyone will remember was an off-target bomb that maybe he gave up on at the end? Less than 2/3 of his targets kept us on or ahead of schedule (successful plays).
 

Card'em

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I don't agree with naming Collins a goat when you have Marco Wilson and Jacee Whitaker on the field. BTW Collins shows the sideline to sideline speed that Kevin Minter never had. I'd be willing to bet that absent injuries Zaven Collins will be a starter at inside linebacker for the next 5-10 years.

I'm not saying that he will be elite, but I do think he's starting material.
 

dreamcastrocks

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I actually almost had him as an honorable mention. Great fantasy day — what was his most impactful catch, though?

14 receptions for 140 yards and what everyone will remember was an off-target bomb that maybe he gave up on at the end? Less than 2/3 of his targets kept us on or ahead of schedule (successful plays).
All of his ones for a first down?

Gave up? The ball was overthrown. That one was on Kyler, not Hollywood.
 

cheesebeef

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I don't agree with naming Collins a goat when you have Marco Wilson and Jacee Whitaker on the field. BTW Collins shows the sideline to sideline speed that Kevin Minter never had. I'd be willing to bet that absent injuries Zaven Collins will be a starter at inside linebacker for the next 5-10 years.

I'm not saying that he will be elite, but I do think he's starting material.
Those guys are 6th round and undrafted CBs. Zaven was a mid 1st round pick who could close on a geriatric QB which led to a huge first down and then got HUMILIATED by a Rams WR playing FB, opening the hole for the Rams TD.
 

Card'em

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I didn't know that draft ranking qualified or disqualified a player for hero or goat status. Good to know. Also, calling Matthew Stafford "a geriatric QB" is a bit of an exaggeration, don't you think?
 

Dayman

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This defense allowed 7.4 yards per play yesterday, which was worst in the league. I wouldn't give Vance any accolades for that performance. The only reason the score wasn't much worse was due to mistakes by the Rams (Kupp and Robinson dropped TDs/Akers goal line) and TOP.

I also saw Will Hernandez get dog walked by Rams defenders a couple times. Not sure what his final stats were, but I surely wasn't impressed by the eye test.

If I had to replace them on the Hero list, I would probably go with Watt and Eno. Neither were spectacular, but the Hero options from yesterday's game are slim.
 

ASUCHRIS

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Also, calling Matthew Stafford "a geriatric QB" is a bit of an exaggeration, don't you think?
Are there 10 starting QB's that are less mobile at this stage? Getting juked by Stafford is incredibly emabarassing.
 

dreamcastrocks

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Are there 10 starting QB's that are less mobile at this stage? Getting juked by Stafford is incredibly emabarassing.
I don't think Zaven getting 'juked' there is that big of a deal. He is running at full speed and the QB made him miss. It is the same thing most QBs to. It is the same thing that Zach Allen does over and over again and gets praise. (getting close to the QB but not getting the actual sack)

(Not excusing Zaven's play overall, just that play)
 

cheesebeef

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I didn't know that draft ranking qualified or disqualified a player for hero or goat status. Good to know. Also, calling Matthew Stafford "a geriatric QB" is a bit of an exaggeration, don't you think?
Uh… no. Stafford is 34 years old and has always been basically a statue.

And draft ranking means you have more talent. Collins does which is why it was pathetic for him to totally fall flat on his face on two of the biggest plays of the game. And even if Collins wasn’t a first rounder, he’d STILL be a goat just based off those two embarassing plays alone.
 

ASUCHRIS

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I don't think Zaven getting 'juked' there is that big of a deal. He is running at full speed and the QB made him miss. It is the same thing most QBs to. It is the same thing that Zach Allen does over and over again and gets praise. (getting close to the QB but not getting the actual sack)

(Not excusing Zaven's play overall, just that play)
Yeah, I guess. Seems like hitting the brakes earlier against the slowest player on the field is the way, but at least he was on the field?
 
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kerouac9

kerouac9

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This defense allowed 7.4 yards per play yesterday, which was worst in the league. I wouldn't give Vance any accolades for that performance. The only reason the score wasn't much worse was due to mistakes by the Rams (Kupp and Robinson dropped TDs/Akers goal line) and TOP.

I also saw Will Hernandez get dog walked by Rams defenders a couple times. Not sure what his final stats were, but I surely wasn't impressed by the eye test.

If I had to replace them on the Hero list, I would probably go with Watt and Eno. Neither were spectacular, but the Hero options from yesterday's game are slim.

If the game was decided by who got more yards, that stat would matter more. The Cards held the Rams under their season average for points, despite having some pretty bad talent on the field. Akers didn't fumble that ball -- it truly was a forced fumble.
 

Shane

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I hope the silver lining in all of this is that Kyler recognizes he has a ton of work to do in certain areas and makes those improvements. Through this offseason and things he has said in the past, he seems to think that he isn't part of the problem at all.

If that’s the silver lining you’re looking for you’re likely to be severely disappointed
 
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Dayman

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If the game was decided by who got more yards, that stat would matter more. The Cards held the Rams under their season average for points, despite having some pretty bad talent on the field. Akers didn't fumble that ball -- it truly was a forced fumble.
They held the Rams to a half of a point less than their season average for points, largely due to two dropped TDs and a goal line fumble (I don't give Vance a lot of credit for Budda forcing a fumble). It's just not that impressive to me.

I agree that Vance doesn't have much talent to work with, but I also don't think his schemes are helping matters.
 

BritCard

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I'm old enough to remember when people criticised the Kyler "slander" after week 2
 
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