What I Make of the Panther Game.

Harry

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Kingsbury was open about getting out-coached. His list of shortcomings failed to include preparation. The Cards weren’t ready to play Sunday. That game was over before it started. That’s on the coaches and the intensity of their practices. The same thing happened against Jax and the Texans. Both of those teams were too incompetent to take advantage of the Cards starting flat. Carolina wasn’t. Kingsbury & Joseph got badly schooled. For those ready to vote Kingsbury Coach of the Year, they might want to hold those ballots. Kingsbury likes to think he’s a maverick and is able to continuously outwit the competition. He tosses aside tradition, preferring to go with his own offensive concepts. A coach should have his own unique concepts, but that doesn’t mean being oblivious to what has worked in the past. In this case he eschewed the obvious game plan to put forth one of his own style. Every time I think Kingsbury has learned the needed lessons, he finds a new trap to fall into. This time his misjudgment was fatal. The Panthers are offensively inept. The traditional game plan would entail being conservative and simply wait for Carolina to beat itself. They had a known strong defense. Forcing the issue offensively against them was an unnecessary risk.

Clearly Kingsbury rapidly ran out of patience. The first turnover likely was unavoidable without better preparation. The second was Kingsbury’s ego reacting. He attempted a QB sneak that was almost 2 yards in his own end of the field. Rather than bring in Streveler, Kingsbury used McCoy. McCoy is a finesse player, not a power runner. This play should never have been called; just play field position and wait for Walker to make a mistake. For the most part this would also have blunted the Newton momentum.

This was a painful game to watch. Season ticket holders should feel cheated. Streveler is not an NFL backup caliber QB either. McCoy has limitations but can be effective in a controlled, conservative game plan. Rolling him out and asking him to throw deep on the run is a joke. Only someone who’d not studied his history would use those plays. Establish the run and control the pass rush. Don’t get greedy. Take what they give you. Play the field position game. Sustained drives should have been challenging for the Panther offense. Mistakes would happen.

This also wasn’t the first game where the Cards had trouble putting together a response to an aggressive D-line. They seem confused by pressure. McCoy often had to throw with a defender in his face. Little play design was called to slow the rush except one incredibly awkward screen. They abandoned the run when they fell behind rather than staying patience and presenting a balanced attack. They didn’t complete a pass to Ertz until well into the second half. It’s questionable if Kingsbury know how to effectively use a receiving TE. The goal should have been sustained drives focused on getting the needed 10 yards. An occasional deep throw makes sense once your more in control of the rush and if you’ve forced the safeties to come up a little.

If you’re worried that losing 2 of 3 is reminiscent of what happened after the great start last season; your justified. I believe you’re wrong that the same fate awaits this team, but you’re not outrageous to think history could repeat itself. This coaching needs to become less concerned with fooling the opposition and more focused on using their talent advantage. Even with the injuries this is a talented roster. Use it. The Cards should have used motion to keep the defense shifting. Yet no jet sweeps, little misdirection and few isolated matchups. The Cards primary response was rolling out an marginally mobile QB with only moderate arm strength. Often it seemed few receiver patterns were design to roll the receivers in the same direction they rolled the QB thus improving the chances of a completion.

On defense the Cards waited too long to pressure the QB. When they finally did he unraveled quite a bit. They needed to stop one talented running back who incredibly on several passing plays seemed to have no specific person assigned to cover him. Zone, of course, doesn’t assign coverage, but it should have been quite clear that defense wasn’t working. On running plays the ILBs repeatedly split into line gaps the ball carrier, McCaffrey, wasn’t even threatening. Their impatience was amateurish. Better to wait and surrender 3 yards than to take yourself out of the play and give up 15. As to Newton some things were predictable. He’d run and he’s big. Don’t expect someone small, likes Baker to easily tackle him. Edge rushers must hold their end turn him inside where help is available. On passing downs routes would be simple, like fly routes, where Newton could just hang up the ball or quick outside hitters. These routes require less timing. The Cards played as if they had no overview of a likely package that could be quickly installed, though it was common knowledge Newton practiced with the team Friday. Using the safeties to focus on helping on those routes would have made it easier to contain him.

McCoy played poorly but he wasn’t alone. The Cards brought in leadership personnel but in the end it still comes down to individual responsibility. If this team is going far in the playoffs that has to change. The announcers made the point that this team is not experienced or talented enough to take teams for granted. Very few teams ever are. I still believe this is a playoff team but they’ve got to prepare with intensity for every game. 17 games will mean the pressure will be more intense than previous seasons. More than ever the coaching staff will need to remember what can happen on any given Sunday!
 

Cards_Campos

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I agree mostly to what you say. But Denver did to Dallas exactly what Carolina did to us and what we did to the 49ers who did it exactly to the Rams. And the Eagles did it to the Broncos and etc etc. a lot of teams who looked terrible the weak before looked amazing a week later and who looked great the prior week looked awful. It just happens. That extra jolt and turnover is all teams ever need. 49ers turned the ball over against us on 2 good offensive plays. And we capitalized and they couldn’t recover. 49ers did it to the Rams. Broncos did it the Cowboys.

Just like every year. It’s the team that gets hot at the end who wins it. We just need to be that team at the end of the season
 

SissyBoyFloyd

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Any given Sunday. It's the NFL. Next week, just like next man up. This team needs to be healthy to win. Can't do it without all aboard, especially our leader QB.
 

oaken1

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I think they threw it away... it was a meaningless game and we had key players hurt. so they dropped it in favor of letting guys heal and started thinking about seattle... the hags game is fairly meaningless too but it is a divisional game and its always nice to win those.
the only thing we surrendered with that loss was the number 1 seed...with half a season to play.
 

gimpy

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I think they threw it away... it was a meaningless game and we had key players hurt. so they dropped it in favor of letting guys heal and started thinking about seattle... the hags game is fairly meaningless too but it is a divisional game and its always nice to win those.
the only thing we surrendered with that loss was the number 1 seed...with half a season to play.
I can see possibly holding/limiting injured players playing time. If that is what you mean by them throwing it away, I guess.

But, what I can't see is the lack of putting together a somewhat decent game plan, both offensively, defensively and, maybe special teams. And some of the poor or questionable play calling. I only saw the first quarter or so as I turned the channel, but......
I guess I don't think they intentionally threw it away.
 
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phillycard

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Damn Harry. How the heck are you in my head sir? You've put so eloquently into words exactly how I was feeling. Kudos.
 

Zeem_Freeze

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last week you thought we were on the verge of a QB controversy, Kliff called his best game, and Keim had assembled a roster full of leadership and competitiveness.
link for Harry McCoy thread

this week Kliff sucks and our roster lacks leadership? this is some over-reaction Monday stuff which should be limited to week 1. We have a 10 game body of work to look at and Kliff and Keim have been WAY better than what you are portraying.

all that said, I left in the 3rd quarter and wanted to run home.
 
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Harry

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last week you thought we were on the verge of a QB controversy, Kliff called his best game, and Keim had assembled a roster full of leadership and competitiveness.
link for Harry McCoy thread

this week Kliff sucks and our roster lacks leadership? this is some over-reaction Monday stuff which should be limited to week 1. We have a 10 game body of work to look at and Kliff and Keim have been WAY better than what you are portraying.

all that said, I left in the 3rd quarter and wanted to run home.
Gosh I reread my first paragraph and my intent was to make it clear that complimenting McCoy should not be taken as attempting to create a QB controversy. Kingsbury did have an awful game. Finally the Cards brought in outstanding leaders. However even great leaders needs dedicated followers; true believers. Several of the Cards need to do some serious soul searching. Do they truly want to be great.
 

az jam

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Well said Harry. I'm one of those season ticket holders that felt cheated. I do worry that this could be a repeat of last year. They need to turn this around and fast. They need to beat Seattle.
 

Outerlimits

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The team is just not that talented when it's missing so many starters. McCoy has a long history of filling in well for a game and then looking like garbage. Streveler isn't even capable of that.
 

BullheadCardFan

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Harry summed it up well

The team was unprepared and that starts with the coaching staff

Then to come out playing like the keystone kops didn't help

I never like to concede games no matter what our record is

You play every game like it's the only game that matters

This kind of let up by the staff could cost us later in the year
 

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