What sticks with me more than anything else after the Cards’ disappointing season-opening loss was the TV shot of an animated Larry Fitzgerald talking to Kurt Warner in the huddle late in the first half. I don’t know what Fitz was saying nor did I get a chance to ask, but I’m willing to guess – since Fitz didn’t have a catch at that point – Fitz was saying something along the lines of “Just give me a chance and I’ll go get it for you.”
Shades of last season’s opener against the Niners. Of course, the Cards ended up winning that game. The Cards didn’t win Sunday. But it was game two where the offensive air attack really starting clicking after an uneven first game. Can they repeat that in Jacksonville?
Anyway, some other thoughts:
— If the Cards can really play defense like that, they’ll be in good shape. Their new style is now on video though, so teams will be better prepared. But if Chike Okeafor can play like that and Darnell Dockett continues to be disruptive ad Calais Campbell (pictured below stuffing Frank Gore near the Niner goal line) plays like he is ready to make us forget Antonio Smith, that’s a start.
— Beanie Wells showed some things after his messed-up first play, but if Tim Hightower can make plays out of the backfield catching the ball, that’s why Hightower will continue to start. Hightower did seem to slip back sometimes into some east-west running after making strides toward north-south in the preseason.
— The receiver injuries have to be a concern. It’s now clear why Lance Long made the team, because Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston were banged up. Are the injuries a major reason the offense has slid backward? That makes sense.
— The penalties should be a thing of the past. They were a bugaboo in 2007. They were cleaned up for the most part last season, but there they were Sunday killing the Cards. “There was a lot of aggression out there, a lot of emotion,” Dockett said of the penalties. “Penalties hurt you but at the same time I don’t think that dictates whether you win or lose the game like that out there.” That could be true, but what stuck with coach Ken Whisenhunt afterward were the two penalties when the Cards got the ball back when they could have won. They had 38 yards to go and went backwards 15 yards first.
— The offensive line play was uneven. It wasn’t helped when Warner held the ball a couple of times waiting for plays to open up. But Levi Brown had trouble with rush end Parys Haralson, as one example. The Cards didn’t get to establish much of a run, either, playing from behind much of the game.
Tags: 49ers, Anquan Boldin, Antonio Smith, Beanie Wells, Calais Campbell, Chike Okeafor, Darnell Dockett, Frank Gore, Jaguars, Ken Whisenhunt, Kurt Warner, Lance Long, Larry Fitzgerald, Levi Brown, Parys Haralson, Steve Breaston, Tim Hightower
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