The Cardinals have not won time of possession in their two games yet, for a multitude of reasons. The defense has allowed some lengthy drives, and the offense has sputtered more often than they would have liked. But there is another factor, and it’s the quick-strike score. Of the Cards’ six offensive touchdowns thus far (a seventh TD came via Patrick Peterson punt return), five have come on six plays of possession or fewer.
Against Carolina, it only took six plays on the opening drive before Beanie Wells’ rushing touchdown, and later, Early Doucet’s 70-yard catch-and-run made a 90-yard drive simple in just five plays. But it’s been the true lightning strikes that have impacted the stats. A short field in Washington allowed Jeff King to score a 21-yard touchdown on only the second play of a 37-yard drive. King’s 48-yard TD against Carolina was the first play of a possession.
And of course, so too was the 73-yard TD bomb from quarterback Kevin Kolb to Larry Fitzgerald in Washington.
“If we were 2-0 (possession time) wouldn’t be a problem and we were one point away,” Kolb said. “I think striking quick is a good thing. But I’ve said before, when we go on those seven, eight, 10-play drives, that’s when you know you own somebody. We get in the end zone however it takes. If it is a one-hitter quitter, or 10 plays and executing in the red zone, that’s what we’ll do.”
Coach Ken Whisenhunt acknowledged the quick possessions wear down a defense, which was a problem last season. Of course, last season, the quick possessions were almost always about punts and not touchdowns, and that changes the dynamic too.
“I’m not ever going to complain about having a two-play, 60-yard scoring drive, like we’ve had, or a one-play, 73-yard scoring drive,” Whisenhunt said. “Would we like to have more plays? Obviously we would. … That’s what we are trying to do. But I don’t want to get so panicky because, like I said, out yards-per-play is pretty high.”
Tags: Beanie Wells, Early Doucet, Jeff King, Ken Whisenhunt, Kevin Kolb, Larry Fitzgerald
Posted in Blog | 21 Comments »