It just felt, by the time the Cards got to the fourth quarter Sunday, that everything offensively was going to be so hard. Yes, they had the ball and yes, they moved it a little, but each play – even if it gained yards – didn’t seem to correspond with the effort that was going into it.
The quarterback took the brunt of the blame, and certainly, it wasn’t Kevin Kolb’s finest day. This was one you knew would come at some point, that hiccup because in all fairness he just hasn’t been in the offense long enough nor does he have the experience yet to overcome everything. You would wish it didn’t come in such a winnable game against a division foe.
“Sometimes I am trying to hold on to it a little too long, or get it out a little too quick,” Kolb said. “I am looking at myself right now and I think a lot of those mistakes (on offense) could be fixed if I just play right.”
I don’t think the absence of Beanie Wells can be understated. The Cardinals still could have and should have won even though Wells didn’t play. But that extra element of Wells, especially the way he had been running, I think would have impacted the offense’s ability to sustain drives. I don’t think the Cards would have failed on three third-and-1s – getting the first down on fourth down on the third – with Beanie.
But you get the defense playing better and the offense stalls. That’s how you end up with a 1-2 record and a getting-healthier Giants team coming to Arizona. Next Sunday just got that much more important.
– The no-huddle seemed to click – it was what the Cards were running when they had their long TD drive – but they never went back to it for a whole drive. Kolb said the Cards should use it going forward, but Larry Fitzgerald also added some perspective. “We felt good with it and moved the football,” Fitz said, “but we have to execute our base offense regardless. We don’t want to have to rely on that.”
– There were mistakes in running certain plays – coach Ken Whisenhunt didn’t say who was at fault – but the frustration overall was evident from center Lyle Sendlein. “We just have to score more than 10 points,” Sendlein said. “We can’t expect our defense to do everything. We have to finish drives, protect Kevin better, run the ball better. There’s a lot of things we need to do better.”
– Kicker Jay Feely sat in his locker waiting. He knew, after two missed field goals, we would have questions for him. He could have bailed – by the time Whisenhunt was done with his press conference and the locker room was open, Feely had long since dressed. But he stayed because he knew he should. That’s not easy after a tough day, and he should get props for that.
– Having Sidney Rice back for the Seahawks obviously helped them. He had eight catches for 109 yards and for most of the day, it felt like they were coming at the expense of cornerback A.J. Jefferson. The Cards got to QB Tarvaris Jackson most of the time and piled up some sacks, but Rice was his security blanket and, on what turned out to be the game-winning TD drive, Jackson had too much time to throw. That’s what happened on the biggest play of that drive, when Jackson had all day to throw on a third-and-15 and he was able to complete one for 20 yards. That was a killer.
OK, that’s enough. There was frustration in the locker room and I know there is frustration out there for those watching this team. Whisenhunt noted that he was up saying the same thing this week as he did last – it’s tough to watch a game slip away on the road when you think you should have won.
There is no question about that.
Tags: A.J. Jefferson, Beanie Wells, Jay Feely, Ken Whisenhunt, Kevin Kolb, Larry Fitzgerald, Lyle Sendlein, Seahawks, Sidney Rice, Tarvaris Jackson
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