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Seeking protection, and Cowboys aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on September 25, 2017 – 11:28 pm

The lights came on, the tension seemed to be lifted once the Cardinals chose to lock arms and not kneel for the national anthem, and then Carson Palmer started dealing like it was 2015 again. The Cardinals made the Cowboys look pretty beatable in those first 15 minutes, and the Cards looked like a new team. But there was a missed field goal in there too, which wasn’t ideal, and like the Detroit game, it was a situation where the Cards should have been ahead by a lot more but weren’t.

When it was over, Dak Prescott showed why he’s already on the verge of quarterback stardom – as good as Ezekiel Elliott is, to me, there is no question who the guy is that will make the Cowboys a contender, and it’s all about the quarterback – and the Cards were left trying to figure out how to keep their own QB upright. According to Pro Football Focus, both tackles, Jared Veldheer and John Wetzel, gave up one sack and eight pressures.

Palmer said he held on to the ball too long a couple of times, and that is true. But the pocket is collapsing much too fast too often. “Block better,” was Bruce Arians’ response on improving the protection. And hey, Dan Dierdorf is not walking through that door.

“We only have seven guys out there, so they’re the only ones that can play,” Arians said.

D.J. Humphries is walking around a lot better so hopefully he has a chance to return this week against the 49ers. But Alex Boone got hurt late in the game, Palmer said (no word on what it is or severity), so the injury thing is still a thing.

— Chris Johnson did indeed get the start at running back. He could not find any room nor create anything, gaining just 17 yards on 12 carries. We will see what happens but Andre Ellington looked like the best back out there, and who knows? Maybe there will be a fourth different starter in four games next week. (My early guess is still CJ2K for another week, but we’ll see.) Still, Arians was asked if Ellington would get more touches next week.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt,” Arians said, after Ellington got 59 yards on five catches and 22 yards rushing (leading the team) on five carries.

— There was time to recover but the 15-play drive that ended with no points was a gut punch. You think you get a second Palmer-to-Jaron Brown TD pass but a Veldheer holding call wipes it out. (To be fair, I don’t know if Palmer is able to get outside the pocket to make the play without the hold, so it is what it is.) Then Phil Dawson misses another field goal inside 40 yards. A 14-0 lead would’ve been huge. Making sure Dawson gets right, quickly, is probably even more important.

— Patrick Peterson was targeted just once all night, according to Pro Football Focus, and none when he was guarding Dez Bryant. Peterson gave up a two-yard catch to Elliott.

— I was surprised Arians went for it on fourth down at the end of the game down 11 points. A field goal makes it eight points and you’ll have to get an onside kick regardless. That said, with the Cardinals at the Dallas 2 and their pass protection doing poorly, I can see the argument that you go for the TD being so close.

— You could tell J.J. Nelson wasn’t himself with the sore hamstring. He got a couple of late “go” routes and nearly had an incredible sideline catch. But when he couldn’t go deep, it hurts. Between the injured speed receivers and the pass protection problems, the Cards aren’t going to scare many teams down the field – even with Fitz making crazy jump-ball grabs.


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34 Responses to “Seeking protection, and Cowboys aftermath”

  1. By Why am I a Cards fan on Sep 25, 2017 | Reply

    Amos Jones should be fired.

    Valdheer needs to retire.

    Cardinals are a dumpster fire.

  2. By TucsonTim on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    And Amos Jones continues to coach….. epic fail

  3. By faster on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    yesterdays disaster:

    Defense average, missed great plays. 28 points to the cowboys is much to much.

    Spezial teams, no comment.

    Offense, 17 points against the cowboys at home is simple not enough.
    Only Larry fitzgerald was extraordinary
    Palmer 7 sacks, 2 td, some hits, ouch.

    The season is not lost, but this loss will hurt a lot

  4. By Jo Ball on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    My thoughts on the game:

    Jared needs to be either benched or moved to the left. I’m not a coach but if I have a guy in Jared who is one of the better left tackles in the league but is a huge liability as a right tackle vs a guy in DJ who plays the right well and the left great.. I’m putting DJ as the right tackle and Jared as the left tackle. I’m mind blown that an entire coaching staff did nothing all offseason observing Jared. He has struggled greatly in all 3 games.

    Dawson: here is a guy who is considered one the best(stat wise) in league history … and he ends up looking a lot like the Cat man. What can I say folks .. sometimes you have to be lucky. The cards apparently aren’t lucky. That’s nothing new.

    Amos: his entire time with AZ has been forgettable. He’s done nothing to convince us that he deserves his job. Another weird Bruce loyalty relationship. Reminds me a lot of the 3 year commitment to the worst punter in the league at the time(Butler).

    Bruce Arians: His lack of adjustments are slowly driving me insane. I think he has lost this team. On the bright side, his decision to receive EVERY time finally paid off in about a year and a half. Predictable play calling … no risk it no biscuit doesn’t work if teams know you’re going to risk it every time. Horrible clock management. Also that challenge wasted a time out that could of preserved roughly a minute of clock time at the end. The “we don’t change the offense for anyone” mentality is dumb. The great ones adjust all the time… just look at the patriots. Personally, I’ve seen enough of him. His arrogance is just getting to be too much.

    RBs: it doesn’t matter which RB starts. With that Oline.. none of them are going to be effective. Remember that even David Johnson was struggling behind this line before he got hurt.

    Final assessment: it’s early .. and anything can happen. However, it sure does seem like a lost season. Draft a big receiver. The tiny speed demons … we have enough of them. This team is going to be hurting at this position big time once Fitz retires. Also, need a new RG, C, LG and LT. Palmer likely retires after the season so there is also that. Any QB that’s going to be replacing him won’t succeed behind that line.

    Keilak: I’ve been one of the people who have generally stood up for Keim but all of his high draft picks that were total busts are slowly catching up to this team. He’s had one good draft. Besides that… just bad. Patching up the team with the old veterans has made this team slow and vulnerable in too many positions.

  5. By dynosoar on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    This post should be about football and the team that is ours. Unfortunately the NFL community doesn’t want his to be about football anymore.

    Daren,
    mad respect for you and the position you are in. Our friendship has meant much over the years.

    My Cardinals friends,

    I’ve taught Citizenship in the Community and Citizenship in the Nation to over 800 Scouts this month. My nephew who lives and breathes football turned off every game Sunday and declared he’ll never watch again, he’s 13.

    My children have been watching me through all this, they know we have a flag on the front of our house we Pledge Allegiance to regularly.

    They know I grew up in Tennessee and lived in Vegas, two very diverse places and they know we invite people our home regardless of height, weight, skin color, religious affiliation, political affiliation or any other ism.

    What they don’t know is the many times growing up I was threatened with violence and the stated reason in every instance was the color of my skin and I’m white. But that’s never stopped me from being friends with anyone, in fact the perspective has allowed me to walk in other peoples shoes (and that goes for Muslims as well.) The thing with racism is it’s wrong and it comes from the paradigm that we are different races.

    We are one race. And until the national (and world) community realizes we are all one race, we will still have people who hate those who look different. And it’s just people hating others which is what this should be about (whether they are different skin color or different BMI, there’s no need for hate.)

    This has become divisive because whether the claim to the contrary is true or not, the Nation is being disrespected by disrespecting the flag.

    I’ve experienced this. I’ve never experienced the short end of the stick with Police, but I learned early in life to stay out of places where the police would be on edge. Not everyone has that option.

    I watched one team stand for the pledge minus one player and they didn’t know he was missing. The Panthers.

    I watched one team stay in the locker room while one member of the team stood with hand over heart for the National Anthem and his merchandise sales became overnight the top selling player merchandise in the NFL, surpassing Tom Brady. I wonder what his backpedaling apology saying he disrespected his coach and team and teammates will do to those sales and the respect he earned in one simple act.

    Those sales show where the paying public is. Why cave to the peer pressure and link arms or kneel during the National Anthem? There is no healthy discussion about race, just anger over the disrespect shown for our Nation. I give a final plea to the players of my team and to everyone everywhere, please find a forum to truly have a discussion that will allow everyone respect with the understanding We Are All One Race and United we STAND, Divided we fall.

    Lastly, President Trump who I didn’t vote for never said NFL Players should be fired. He asked Wouldn’t you love to see a player who kneels and disrespects the flag be fired? That’s not the same as saying they should be fire. (Granted he used some colorful language to describe those players, but I listened to players and Coach Tomlin use more colorful language to describe him, why does one get vilified for the same language the other is applauded for. If it’s wrong for one it’s wrong for all, if it’s right for one it’s right for all.)

    Surprise, surprise, the President’s words were twisted (just like every President I’ve listened to since I was a child in the Carter days) and now we are here after a weekend of peer pressure to show what? Anger. That will never be well.

    NFL, 15 yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct!
    You are better than this. Or at least I hope you are.

    Dynosoar,
    member since 1977

  6. By aschatte on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    I think everyone pretty much knows what this team is all about…how much ever the so called journalists support this team internally, it is dumpster fire. At this point I only care about one thing . TRADE LARRY FITZGERALD to the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS…looks on the bright side Cardinals – you will get a few “CHEAP” picks just like you want it! ….I am done with this dumpster fire team – I mean if you cant win at home, you cant win anywhere PERIOD! Bunch of spoiled Pansies….

  7. By Jametruis Judge on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    Somethings are just simple and plain. You don’t switch a guy from years of success at left tackle and then switch him to right. Evan Boehm just needs to give up his position to Alex Boone. You got rid of the Cat man for a 42 year old bum. Low balled Calais Campbell in contract talks for Ndieche, who has yet to make an impact. Instead of signing a sure handed receiver in Anquan Boldin, you instead kept impactless players ei…Britt Golden. And let’s not talk about Justin Bethel.

  8. By Eric G on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    K. E. I. M., =Keim’s excuses into Monday.

    Can’t wait for Keim’s excuses today. He’ll say our offensive line needs to protect better, not I failed us by not getting better players. He’ll say that there were a couple of plays on defense that could’ve gone different, not I screwed up not drafting or signing a legit cornerback and relying on Bethel wss a mistake. He’ll say nlah blah blah about special teams, not I failed to get us bigger and better players that can block on punts. He’ll say that some players missed assignments and were close to making plays, not admit that maybe drafting Nkemdiche was a whiff and that drafting players from small schools is not always the best way to go.

    This is a 4-12 team.

  9. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    Valdheer looked like he weighed 150 pounds or wasn’t trying. Hard to believe there’s not somebody on the street that is a better option.

  10. By Minnesota Cards Fan on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    Darren, please help me understand why the Cards don’t go no-huddle, hurry-up unless there’s less than 2-minutes remaining in either half. The first half of the Dallas game is a perfect example. After that first drive that resulted in a TD, our defense held Dallas to a couple of three-and-oust. With their defense reeling, why not go no-huddle? They were on the field nearly the entire first quarter and much of the second quarter. The best way to help the offensive lineman is to gas the defensive lineman so they’re too tired to generate much of a rush. Instead, we huddle, slog to the line of scrimmage, and do the same slow-paced thing the rest of the game. We have an experienced quarterback, running back, and wide receiver. I understand time-of-possession and all that, but giving the other team some occasional hurry-up looks, I believe, could really help this offense.

  11. By joe holst on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    this is a rebuild year, they need a lot of help on both lines,

  12. By RoRo on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    The cards offense need to go the no huddle. I know that’s not going to happen because BA is stubborn he’s going to stick with his game plan which is not working . Special teams & o line are embarrassing.

  13. By Marlin on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    Sat there at the game, watching Palmer and Larry, and thinking “when these two guys retire, we’re screwed”!

  14. By Marlin on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    Don’t blame CJ2K or any running back. Our Oline couldn’t open holes for DJ in the first game either. We have serious Oline problems. Veldheer is mailing it in.

  15. By Marlin on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    Darren, well written summary of the game.

  16. By NJAzCardsFan on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    It’s really sad when 5 offensive lineman can’t block 3 defensive players…
    A few quick passes to Ellington in the flat would have gotten some big gains….
    No holes opened up for Card any running backs to get through….
    Declare the Valdheer experiment a failure and replace him….
    Dawson needs to be sent to Happy Acres……
    I am done wasting my time this season watching this 2nd rate dog and pony show….

  17. By Scott H on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    After this game, i don’t want to hear ANY of Keim’s comments about HIM being dis-appointed in how certain guys are playing when he appears on the Doug and Wold show this week.

    Mr Keim, YOU are the failure and the true dis-appointment here at this point. YOU are the disgrace that has led to the disgrace we are seeing on the field.

    Steve Keim doesn’t know how to BUILD a team. He doesn’t. The team we saw on the field last night seemed to be pretty much what we might have expected after a pathetic off-season like the one we just had. A bunch of geriatric plug-and-play guys isn’t how to build a damn roster. But that’s what we got from our GM and, well, the results are right there for everyone to see.

    Embrace the reality, folks – any window we may have thought was still there is closed. Period. We’re done.

    Hey, anyone see Tramon Williams last night? No? Hmmm….well, I guess staying up that late is a bit much for guys that age. They need their sleep, ya know?

    This team is just too damn old. A youth movement is sorely needed – among the coaching staff and the players. Unfortunately, I have no confidence that our GM is capable of EFFECTIVELY steering us in that direction.

  18. By mitchaz on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    DAL 28 ARI 17: Pre-Game Questions and Post-Game Answers

    1. Tackling RB Ezekiel Elliott.

    Will the Cardinals wear, as James Bettcher like to say, “their big boy pants?” Will any Cardinal line up and hit Elliott the way D.J. Swearinger (defensive captain of the Redskins) put a lick on Marshawn Lynch last night?

    Pretty good effort versus Elliott until the 4th quarter. Lots of swarming and gang tackling. But, as we saw, you can’t have the edges crashing down on Elliott all game and not get burned by bootlegs, QB read options and easy, wide open QB sprint outs —which led to huge chunk passing yards and the last 2 TDs.

    2. Blocking DE DeMarcus Lawrence.

    In watching the Cowboys’ first two games, Lawrence has lined up primarily on the outside eye of the RT and he has been wreaking havoc off the edge and off loop stunts. A one-on-one matchup versus RT Jared Veldheer does not favor Veldheer. Therefore, what kind of help will the coaches give Veldheer? BA is loath to provide help, but does Lawrence change that line of thinking, particularly versus a struggling Veldheer?

    Embarrassing…not just that Veldheer struggled so badly, but that he was given zero help. I haven’t seen any RT able to block Lawrence this year…so going in, this was a key. BA says “we don’t change for anyone.” Well, this game is further proof of BA’s set ways, and now everyone in the NFL knows the Cardinals’ weaknesses and they now exploit them week after week.

    3. Pass Coverages and Matchups

    What are the coverage matchups and how often will Bettcher mix in zone? It would appear pretty certain that Patrick Peterson will be matched on Dez Bryant and that Tyrann Mathieu will be matched on slot WR Cole Beasley. Terrance Williams has been battling an ankle injury, but he did practice on Saturday. Justin Bethel should be matched on Williams. But, perhaps the most key matchup is the trio of Haason Reddick, Karlos Dansby and Tyvon Branch on TE Jason Witten. As for mixing in zones…that’s a tough proposition because the Cowboys’ receivers are adept at beating zones, particularly Bryant, Beasley and Witten. Pressure on young QB Dak Prescott is paramount, as is keeping him hemmed in the pocket. Will the Cardinals be able to limit Prescott’s effectiveness?

    Patrick Peterson did a nice job on Dez Bryant. Dez’s TD came versus zone and the fact that FS Antoine Bethea basically let Dez stand him up and bowl him 4 yards into the end zone. Justin Bethel got beat for the TD pass to Brice Butler. Tyron Mathieu showed why he is not a capable FS…but neither is Antoine Bethea. Dansby but turned the wrong way in zone and gave up a long 3rd down conversion. Boy Dansby looked out of it tonight. Reddick was very good in coverage and made one nice TFL versus Elliott. But Reddick still sometimes overruns the holes he’s supposed to fill, which one would expect from a rookie who has never played the ILB position.

    BTW— if you watched the Redskins smoke the Raiders Sunday night, their two top UFA defensive signings FS D.J. Swearinger and LB Zach Brown played big and physically tough all night. On the first day of free agency the Cardinals signed the 33 year old Bethea ($3.4M cap hit this year) and the 35 year old Dansby ($2.25 + incentives cap hit this year)…meanwhile this year’s cap hits for Swearinger and Brown—who were signed after the Cardinals signed Bethea and Dansby—are $3.3M and $2.5M respectively…so the Redskins signed the 26 year old Swearinger (who is now their defensive captain) and the 27 year old Brown for basically the same 2017 cap hits.

    Markus Golden played what has to be the most undisciplined OLB/DE performance I have seen in the NFL. At NO point did he ever concern himself with contain. By crashing inside almost every play, he left his side of the field wide open and YET, he KEPT crashing down over and over. Those were gift option runs (1st TD) for Prescott and his unpressured rollouts, the TD to Butler and long 53 yard pass to Butler to set up the 4th TD (which Honey Badger played so poorly and lethargically).

    4. The Cardinals Passing Game

    Can Carson Palmer and the Cardinals exploit the Cowboys’ secondary? Much will depend on the pass protection. But, the Cowboys’ secondary had a rough time handling the Broncos’ passing game, often because of Trevor Siemien’s mobility. Obviously, Palmer will have to try to beat the Cowboys’ secondary from the pocket or off of play action (which may be harder to see if the running game is not clicking). The question too is how healthy the Cardinals WR unit is with John Brown out, J.J. Nelson nursing a hamstring injury and Jaron Brown leaving the Colts’ game with a limp. Could we see more from Fitz, Brittan Golden and Chad Williams? Or will we see more attention paid to the TEs (Gresham, Niklas, Momah) and RBs (Johnson, Williams, Ellington) in the passing game this week?

    Carson Palmer played his tail off and it’s too bad because he was on fire when he was given the time and he did not make his usual 3-4 bad passes in this game. Larry Fitzgerald proved that he still can play any WR spot, as his post fade TD was a work of art. Fitz’s juggling catch on the jump ball with Scandrick was extraordinary and yet almost expected by now from Fitz. Jaron Brown almost had a 3 TD night, if it weren’t for Veldheer’s untimely holding penalty and Brown not getting his first toe inside the back line of the end zine on the last effort. J.J. Nelson had deep pass opportunities, but in a game where Plamer was getting harassed by a 3 man rush…yes a 3 man rush….it was tough to throw the ball deep. Chad Williams had a nice 3rd down conversion and Andre Ellington was very good receiving the ball out of the backfield (and ran hard between the tackles!), although it seemed so surreal to watch him run right past DeMarcus Lawrence on pass routes and not at least put a hand on him. Gresham had some catches, but his blocking was brutally poor…and yet he was signed by Keim at $7.25M a year for 3 years.

    5. Special Teams

    Who wins the ST’s battle in this game? It would appear heading into the game that the Cowboys have the advantage. K Dan Bailey is 5/5 FGs and 3/3 XPTs, while K Phil Dawson is 4/6 and 3/3. P Chris Jones averages 43.1/net 40.8, while P Andy Lee averages 46.2/net 38.3. KR/PR Ryan Switzer: 2 KOs/21.0 ave., 2 PRs/9.5 ave. Kerwynn Williams: 4 KOs/20.3 ave., 2 PRs/3.0 ave. Will the Cardinals’ STs take a big step forward this week?

    The Cardinals once again showed why they are a mistake waiting to happen on STs. The Cowboys dominated the game on STs. The Dawson miss of a 36 yard chip shot, sucked pretty much all of the great momentum the Cardinals had earned in the 1st quarter out of the stadium. The Cowboys pressured Andy Lee into some short low punts…conversely a totally unpressurred Chris Jones was booming 56 yarders which were either allowed to bounce or fair caught. Ryan Switzer had a nifty 21 yard punt return. K. Williams and Patrick Peterson got nada. And to show you how badly coached the STs units are, the Cardinals only rushed half-heartedly on Bryant’s kicks, if they rushed at all. Peterson once just stood up and didn’t rush the edge at all.

    BA and his staff got badly out coached after the 1st quarter. Only one team appeared to be making adjustments—the Cowboys.The Cardinals’ coaches made it easy on them. This was a first-class gift wrapping.

  19. By georgiebird on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    Switch QBs and the Cards win the game. Guys rushing Palmer have no fear of CP getting around the rush or rushing up the middle.
    Palmer plays like Jim Hart- give him time and he can be good. And except for Larry- none of our players are prime time.
    Markus has a great motor but a step too slow to play OLB. He should have had 4 sacks last night.

  20. By georgiebird on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    If the OL is so bad , please explain the first quarter of the game- we should have had at least 14 points.
    Or did Dallas make adjustments and the Cardinals make none?

  21. By Kevin S Mesa on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    Veldheer was a great addition, coming over with Palmer from the Raiders to give us a legit LT for the first time in a while. So sad to see him struggle so much. I don’t understand all the details of his financial situation but it sounded like he wanted to retire but then realized how much bonus money he’d have to pay back and between that and the salary he’d get, it was too much of a financial hit (I know we’re talking in relative terms, since these guys make in one year more than we make in a lifetime).

    Question to Cards fans — is Veldheer’s poor play this year more attributable to (a) not playing his natural position, (b) mailing it in since he didn’t really want to play this year in the first place, or (c) just getting a year older/slower/etc.?

  22. By JohnnyBluenose on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    Minnesota Cards Fan and RoRo…..I agree with both of you. Our offense is so ponderous and without energy. I don’t think Palmer played badly last night and I know it’s not his fault that he is immobile back there but if he played with the energy of Drew Brees, for example, maybe some of that energy would rub off on his teammates and maybe it would make the defense a bit less prepared against us. And, I am not a BA fan and have not been for some time. He constantly berates the officials when calls go against us, even when he has no idea if the call is incorrect. And then he stupidly wastes a time-out by challenging a call that everyone knew was not going to be overturned. He does not get his own way so he acts like a fool and ends up hurting the team. Larry played a helluva game last night. Last week he had three receptions for 21 yards and I was thinking he was done. Not so. It’s just too bad he was not rewarded with a win. This game was winnable. Oh, one last thing. Nice job returning kicks last night, Patrick. Were you afraid to catch one in case someone might tackle you?

  23. By Cards on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    ST and o-line nightmare continues. Almost cost us a game last week, we could’ve win if Carson had more time to throw. Apparently, RT and center often gets beat. And Veldheer is earning how much? 10 millions? for that performance?

  24. By steve on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    The NFL and the Cardinals chose unwisely

  25. By Kevin S Mesa on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    Re: end of game management, Gruden started talking about kicking the FG as soon as the Cards got to around the 30. At that point, I was fine with the Cards continuing to drive for a TD. Not much time was coming off the clock, and then we had a 21 yard play that got us to first and goal and the clock stopped. At that point, it makes sense to try to get the TD — you’re close enough that you might as well go for it. As far as the 4th down play, if it had been an incomplete pass, I’d probably bring out the FG unit. But it was a completion with our guy tackled in the field of play. With the clock running, you’d waste a lot of time getting your FG unit out there… that close to the TD, it made sense, in my view, to just try to get it in.

    We’d have had an extra 40 seconds in there if we hadn’t handed over one of our timeouts on a silver platter, but whatever.

  26. By Tradersbrain on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    Coaching, injuries and talent … pretty much sums up the 2017 version of the Cards. Looking at the remaining schedule, I’m not sure there is a team the Cards can beat. Maybe SF at home. I truly did not see this coming. Obviously disappointing for CP and Fitz to go out like this.

  27. By dkerry5242 on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    It was tough being at the game with all those obnoxious Cowboy fans. When it looked as if we were going up 14 -0 the Cowboy fans were silent, then the holding call on Veldheer and the missed field goal you just had a feeling the game was going to turn in the Cowboys favor. The O Line proceed to stink up the joint and the defense seemed like it could get no pressure on Prescott. It was disappointing to see how Boehm and Veldheer looked lost in protection. They had no idea who to block even when Dallas rushed only three people. The defense also started to play poorly and Golden was out of position so many times it looked as if he was still a rookie. Our special teams are anything but special. Dawson and Lee have made me wonder how could we possibly think these guys were the answer to our kicking game? You mean with all the kickers on the street we couldn’t hold a mass tryout to find two able bodied guys that can kick?
    This could be the final year for Fitz and Palmer and wouldn’t it be shame to see them go out on a team with a 5-11 record.

  28. By mitchaz on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    Kevin S Mesa—

    Excellent posts from you today. Thumbs up from me.

    To answer your question, Veldheer’s struggles probably a combination of all three factors you mention…plus…there’s no RT in the NFL right now who can handle DeMarcus Lawrence one on one. That’s why the Cowboys have him rushing on the right side of the offense. He’s instant pressure.

    BA never offered him help. It’s beyond mind-boggling. It’s like BA and the coaches sat by and watched their two nephews (Veldheer and Palmer) get pummeled in a fight and just sit there and do nothing. It’s reckless football. When one of you tackles can’t handle his man, you chip and double team. Even when Gresham was to Lawrence’s side, BA just has Gresham play one on one and Lawrence abused him. No double teams. None.

    This is why the offense can’t put up points…sacks, penalties and general chaos will do in most drives.

    The tantalizing thing is — it’s fixable if BA would make pass pro adjustments. But he refuses. His response to the media’s questions about the o-line woes was two words: “block better.” Oh really? Anyone could have told BA before the game that Veldheer was going to be outmatched by Lawrence. To say “block better: is a cop out for what it truly was: poor pre-game and in-game adjustments.

  29. By Coach K on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    CJ2K is still our best back. The problem is our O-line. How can Chris get rolling if he is dodging the defensive penetration as soon as he gets the ball?

    If we had an offensive line, CJ2K would have had many more yards instead of the few he got dodging defenders in our own backfield.

    Major overhaul required on the Offensive line. Future draft should involve t lest 3 or 4 top offensive linemen at minimum 6’4″ tall and athletic.

    We have short and slow offensive interior line and its hard to watch each week. Defensive line just use their speed and swim moves to easily get past our line.

  30. By georgiebird on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    When Larry is still far and away the best player on the team (at age 34), then something is seriously wrong with the drafting process.
    I think everyone has tried their best to get the Cards to the SB. There has been no lack of effort.
    Fact is, the Cards’ people in high places are just not good enough.

  31. By Richard S on Sep 26, 2017 | Reply

    Lost 2 of 3 games to a mobile quarterback. Pocket passers need a pocket to pass.

  32. By Kevin S Mesa on Sep 27, 2017 | Reply

    Georgiebird —

    To be fair, our best player is out with an injury.

    I agree, though, our drafts have not been good.

    Our #1 picks in the Keim regime have been Cooper (essentially a washout after injury, and that’s with being a #7 OA pick), Bucannon (solid but not spectacular), Humphries (may turn out OK), Nkemdiche (done nothing so far) and Reddick (jury out; looks good in limited duty). Notice the key theme — none of these guys is a star, a hugely impactful player.

    Now let’s move down to the 2nd round. Minter — gone from team. Niklas — has barely been able to play. Markus Golden — OK, now we’re getting somewhere. No pick in 2016 and then Baker this year.

    So Golden and Bucannon are probably the best of the lot out of five years of #1 and #2 picks — with more to come on Reddick and Baker. Again, a couple solid players, but no one spectacular.

    To his credit, Keim seemed to hit the lottery in the third round three straight years with Mathieu, John Brown and David Johnson. But Mathieu has had trouble staying on the field and will be a liability from a salary perspective going forward if he can’t get back to the 2015 Badger. John Brown had one breakout season and now seems like another guy who won’t stay on the field. David Johnson is obviously a potential superstar, but we’re going to lose him for most of this year — and let’s face it, RB’s don’t last that long. Keim’s last two third-round picks, the two WIlliamses, don’t excite me.

    I can give Keim a little bit of a pass in terms of the injuries — I mean, there was no way to predict Cooper was going to break his leg, for example. But even setting injuries aside, it’s just not all that impressive, outside of his success in the third round — but now two of those guys aren’t playing and one is a shadow of himself.

  33. By clssylssy on Sep 29, 2017 | Reply

    Kevin…
    Really! Hit the lottery three times when 2 out of those 3 have been all but invisible for whatever reason…and those were his successes! As for a pass on the injuries, that’s a foregone conclusion in football, it’s how you deal with them in finding quality replacements that allow your team to move forward & be successful that counts. Keim’s not getting the job done but talks a lot about everyone else needing to do their job better.

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