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Eagles aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on October 8, 2017 – 3:23 pm

J.J. Nelson wore an ice bag on his side, courtesy of the first hit he took in the game Sunday. The last one left more of a mental bruise – one in which it looked like the wide receiver would make the final score look a tad better on a 29-yard touchdown catch from Carson Palmer, only to have the TD erased and the ball lost when replay showed Nelson losing a fumble at the 1 and through the end zone.

“I was just trying to make a play, stick it out there (across the goal line),” Nelson said, shaking his head. “The guy hit me, and made a nice play.”

The score wouldn’t have really made a difference, but it figured to end like that. The loss in Philly couldn’t have been much uglier (although someone on Twitter suggested it was the Cards’ worst game in 10 years, and wow, that anyone could forget the 2012 Seattle trip stuns me). All the Cardinals’ current issues were laid bare – a failure to run, problems on the offensive line, an inability to score, giving up too many big plays – and then you add it a breakdown on third down defense. The Eagles weren’t just converting third downs but long third downs.

The backbreaker, although the game was basically secured by then, was the 72-yard TD on third-and-19, with the blitzing Cardinals unable to get to the quarterback. That was a common theme. The pass rush took a step back, and whether that was Markus Golden missing or something greater, it’s not a great sign.

Bruce Arians took the blame a couple of times in his press conference. He said he didn’t have the Cardinals ready to play. From a 40,000-foot level, seems an apropos assessment.

— The offensive line started Earl Watford at left guard. At one point, when right tackle Jared Veldheer had to leave briefly with a knee issue, the line was, from left tackle to right tackle, John Wetzel, Watford, A.Q. Shipley, Evan Boehm and rookie Will Holden. Veldheer did come back into the game, although Arians said Veldheer will be sore (and said the same about DT Corey Peters, who also left for a time with a knee.)

If Veldheer is OK, and maybe D.J. Humphries and Alex Boone can come back next week …

— It did seem like Arians stuck to the run more. It still didn’t produce. Only 2.2 yards a carry.

— Larry Fitzgerald keeps grinding. He didn’t have a catch for a while until grabbing one for a reception in his 200th straight game. He finished with six receptions for 51 yards.

— The Cardinals have lost long snapper Aaron Brewer with a broken wrist/hand, Arians said. So they’ll be in the market. Josh Mauro and Boehm filled in and did OK. But the blocked field goal was because of the snap. It wasn’t bad, it was just a tick slow – which is all it takes for a guy coming off the edge.

— Haason Reddick did play some outside linebacker, but he was having trouble getting past the blocking when rushing the passer. There will definitely be a learning curve there.

— Palmer didn’t have bad stats, but they could have been. He was nearly picked off three times on plays that were broken up by his wide receivers. Nelson had one and John Brown had two, showing off two different cornerback skills. The first Smoke did a nice job simply knocking it away. The second was in the hands of Jalen Mills – and Brown timed his hit perfectly, landing a heavy body blow as Mills was coming down, jarring the ball loose.

It was a day to seek such silver linings.


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Posted in Blog | 46 Comments »


46 Responses to “Eagles aftermath”

  1. By Joachim on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    Man, I don’t get why we don’t just play the sticks on third and long like so many other teams are succesfully doing…

  2. By joe holst on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    Amos Jones is publishing a new book titled “How to NOT pay attention to small details”.

  3. By SCarolinaCard on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    I say trade Fitzgerald to a good team, and put in one of the other QB’s, hope for the best, or for a good draft pick. Was hopeful until today.

  4. By lacardinalsfan on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    Broken Record:

    Horrible Oline Horrible Special Teams

    Next week more of the same and no changes will be made.

  5. By tom manoogian on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    friggin embarrasement.these players should be fined for this play.if we can’t protect palmer,give him his money and let him go home.defense is pitiful,dc should be fired,keim sucks and arians might have been 1 year wonder.been cards fan since 1968,that’s right 1968,and this is worse than bad days.disgusted,quitters,just plain pitiful.don’ care about winning every game,but to get a paycheck and just quit,i assure if my job performance was like this i would get my walking papers.friggin pitiful

  6. By DZ on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    Here is the silver lining.
    “Practice makes perfect”as the saying goes.
    Our WR’s have really improved on being the disruptive force on potential interceptions. They have been practicing this all season and their results show it. Now let’s practice holding on to passes in tight spaces because that’s all you’re gonna get with our pathetic O-Line and 5-7 step drop backs. Even the shotgun turns into a track meet to the QB.
    As always, Fitz is never targeted enough when you really need it.
    I am referring to 3rd down gotta have it situation. Not his game winning heroics we have all come to love and chant Larry, Larry, Larry..
    I feel bad for him.. Carson too. He should be awarded Punching bag of the yesr award.

  7. By Tradersbrain on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    “Palmer didn’t have bad stats, but they could have been. He was nearly picked off three times on plays that were broken up by his wide receivers” I think at this point and with the offensive line the Cards trot out each week, simply surviving should be considered success for Palmer.

  8. By Vince on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    There is no hiding that the cardinals are not the team we were hoping for this season. I can’t see them getting that much better to actually be a contender in the NFC.

  9. By Rowlan Colorado Springs on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    The only good thing that came out of this game was #21 blowing up on the sideline. Great to see someone on this team still has a pulse!! Coaching staff is lifeless and look like they are just hoping something they call will go right…….

  10. By krehbieo14 on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    I’m tired of the excuses for the Oline. The Packers just put up over 100 yards of rushing with a rookie running back and make-shift line against the Cowboys. To make matters worse, our former first round pick, Jonathan Cooper, was opening up massive holes for Zeke Elliott. The Cards problem is about coaching in every phase of the game.

  11. By Corgon on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    O-line or not, everything starts with the special teams. You can’t start defending almost every time in your own half and start every attack near the own 15 yard line. We need the luxury of the 3and outs, because the half of our O is missing, or not healthy or not good enough.But after a 3AO, we need a defendable field position.
    Now, we can’t flip the field. Our coverages are terrible and we dont have an existing return game for years now. Last time we blocked a FG? Anybody? Bueller? The last time when we had a clear kick on a FG try? Even the succesful ones are dangerous as hell.
    These aren’t TDs, but everything starts here. With the kickoff literally.

  12. By Scott H on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    Question of whether the Cardinals should be taken seriously? Answered.

    The reality? This is a BAD team and we appear to be on our way back to back to being a doormat. Embrace it, folks. The dark days of our past have returned. And if anyone thinks they are seeing a team that will be back any time soon, I just have no idea what you are looking at. Really, I don’t.

    I envy anyone who could turn off the TV today and go do something / anything worthwhile. I was stuck at Lincoln Financial Field ( and oh, what a $#!*^& feeling THAT was ) with my daughter, who was enjoying her first Eagles game experience. Boy, she couldn’t have picked a better day for that, huh? I was happy for her and we had a nice day together. Shy of that? I wanted NO PART of sitting and watching this team. I should get Father of the friggin Year for sitting through that abomination for my child’s enjoyment.

    I have NEVER – and I mean NEVER – seen worse 3rd down defense than I did today. I counted 3 conversions on 3rd and 11 and then there was the long TD on a 3rd and 19. The Eagles scored 3 TD’s on 3rd down. That is bad to a degree that is in-explicable. There IS no explanation for how an NFL defense can be that bad.

    I don’t know about Arians not having the team ready to play but Bettcher SURE AS HELL didn’t have the defense ready to play. And THAT game today was a game that can, and probably should, cost the defensive coordinator his job. I would have NO problem with that.

    And BTW, Justin Bethel is STILL a failure in progress. And I want Steve Keim – or SOMEONE – to come out and admit the mistake it was to roll with him as our #2 CB. He is a damn disgrace. But I don’t blame him. I blame those who made the decision to put him where he is.

    Here is a situation where I will definitely say I told ya so, because I did. TWICE. The last TWO times Wade Phillips was available, I begged, pleaded, and screamed for him to be our next D coordinator. All that man does is make every defense he touches one of the best defenses in the league.

    Beyond that…..and beyond just feeling SOOOOOO sorry for Larry Fitzgerald that he has to be a part of this…….I am stunned into silence. I have nothing else to say.

  13. By Gabe on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    When people gonna start blaming Goodwin for the lack of offensive efficiency? The play calls are surely horrible, but I mean, O-line and the offense as a whole are doing a terrible, terrible job! He should be held accountable, maybe it’s time to start thinking about changes on the staff for next season of the Cardinals is doomed to become the mediocre team that we were all used to before the Uni of Phoenix stadium came

  14. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    A few observations:

    Usually when you lose by a score like 34-7, it means that not only did the other team play better, but also you were unlucky… maybe a pick-six, a strip-sack deep in your territory that led to an easy TD on the next play, that sort of thing. But that wasn’t the case here. We didn’t turn over the ball at all up until the meaningless Nelson fumble with a minute left, and we intercepted Wentz once in the end zone, or the score would’ve been even worse.

    To lose 34-7 despite not turning the ball over means you have to be thoroughly outplayed. And we were. Offense, defense, special teams, coaching, preparedness, mentally, physically… try to find one area where we were better. Jumping offside on 3rd and 5 on the first Philly drive of the game. Missing tackles on the long punt return.

    At one point we had allowed Philly to complete on 3 3rd-and-11’s and a 3rd-and-19. The 3rd-and-19 was the long pass where Budda Baker gave up a TD, but on the other conversions as well, guys were wide open in the middle of our secondary. How is it that other teams’ receivers are always wide open?

    Kerwyn Williams repeatedly ran balls out and gave us worse field position than the 25. Once, he hesitated, and then decided to try to run it out anyway, and predictably was shy of the 15. Just stupid. He was a liability.

    Even though our punt returners almost always fair-catch, and when they do try to run it they never get anywhere, we managed to get a holding call on a punt where the Eagles punter kicked the ball out of bounds. Someone should tell our blockers on punts, it’s never worth holding because our guy isn’t going to break one anyway.

    Cardinals need to watch some Patriot game film. It seems that when we throw short passes, we throw them 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage and get tackled. Learn to throw some quick slants to try to gain 5-6 yards.

    Plus, after Philly scored a TD to go up 31-7, with 6 minutes to go in the 3rd, we opened the next drive with a 15-yard pass play to Nelson. Then, we ran Chris Johnson up the middle twice, for a 2 yard gain and a 1 yard loss. And then the predictable incompletion on 3rd and long. We basically were giving up… I mean, not only were we not trying to run a hurry-up offense down 24 points with a little more than a quarter to go, we were calling running plays despite gaining only 2 yards per rush for the game. If we’re going to give up, at least get Palmer out of there so he doesn’t get killed. Why was he still in there on the final drive?

    We’re so bad, we can’t even score a garbage-time TD correctly, with Nelson losing the ball for a touchback.

    I was trying to defend the team a couple days ago when someone pointed out that we could easily be 0-4 by pointing out that we were leading or tied in the 4th quarter of our two losses, so we weren’t that far away from 3-1 or 4-0 either. We hadn’t been blown out. Well, now we’ve been blown out, and it wasn’t pretty.

    If we were like last year’s Rams and had a young QB learning the ropes and some reason to be optimistic about the future, that would be one thing. Instead, we’re the oldest team in football, our QB and Hall of Fame receiver will likely hang it up soon, and sometimes when you look at our O-line you wonder if ANY of our guys could crack the starting lineup of a team with a good O-line.

    What is there to be optimistic about? David Johnson’s return, after we’re already eliminated from contention?

  15. By georgiebird on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    Let’s hear it from everyone- The OL line is terrible.
    But to be fair, the defense is worse. And the Cards’ defense is one of the healthiest in the NFL only missing Markus-as no other starter wasn’t playing.
    And Palmer doesn’t fit this team. Throw all CP’s stats out after the first qtr when the game was over. DL’s must love to go after CP- he’s easily rattled and can’t move. CP’s stats today are so misleading. CP is a stats guy.

  16. By georgiebird on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    The Cards’ game against the Giants in December could be for a very high, high draft choice. Under no circumstances should DJ or Logan be brought back this year. BASK may finally get their franchise QB- but the trip to the bottom has exposed a lot of people in the organization- gm; coaches; players.

  17. By TucsonTim on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    Does anyone believe Veldheer, Boone or Humphries coming back is going to change anything?

    Are they going to play or coach special teams? Can they cover a tight end? Can they tackle? Can they call a defensive play on 3rd and forever. We already know that they can’t block very well.

    So tell me how is it going to change anything?

  18. By DZ on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    Here is the silver lining.
    “Practice makes perfect”as the saying goes.

    Our WR’s have really improved on being the disruptive force on potential interceptions. They have been practicing this all season and their results show it. Now let’s practice holding on to passes in tight spaces because that’s all you’re gonna get with our pathetic O-Line and 5-7 step drop backs. Even the shotgun turns into a track meet to the QB.
    As always, Fitz is never targeted enough when you really need it.
    I am referring to 3rd down gotta have it situation. Not his game winning heroics we have all come to love and chant Larry, Larry, Larry..
    I feel bad for him.. Carson too. He should be awarded Punching Bag of the year award.

  19. By Kevin Powell on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    The cards need to make some serious changes and quick this will not even be a 500 ball club with what they currently have. Any ideas Steve Keim

  20. By Cardinal on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    I’m in terrible pain. 43 seasons a CARDINALS Fan and damm!! In bad accident 6 days ago concussion with 5 stiches, 3 broken ribs, and punctured lung. 5 broken bones in wrist took 6 metal rods to repair , 2 broken fingers I torn finger , bad ankle , many many cuts and bruises and gashes. And then the game wow .

    Is Arians ever going get it that its best to start on defense and get ball 2nd half. In the start no offenses are warmed up . Another 3 and out and we gave eagles ball good position with a whopping 1 min 15 seconds used up they drive right down and score …. and get ball second half, The second half you are usually ready to get started after half quickly. When u start on D good things can happen just with that first stop. Everyone defers to 2nd half ……… except Arians . Starting on D, get a stop and especially at home get crowd fired up. on the road , get the team fired up with an initial stop!!! WAS LIKE EAGLES GOT BALL TO START BOTH HALVES. Wake up Arians, idiot !!!!!!!!!! Loved Wiz in the beginning but was ready for him to get fired at the end. Loved Arians in beginning ……ready for him to go …back to Temple or anywhere now!! DEFER TO the second half Arians !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. By Rick on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    This song is all too familiar and we all have been down this road before. I don’t know how we go from a Super Bowl contender to this ??? Chandler High can blow up this team for free and these guys get paid millions. These guys have no heart and seem to lay down and take the beating. Time for a change its obvious Arians is not the same coach because he is on the verge of retiring. Keim better take care of this or we will start calling for their jobs.

  22. By ron on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    100% agree with Cardinal……DEFER!!!!!! Because no matter what happens……you get the ball 2nd half to start!!!

  23. By faster on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    during the preseason we had a two kicker competition, and then a third one got in, and no backup preparation for the long snapper?

    ok, special teams ….

    now on to the bucs, and lets hope for a overtime win again.
    with this ofensive line it would be a big miracle, with veldheer, boone and humprhries a smaller one.

    and the division is wide open, rams and hawks offenses are as bad as ours.

  24. By jeffcardinalfan on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    its clear that the cards were not ready to play. a few more games like this and we can begin discussing which qb the cards will draft next year-at this rate they will be picking 2nd or 3rd. during the sk/ba era how many players have been developed? sure, sk has found a few players in later rounds but there is no development of players at all. even if all ol were healthy they would still be an average line at best…they are old and slow…boehm is not a guard period. the badger looks lost on the field. blown coverages, rbs and wrs not looking for the ball AND GRESHAM-AGAIN-ON HIS ONE CATCH HE SPIKES THE BALL AND WAS LUCKY THERE WASNT A PENALTY CALLED…the roster needs to be overhauled at nearly every position as does the coaching staff.

  25. By mike on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    Reminds me of the time we played them on Thanksgiving night and got smoked. This team (like my fantasy team) is floundering without David Johnson.

  26. By Larso on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    Philly did good, I still think we have a good Team if the Oline stops to struggle. Love you Cards keep fighting!

  27. By Crash21 on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    So the bad news is that we will probably end up 4-12, good news is that we will have top5 pick.

  28. By Hammy on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    Where to start? First off I give credit to the Eagles for the way they played football. Fast, physical, efficient, and with heart. We played with no intensity and yet again we lose a football game played on the East coast. Could not run the ball, this shows that our OLine is probably the worst in the league. I dont know what to expect for the rest of the year but it already feels like a wasted season. I feel bad for guys like Fitz because it just isn’t fair how he shows up to play every damn week and certain players don’t. Fitz has been patient with the Cardinals and showed his loyalty time and time again for what? He could have left and had an opportunity to compete to win a championship! Are we in rebuild mode and just aren’t telling anyone? Or do we just plain stink? We are 2-3 and should be 1-4!

    I love our coaching staff but man I really think something has got to change. Really starting to show how overrated our GM and coaching staff are. BA has the personality of one of the coolest people around but do his players respond with urgency to his coaching style? Curious to see how the players respond next week and the rest of the year after getting a beating like that.

  29. By mitchaz on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    Last week it seemed odd that BA told the team that the SF game would go down to the wire and that if the Cardinals could prevail, they could discover their identity and build on their winning ways.

    It was a curious psychology to employ for a veteran team to use in preparation for a home game against an 0-3 team. Typically, one would expect the mentality and expectations would have been to win the game by a significant margin. Was this psychology a reflection of how low BA’s expectations have become of the team?

    Perhaps telling the team the game would come down to the wire was a shrewd strategy by BA in the event that the game did go down to the wire.

    The answer to the question would be in how well the Cardinals perform in Philly. BA predicted the team would build on whatever it was that helped them beat the 49ers.

    Thus, yesterday’s answer was 100% clear that the Cardinals did not build on anything they learned versus the 49ers.

    BA’s messages and psychologies are falling on deaf ears.

    Since the 2015 NFC Championship game the Cardinals show up only when they want to. They don’t build on much of anything.

    Why?

    Yesterday, like many road games over the past 21 games, the Cardinals in the first half ran at half speed like an NBA team in the first half of January games. The problem is — unlike what happens in the NBA in January—no one told the Eagles to do the same.

    Yesterday, even though the Cardinals lost the coin toss, not too long ago some teams would be loath to give BA the ball the start the game, knowing this is exactly what BA wants…now it’s pretty much a given that teams are quick to defer. They know from their film studies that the Cardinals come out of the gate looking like a Clydesdale stuck in the chute at the Kentucky Derby. They also know that without Todd Bowles, the Cardinals’ defense is as soft as Cheese Whiz coming out of the tunnel at half-time.

    It’s no wonder why Cardinals’ fans are becoming disillusioned with this team…it’s like paying for the same B movie over and over again, because the script from week to week is virtually the same.

    Yesterday’s script…

    1. Run kickoff out to the 18 yard line. Mistake #1.
    2. 1st down here comes the 3 TE set. Run Chris Johnson to right—1 yard.
    3. 2nd down—incomplete 5 yard out pass to Fitzgerald
    4. 3rd and 9—5 yard skinny post to J.J. Nelson, ball jarred loose. Would have never had a chance for the 1st down anyway.
    5. Punt nearly blocked—Kenyon Barner breaks 4 tackles for a 20 yard return (Eagles start at own 46)
    6. Eagles 3rd and 5—Dansby (Bucannon and Jones) neutral zone infraction—1st and 10 Eagles
    7. Wentz sacked by Jones back to the 46 yard line—3rd and 11
    8. Wentz skinny post to Zach Ertz—12 yards 1st down. Branch on coverage.
    9. 3rd and 11 again—skinny post to Alshon Jeffery (Peterson whiffed badly on press) 14 yards—tackled by Baker
    10. Eagles TD Wentz to TE Trey Burton on fade pass 15 yards. Burton blows right past LB Deone Bucannon.
    11. Jake Elliott XPT—Peterson on left edge does not even rush the kick. Same as versus 49ers.

    Next Series:

    * 3rd and 16 at ARI 29
    (6:14 – 1st) (Shotgun) C.Palmer pass short right to E.Penny to ARZ 35 for 6 yards (J.Hicks; N.Bradham).

    *4th and 10 at ARI 35
    (5:44 – 1st) A.Lee punts 56 yards to PHI 9, Center-A.Brewer. K.Barner to ARZ 15 for 76 yards (B.Golden). ARZ-A.Brewer was injured during the play. He is Out.

    *3rd and 6 at ARI 11
    (3:52 – 1st) Zach Ertz 11 Yd TD pass from Carson Wentz (Jake Elliott Kick)

    When the Cardinals finally mount a drive and score on Palmer’s TD pass to John Brown, the score is 21-7. They get the ball back and drive within FG range, but the punt is blocked (slow snap and no block on Patrick Robinson).

    2nd Half:

    Again we hear that BA believes the first 5 minutes of the 2nd half will set the tempo for the rest of the game: “We need a defensive stop and and TD and we are right back in the game.”

    The Eagles march 57 yards on 11 plays taking 5:42 off the clock.

    36 yard FG attempt by Elliott. Having watched the Eagles block the last FG attempt one would think that Patrick Peterson would be hung-ho to retaliate—except—again—he does not even rush the kick.

    Disturbing Trends:

    * Getting dropped in the backfield on running plays. No FB to take out 1st penetration.
    * Passing check downs well under the sticks on 3rd and longs ending 5 potential drives.
    * Eagles getting pressure on P Andy Lee, Cardinals none at all on Donnie Jones.
    * Eagles fired up on STs…Cardinals sleepwalking.
    * Arians screaming at Bettcher to blitz on 3rd and 19 (just as BA did on the Aaron Rodgers hail mary in the 2015 playoffs)…and getting torched for a long TD to Agholor, one on one on Budda Baker.
    * Poor deep safety play all day (save the superb interception by Bethea).
    * Poor zone coverage—especially once again by Karlos Dansby who, for some strange reason, is going opposite of where receivers are heading through his zone.
    * Giving up easy completions on 3rd downs. 7/8 conversions to start the game.
    * OL getting whipped in pass pro with little to no help from coaches.
    * Palmer throwing up 3-4 passes for grabs, saved this week by WRs becoming DBs.
    * A general sense of lethargy and a total and complete lack of urgency.

    The Peterson Tirade:

    Way too little—too late. By the time he decided to go off on DB coach Kevin Ross the game was a blowout. Plus, in my opinion, Peterson represents part of what’s wrong with the Cardinals. He is world-class athlete who is exceptional at the things he likes or wants to do—but highly remiss and glaringly conspicuous in the things he does not want or like to do. Patrick Peterson is a “me first” player. He’s not a leader. He is still the most talented punt returner on the planet — but he no longer relishes that role. He is still the most talented FG rusher — a role he no longer relishes. In my opinion, the Cardinals will never win a championship unless Peterson changes his mentality. if he flips that switch — look out. Otherwise, it will be the same old same old, because this is what the team does just like Peterson — it does only what it wants to do, and it tries only when it wants to try.

    Peterson needs a coach who will push him beyond his comfort zone the way Todd Haley did with Larry Fitzgerald. That coach for Peterson is not currently on the Cardinals’ coaching staff, as these coaches enable and coddle him.

    Peterson is also one of the reasons why the Honey Badger has lost his drive. It’s not like the Honey Badger has forgotten how to tackle. When he sees Pat P. saving himself…why not so the same?

    Look at Deone Bucannon and Karlos Dansby yesterday…anyone get the impression they wanted to man up and make tackles? Both were brutally bad.

    Let me ask all of you. Who are the real leaders on this team? Who are they? That’s what can happen when a narcissistic head coach becomes the only alpha in the room…and by design, he likes it that way.

    Arians’ Rule:

    We are continuing to see the consequences of Arians’ decisions to appoint Harold Goodwin, James Bettcher and Amos Jones as his three coordinators. All 3 of them are incompetent. But what do all three of them have in common? They are BA’s cronies and three of his favorite sycophants. BA can pull the strings on all three of them like a master puppeteer.

    This is another big reason why the Cardinals’ players are failing. Goodwin has been lousy since day one and merely a token coordinator. Bettcher loses his credibility with the players because (a) he wasn’t qualified for the position to begin with; and (b) because BA tells him what to do. And Jones…year after year, game after game has proven beyond any scintilla of a doubt that he cannot do what to takes to put competitive STs units on the field. His ineptitude has become a weekly embarrassment.

    It makes no sense, for example that Scooby Wright and D.J. Foster were inactive for this game. How did CB Tramon Williams and TE Ricky Seals-Jones help the STs? Even LB Josh Bynes —how did he help?

    BA Taking the Blame:

    It is fitting that BA take the blame because he said last year that the only way he would fire Amos Jones is to fire himself.

    Was BA being sincere? Last year when he vaguely suggested one time that he might be part of the blame, the next day he threw several players and the players’ leadership under the bus in his Monday presser. Will he do the same today?

    It’s all a moot point by now anyway. Sure, the players will likely want to play this Sunday versus the Bucs at home. But, if the Bucs hit the Cardinals in the mouth and outcoach/outplay them the way the Cowboys did…or the way the Rams did last year early in the season, the Cardinals will self-destruct and revert to the same old script.

    The irony is…the Cardinals under Arians have now become what he dissed the Rams on national TV for being…at best…an 8-8 team. Right now even 8-8 seems like a pipe dream.

    Michael Bidwill:

    You deserve much better, MB. This is Cardinals’ history repeating itself. After 3 years, you gave Ken Whisenhunt a lucrative extension and then the bottom fell out. Now the same with Arians. “The system works.” (Whisenhunt) “We don’t change for anyone.” (Arians).

  30. By Scott H on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    Yeah, the lack of a pass rush….let’s talk about that. Isn’t that what we brought Chandler Jones here to do?? OK. Well, we’re now paying him a MOUNTAIN of money and…..we still have no pass rush?

    Well, that’s brilliant personnel work, isn’t it?

    What did we end 2016 with? We ended 2016 with glaring needs on ST’s and at CB. And a mere month into 2017, what do we STILL have? We STILL have glaring problems ( sorry, I find the use of the word miscues insulting ) on ST’s and at CB.

    These problems / needs were WOEFULLY addressed during an off-season that was preceded with a vow from our GM that we would be aggressive.

    Yet, the definition of aggressive turned out to be nothing more than standing back to get out of the way of the mass exodus of talent from our roster, filling holes with a bunch of geriatric plug-in’s, and a mindset that Justin Bethel was a #2 CB because he out-played Brandon Williams in training camp.

    BTW, anyone heard from Brandon Williams lately? Anyone? Anyone? Is he even still on the roster? Because if he hasn’t been able to play his way onto the field THIS season, for THIS team, he may as well not be.

    Again, we’ve had injuries. We’ve had significant injuries. So what? No one is feeling sorry for you. You still have to PLAY, for God’s sake. You still have to COMPETE.

    There was NO competition from our side of the field yesterday. NONE. And that goes beyond the injuries. Yesterday was a level of pathetic that went beyond injuries. And when THAT happens, it is time for somebody to go. Our GM or any of our coordinators.

    Someone has to go. Period.

  31. By Dan2 on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    Like many, I’m a frustrated fan. I’ve been a Cards fan since I was 9 years old and were the St. Louis Cardinals under Don Coryell and Jim Hart, so I feel I’ve earned the right to complain after yesterday’s pathetic display of so-called football. I rarely send emails, but am looking for answers or thoughts regarding the horrible play of the Cardinals in these first five games of the season. Injuries aside (and there are more Cardinals injured than I’ve seen in a while), this team has lost its ability to dominate opposing teams – even with a healthy team. I go into these games knowing we’re going to lose, but hoping we’re going to win. Not a lot of confidence in our ability to win games. How on earth do you LOSE your home opener on MNF??? When was the last time the Cardinals dominated a game? Certainly not this year when we’re squeaking out wins against teams we SHOULD be dominating! While it seems other teams have that ability (Patriots, Packers, etc), the Cards do not. Love ’em or hate ’em, these teams find ways to win.

    In addition, what is with all the injuries? it seems ever since the new players association restrictions, there are more injuries in the NFL since players don’t appear to be in shape as much as they used to be. How else would you explain the number of injuries? Bad luck? Coincidence? No. Look at the league in general – far too many injuries than in the past.

    With respect to the team’s performance of late, there needs to be some serious changes made. They don’t look hungry. They look confused on the field – don’t know where to go or what to do or how to make a simple tackle. Special teams stink. What was supposed to be a top 5 defense this year looks like a bottom 5. I thought Arian’s focused heavily on tackling during training camp, yet they looked awful against the Eagles yesterday and missed many tackles. This team has been around long enough that they should understand how to play under the Arian’s system, but apparently, they have still not grasped the concept. Palmer keeps saying, “we’ll get better, we need to get better,” but he’s been saying that after every game and if anything, they’ve gotten WORSE! These players should be absolutely EMBARRASSED by their level of play! I’m tired of being the longest running sports franchise in North America without a championship and it doesn’t appear one is coming anytime soon. Players say there are still 11 games left in the season. Based on the level of play thus far, it’s going to be a long finish to the season…BTW…LOVE the emails above from Scott H and Kevin Mesa – very true and very well articulated! Perhaps we SHOULD watch more Patriots film! They’re typically always ready to play and maybe we could learn something from them on how to win…

  32. By Darren Urban on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    Dan2 —

    RE: Name

    I added a 2 because there is already a Dan who comments here and I didn’t want people thinking it was the same guy.

  33. By clssylssy on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    What I find surprising is that this comes as such a big surprise! Mitchaz did an excellent job of comparing the two teams from a stats perspective and in every case the Eagles were the winners…so, one would think that the coaches would have had the same information and made the necessary adjustments where possible to give the team the best shot. Yes, we have injuries but good teams don’t sit around crying and feeling sorry for themselves but get creative. And, it helps if the GM works at replacing injured players with the best available to help the team sustain itself until we can get a few guys back from IR.
    I do give BA credit for accepting the blame for this week’s horrendous mess but, have the distinct impression this was because Keim threw him under the bus, to detract from his incompetent job performance, letting major assets walk, doing absolutely nothing in the off season and having zero success in building a roster.
    Of course, one only can guess at the restrictions Mr. Bidwill has placed on exactly what can be spent, firing coaches and replacing them might cost more than the Cards want to spend–while Michael Bidwill HAS improved this organization’s ability to survive, it’s history of being “frugal” might explain, our history and current situation.
    Going into this game we knew that our defensee was going to have to be our strength, and they didn’t bother to even show up. I’m sorry but PP needs to shut up after the way he allowed himself to get beat. I have believed Bettcher was over his head all along but he has been able to get buy running the same Horton/Bowles playbook bc he had some veterans like Dwight Freeney, and others who were onfield coaches but Keim didn’t keep any of these guys.
    Basic skills like tackling are beyond terrible and I have to wonder WHY there is no attention to improvement of these basic skills, that these guys have been doing since Pop Warner days. I do not want to hear, “that’s not my job!!!” Almost nobody but Fitz knows anything about ball control so why is that? There needs to be someone who works on basic technique and building skillsets.
    I am sick and tired of the blame game and perhaps so are our players. They get nothing in the way of support from the FO so, I almost can’t blame them if they don’t feel like risking their future putting themselves in harms way so the Organization can continue to fill seats. Still, as bad as it gets,if this is their chosen career path then they need to refocus and find ways to see the next game as an opportunity for redemption. And, when you look around the league at the staggering number of very serious injuries (some likely to be career ending) there appears to be some serious issues in the NFL that are going to need to be addressed at a higher level than even the Organization. Our injuries are no worse than those of other teams except we may have not started out at the same level of roster strength.
    Let’s at least try to refocus and start planning to win our next game, which is at home and should help unless it gives us a false sense of security.

  34. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    We can all pick out particular plays that give us fits. For me, I think the one that made me the maddest was one that, in the scheme of things, was less impactful than the 3rd-and-forever conversions or the long punt return, but just demonstrates that we have no clue.

    It was 3rd and 2 on the first drive of the second half. (We’d already allowed Philly to convert on a 3rd and 11 earlier in the drive). We’re down 21-7 and desperately need a stop. The ball is on our 37 yard line, so Philly is close to FG range.

    And Ertz goes way wide, playing as a wide receiver. Bethel is out there covering him. And Bethel is 10 yards off when the ball is snapped.

    And then Ertz starts to run his route, and Bethel immediately starts going backward, keeping his roughly 10-yard distance from Ertz. Ertz stops his route, turns around, catches a pass easily, and scampers for a 14 yard gain (notably, Bethel is not the one to tackle him).

    How are we going to stop a 3rd and 2 if we don’t even engage the receiver?

  35. By mitchaz on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    Clssy—

    Great post. Thumbs up.

    I think BA made most of the personnel calls this off-season, not Keim. He was fine with flipping DJH and JV at tackles…Keim drafted Boehm to be Shipley’s successor but BA wanted Shipley back because Carson likes him, so BA said he’d be fine with Boehm at RG.

    On defense, BA always said he thought Bethel is just as physically gifted as Peterson. BA wanted S Bethea and LB Dansby for leadership. BA felt that Nkemdiche came on strong at the end of 2016 and that he would be ready to fill CC’s void. He expected Honey Badger and T-Branch to come back healthy and strong.

    On STs, BA wanted Dawson, as he was fed up with Catanzaro. BA wanted camp competition for Wile (Leone). They were both pleased to acquire Lee.

    When the draft concluded w/o the Cardinals taking a QB, with plenty of reps to give in practice, BA gave the nod to acquire Bliane Gabbert and make him his new pet “QB whisperer” project.

    The more that time goes on, the more it seems like BA is the one calling most of the shots. He’s the alpha in the room.

  36. By Ken Moroney on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    Longtime Cardinal fans have seen this movie over and over. BA has no clue in calling plays now. He is so predictable. Special teams coaching has been a joke for a couple years now. Defense plays off receivers. Palmer sucked early in the year but has played well last couple of game with zero blocking. BA became a media darling and that is when we started downhill. Female on coaching staff. Netflix program. Larry deserves so much better than this as does Mr Bidwell.

  37. By georgiebird on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    Read all the comments- and about 50% of us are surprised and 50% are not.
    Think back to the 2014 and 2015 seasons where the Cards were 24-8. While the record looks great- the wins were based on a lot of fortunate bounces and during that time BA probably had one of the great runs of all time in fortuitous things happening. So what the Cardinals’ fans are looking at now is the other side of 2014 and 2015.
    The NFL is a league of parity- you win some and you lose some. The very good teams in 2017 (and there are only a few of them) are winning as much on good fortune as they are with good players.
    And there has also been a lot of bad player evaluation to go with the bad breaks.
    But as I wrote in a previous post- the Cards have probably the healthiest defensive team in the NFL- and that is what I find most disturbing.

  38. By krehbieo14 on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    Ken Moroney
    Did you actually say having a female intern on the Cards coaching staff was a negative?

  39. By clssylssy on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    Mitchaz…
    I guess that is where we disagree about who has the power here. I don’t think it’s BA, but he has reveled at being the front man and now the Organization is happy to let him take all of the heat. My reasoning behind my thinking is that his players are still loyal to him and seem more worried about how their performance reflects on him than themselves .BA has creds within the NFL, Keim does not. I’ll always go with the players and those doing the actual job before I give any credibility to the suits.

  40. By krehbieo14 on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    Jen Welter, the 2015 female intern coach was well respected by Cards players for her teaching skills and ability to relate to players. According to Bidwill, the Cardinals were pleased to break the gender barrier. Jen has a masters degree in sports psychology and PHD. in psychology. The NFL considered the hiring innovative.

  41. By Richard S on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    At the start of the season when the experts predicted the Cards would have a losing record this season, I doubted it. I’ve since conceded the experts may have been overly generous in predicting the number of games the Cards would win. it’s a cyclical sport with very few teams except maybe the Patriots staying on top for a long time. What do you need to stay on top for a long time? (1) a young upcoming good QB. How do you get that? – by losing games in a year where there are a lot of good upcoming young QBs. If you have that you can concentrate on the (2) important positions of offensive linemen and sure handed receivers. It doesn’t hurt to have receiving tight ends that put the ball in the endzone like Philly did the other day or that the Patriots seem to put a high importance to obtaining. Of course BA thinks tight ends are for blocking. .

  42. By clssylssy on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    Meanwhile….today the Seahawks are working out 2 time Probowl o-lineman Brandon Albert & we are working out punters only? Is it any wonder the players lack pep in their step or the fans are in an uproar? Lack of effort? Yep, I would say that’s what many of the fans have been talking about since FA began!

  43. By dokwalk on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    Hey Darren, I don’t think you should be stunned that any fan would want to take the memory of that dreadful night in Seattle and tuck it away in the back of their mind, left to be forgotten and never brought to a concious thought again.

  44. By Darren Urban on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    Dok —

    RE: Seattle

    I don’t mind if someone wants to tuck. But then don’t start talking about the last 10 years when you’re playing hide n seek.

  45. By CARDS62 on Oct 9, 2017 | Reply

    Mitchaz – You always write good stuff, but you really out did yourself with your first article on this blog. It is first page of the sports section quality.

    I just do not see where there is any coaching or game planning being performed.
    The no coaching and complete lack of effort or no heart I just can not get past and I know this is why our season is over as this is not a switch you can just turn on. We have problems and they are huge.

    Did anyone notice the shots of Carson on the sidelines in the 2nd and 3rd quarter? Did he look like a leader to you motivating the troops or did he look like a man looking for the exit.

  46. By Lifetime Fan on Oct 10, 2017 | Reply

    The fact that Amos Jones still has a job while getting out-schemed and out-coached in every possible way tells us that BA is, if not `calling the shots’, has a very strong influence in the FO. Keim should fire Jones as a message to the team, organization and BA.

    Great post Mitchaz btw.

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