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Adrian Peterson’s debut, and Bucs aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on October 15, 2017 – 7:15 pm

The plan started on a private plane, sent by the Cardinals Tuesday to pick up Adrian Peterson in New Orleans and bring him back to Arizona. Running backs coach Freddie Kitchens was on board, so that the return trip to Arizona could be spent on a crash course about the Cardinals’ offense.

“It sounded like Chinese,” Peterson said Sunday, after that five-day tutorial turned into a 134-yard rushing debut.

Peterson said Kitchens walked him through what he needed to learn, calling him at home just to go over things. By the time Peterson got to Sunday, he felt prepared, and he played that way.

Kitchens downplayed his role, saying only that he helped get Peterson in the building. And there is little question Peterson, motivated as he was to do well, had the talent if he knew what was called.

“It was the terminology of the plays,” wide receiver/Peterson landlord Larry Fitzgerald said. “You don’t tell a great back where to run.”

Fitz is going to gush about Peterson. They are friends. But Peterson deserves the praise. Not just for his production, but for the intangible vibe that surrounded this team right about the time Peterson and Kitchens were flying back from Louisiana.

“I wish he’d have been here 11 years from the beginning,” Fitzgerald said. “I’d have a Super Bowl ring already. But having him here, his leadership, his demeanor in the huddle, I think it’s reinvigorating everybody.”

— I can’t lie. I did not expect Peterson to make that kind of impact. I thought the Cards would be better. Not that much better. But when he ripped off two eight-yard runs on his first two carries, I quickly reconsidered.

— Chandler Jones got his sixth sack in six games and got a couple tackles for loss. That doesn’t do his game justice, especially early. He’s had a very good season.

— Still, you want to see the defense finish better. It’ll be interesting to see if Tramon Williams gets more playing time at cornerback.

— And not because of Patrick Peterson’s quad problem. If P2 is down, the Cards will feel it, although Peterson insisted he will be ready to play against the Rams next week. That was a big part of the fourth-quarter problems Sunday. No Patrick. Adrian isn’t the only necessary Peterson.

— The offensive line was better. It wasn’t perfect, but the return of left tackle D.J. Humphries and left guard Alex Boone, along with Earl Watford taking over at right guard clearly made a difference. There was a lot of emotion Sunday with Adrian Peterson and the crowd and that adrenaline helps. But if this group can stay healthy and together – that was the fifth different offensive line in six games – the Cards should be OK.

— Fitzgerald said it was kicker Phil Dawson who told him to waste some time on the onside kick recovery at the end, to make sure the clock ticked under the two-minute mark (and stoppage at the two-minute warning) so the Cards could kneel three times and be done. “That was Phil all the way,” Fitz said.

— Ryan Fitzpatrick likes putting a scare into Bruce Arians. First it was 2013 in Tennessee, then Sunday.

— Arians took the blame for Palmer’s interception, saying he insisted on throwing it deep there to go for the throat. But Arians said he needs to stay greedy. “There’s no lead big enough in the National Football League,” Arians said.

— Palmer is expecting both David Johnson and T.J. Logan to come off injured reserve, apparently, since he mentioned both running backs playing with Peterson later this season.

“I can’t help but think what B.A. will come up with when we get T.J. Logan back and Dave back,” Palmer said. “I can’t wait to see that.”

— That would be interesting. Just like the Cards were Sunday. Tomorrow, a flight to London.


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42 Responses to “Adrian Peterson’s debut, and Bucs aftermath”

  1. By CardsNation on Oct 15, 2017 | Reply

    So great to have AP, IDK what’s gonna happen when DJ comes back. The offense did a tremendous job especially when they have the protection. The defense did great in the first half, but it was also kind of scary in the second half.

  2. By georgiebird on Oct 15, 2017 | Reply

    A win is a win is a win. As I said last week- Worry more about the defense than the OL.

  3. By Jon Wolfgang on Oct 15, 2017 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    I’m beyond excited about what Adrian Peterson has done for this offense so far and what it would mean in the future. I said to myself when we made this trade that while he had not played like his usual self in New Orleans if you give AD the opportunities he is a guy I would not bet against. He was not just a spark for this offense. It honestly felt like a jug of gasoline and everyone else caught fire.

    My question though is this. How do you think David Johnson is going to fit back into this offense upon his return? You would hope that AD continues running like this and the Cards and in line to make the playoffs. I wouldn’t think AD is going to split a ton of carries although I’m sure Johnson will get some. Do you think we’ll see Johnson used even more as a number 2 WR to get the best 11 offensive players on the field at one time and make it hard on opposing defenses?

    Thanks.
    Jon Wolfgang

  4. By Darren Urban on Oct 16, 2017 | Reply

    Jon —

    RE: David Johnson

    He’s not coming back before Thanksgiving. A lot of time to figure things out. Will he be used as a receiver with Peterson? I could see that. But let’s see where we are then.

  5. By Jo Ball on Oct 15, 2017 | Reply

    The offense might be okay after all if this Oline can stay healthy. BUT… the defense has taken a major step backwards this season. Without the Oline distraction… the defense’s horrible play comes to focus. The cardinals are only 1 point away from allowing the most points allowed in the NFL through 6 games. This is not a playoff defense. Even with Patrick Peterson on the field, this defense rarely steps up in big moments and that’s a problem. Did anyone even want to guess what would of happened if we hadn’t recover the final onside kick?

  6. By JTDG on Oct 15, 2017 | Reply

    A few quick things I noticed at today’s game.

    – Dirk Koetter lost the game for the Bucs, and this isn’t second guessing. if he didn’t go for it on 4th and goal right before the half and kicked a short field goal, and kicked instead of going for two, The touchdown to Mike Evans would have tied the game. If he makes it through the year, I would be surprised.

    – Chandler Jones did have another great game. If I am not mistaken, he also was the one who knocked Winston out of the game.

    – AP was amazing and the crowd loved him. That first drive he ran angry. I noticed some DBs falling down instead of taking him on. I don’t blame them, he looked possessed. I thought he was going to add to this offense, but loved how he took over.

    – Larry, well…. was Larry. Is there anyone better than the GOAT ?

    – Carson only threw 22 passes. Going for around 290 yards and 3 TDs. That is what the offense should look like.

    – Niklas sighting early for a TD. With AP able to run like this, TEs should play a big role.

    – OLine, did they play better? It seems that way. Run blocking seemed good, but some of those cuts by AP sure made them look good. But on 24 drop backs, Palmer was sacked twice. If he threw his normal 40 passes, it would have been very different. When you look at the Bucs and how bad they are at rushing the QB, giving up two sacks is way too many.

    – Pat P shut down Mike Evans. When he left, it was noticed.

    – When will people get on board with Bethel. He gave up two more touchdowns , making it 6 on the year. He gave up another 4th quarter TD making it 4 TDs in the 4th. Thank God for Bethea as Bethel was burned on a few other occations only to have Bethea save the day, including his pick. It is time to send him to the bench and give Tramon Williams a chance.

    – I sat 3 rows behind Brett Grimes wife and it sucked watching him run over and give her the INT ball.

    – Did I mention AP is a beast ?

  7. By Patrick on Oct 15, 2017 | Reply

    Maybe Phil can tell Fitz to stay off the field when the defense intercepts the ball and has not been touch down. Anybody else but Fitz would have drew a flag,

  8. By mitchaz on Oct 15, 2017 | Reply

    AZ 38 TB 33: How? Why? What’s Next?

    Man, Cardinals coaches, players and fans saw today what a timely trade, the return of the left side of the offensive line and a whole lotta smelling salts on the sideline before the game can do to wake a team up after a 5 game snooze.

    After Steve Keim pulled off the Adrian Peterson trade the question I posed was whether BA would try to make Peterson adapt to BA’s offense or whether BA would ask Peterson for his input and thus would cater the offense to Peterson’s style. That question was answered almost immediately in the game, as Peterson lined up in his customary launching pad perch 7 yards behind the center and looked 100% comfortable and confident in his ability to find the creases and bust through them. Peterson’s 26/134/5.2/2 TD performance was inspiring. Credit Steve Keim for the trade at a time when the Cardinals needed a boost, Bruce Arians for getting Peterson comfortable and ready to go and the Cardinals’ offensive line (Humphries, Boone, Shipley, Watford and Veldheer) for getting off the ball on the snap and for sustaining their blocks as they are taught to do.

    Carson Palmer’s play in the first half was also inspiring: 13/13, 210 yards, 2 TDs. Even a hail mary duck of a pass was caught for a TD by an alert John Brown, who came back to snag it and then tippy-toe around the CB into the end zone.

    In the second half, the offense became unglued time and time again, thanks to an ill-advised under thrown deep ball interception, a myriad of penalties and a ridiculously stupid play call to throw a quick slant to Larry Fitzgerald on 1st and long following a penalty that put Fitz in harm’s way (just like last week when he nearly got his head taken off) and got him stood up and taking a high hit and getting stripped as he tried to cover up to the turf, which led to a scoop and run TD. This was the lone blemish for what was a stellar day for Fitz 10/138/13.8/1 TD.

    Fitz and Peterson should continue to live together as Felix and Oscar…for they combined for a whopping 272 yards and 3 TD.

    What remains throughly perplexing is BA’s and Carson Palmer’s insistence of hiking the ball practically every snap on one. It nearly cost them on the goal line when Palmer fumbled the snap…it cost them on several other occasions in the 2nd half, most particularly on the 4th and 2 out pass that Palmer nearly threw for a pick six in the direction of a completely blanketed John Brown.

    The Cardinals’ defense was good in the 1st half when they weren’t playing zone coverage. Patrick Peterson was doing a very good job on Mike Evans as was shutting him out, while Justin Bethel with Antoine Bethea over the top were containing specter DeSean Jackson, in fact, so well that Bethea recorded his third interception in the last three games and dropped another when he couldn’t control the catch after hitting the turf.

    The problem with the Cardinals zones is that the players aren’t looking properly coached in the coverage. Rule number one for the underneath players is to backpedal as deep as they can with the first wave of receivers until they can pass them off to the deep safeties. Then, they are to pick up first man in their zone underneath. The Cardinals’ underneath men are standing in cement and once they get passed by the WRs, the deep safeties are too deep in their drops to close the gaps.

    Rule number 2 is the hook zone LBers need to pick up a WR or TE crossing through their zone and shadow him to the boundary of their zone. For whatever reason, Karlos Dansby has been crossing the faces of the WRs and TE and losing them, rather than picking them up and running with them. Deone Bucannon was much improved this week in all aspects of his game…he was more decisive and more productive in finishing off plays.and he was the best in the zone at keeping the plays in front of him.

    Rule numer 3 is the deep safeties cannot give up too much cushion or it’s an easy pitch and catch all day, such as the easy 14 yard out passes they gave up to TE Cameron Brate. But, if the underneath men don’t backpedal and a run with the first receivers at least for 5 yards, it makes the safety’s job much more difficult.

    The Cardinals’ lax, passive play versus backup QBs continued in full array this week as Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 22/32/290/3TD/2 INT in his relief of injured stater James Winston, who was lit up by DE Chandler Jones and OLB Haason Reddick when they converged simultaneously on Winston off a scramble.

    Jones and Reddick were very active off the edges and very athletic on the perimeter. Reddick needs a spin move and needs to rip his way back to the QB when he rushes a little wide of the pocket. He had one of the better RTs in the NFL (Demar Dotson) on him much of the time, which was quite a chailenge.

    The Cardinals are still looking for an inside rusher. Corey Peters is textbook versus the run and Frostee Rucker and John Mauro are solid run stuffers, but they have yet to prove they can be a factor this year as pass rushers. Olsen Pierre showed some flashes the past two games, but he was out injured this week. Not happy to see Xavier Williams get injured as he has been playing his best ball in recent weeks.

    With Patrick Peterson sidelined with a quad injury, credit Tramon Williams for making what now could be seen as the deciding play of the game with his nifty interception of Fitzpatrick, jumping Evans’ hook route inside the Bucs’ 5 yard line. This led to Adrian Peterson’s 2nd TD.

    As for special teams, they deserve a lot of credit this week. Phil Dawson was a perfect 1/1 on FGs and 5/5 on XPTs. Andy Lee boomed one punt 53 yards (with a net of 43) and his pooch punt, artfully high pointed and corralled on the 1 yard line by gunner Budda Baker set up Tramon Williams’ interception and what turned out to be the game winning TD run by Peterson.

    In addition, let it be noted that Amos Jones and the staff did (almost) exactly what they were supposed to do on the on-side kicks. The up men are supposed to take out the first threats and let the ball bounce into the all hands players. The first one was hairy because it didn’t bounce 10 yards and it hit a Buc on the leg which gave the Cardinals the ball right on that spot (illegal touching). It wasn’t until after the ball was touched by a Buc that Ifeanyi Momah tried to hop on the ball. In retrospect, Momah would have been better off letting the ball go. Hopefully that’s a lesson learned the happy way.

    On the second kick, with most Cardinals’ fans now on breathalyzers (following Justin Bethel’s poor coverage of the Mike Evans’s go route TD), the up men took out the threats and the ball bounced right into the arms of All-Word Hands guy Larry Fitzgerald. Plus, more great coaching, as Fitz didn’t take knee right away so as to get the clock under 2:00…which allowed the Cardinals to run out the clock and send the fans home excited, relieved and exhausted.

    This week’s game in London versus the Rams is an important division game as the Rams are leading the division with a 4-2 record. The Rams’ victory at Jacksonville today was the result of 2 STs TDs, One on a 99 yard kickoff return by Pharoh Cooper to start the game and another TD off a blocked punt. The Cardinals are going to need good, strong play in all three phases and a 60 minute effort playing in front of the Queen and Prince Harry. This week’s modified theme abroad: “no risk-it, no crumpets.” Or—if you prefer the Williams Wallace variation: “no stones, no scones.”

  9. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 15, 2017 | Reply

    I agree with BA that you don’t let up in the NFL, even with a big lead. But not letting up isn’t the same as playing recklessly. Palmer was a perfect 14 for 14 and was finding receivers with precision 10-15 yards downfield. No reason to throw up the equivalent of a Hail Mary to a well-covered guy. You can still be “greedy” while taking what the defense is giving you. Bombs aren’t necessary — they hadn’t been necessary at all to get us the 31-point lead. What got us there was sustaining drives with a healthy mix of All Day and short-to-medium passing.

    I’m not going to complain too much about a win, but that should’ve been a coast-to-victory game, and instead we allowed it to turn into a one-possession game where an onside kick recovery would’ve put the Bucs in position for a game-winning drive. How does that happen up 31-0?

    Three straight division games. Our next one is a “road” game that’s really a neutral field. Then we get a week off, followed by an 0-6 team (but one that’s been playing reasonably well, losing 5 straight games by a FG or less, including to us). We COULD be 5-3 and playing at home vs. Seattle on Thursday Night Football for the division lead in a few weeks, at the start of a stretch of 4 out of 5 games at home that could redefine our season.

    I think this Rams game in London is going to be huge — we either get our mojo back, or we’re looking up two games behind a team that everyone expected to continue to struggle this year (and also still behind Seattle who is notorious for finishing strong).

  10. By Red Page Band on Oct 15, 2017 | Reply

    I told u this was gonna be a great day! 🙂 But please, quit on Bethel as a CB!! 😀 Tramon + Patrick, Bethel should play ST only.

  11. By Erik on Oct 15, 2017 | Reply

    O Line looked good, and that was great to see!

    Not to be Debbie Downer but, once again, Bethel was giving up 4th quarter touchdowns. I’m glad Tramon Williams had the opportunity to show what he could do. Now it is time for Bethel to go to the bench because he is nothing but a liability out there.

    That o line, with AD and a new CB #2nd this team might actually give me a reason to be excited again!

  12. By Dr. G. on Oct 15, 2017 | Reply

    A win is a win! Cards looked great for 3 quarters. AD did not disappoint with a stellar performance. Unknowingly, he may have interjected some humor when he said during practice reps that he ran into the back of the linemen a couple times and followed with “”Let’s go men.”” That brings enthusiastic effort some may not realize they were missing. Good stuff AD!!

    Maybe Dawson needs to coach up the coaches on clock management, his suggestion to Fitz was key…

    How ’bout a good showing for the Limeys and bring home a W for 4 &3?

    Enjoy your time in London Darren & Staff. AD says it all business…good!

  13. By steve88 on Oct 15, 2017 | Reply

    The field goal kicker IS NOT supposed to be the one telling Larry Fitz to stall so the clock goes under the 2 minute warning. What a great example of the utter
    ineptitude of the special teams coach, another reminder of how we need change at that coach. Honestly, I’m not surprised.

  14. By Cardinal on Oct 16, 2017 | Reply

    What an awesome 1st half …..but watching the second half almost put me back in the hospital where I just got out of last week after spending 5 days, due to a bad accident!!

    Go CARDINALS!!!! Luv me some new #23!!!!!!!

  15. By Scott H on Oct 16, 2017 | Reply

    On the 27-yard run that Peterson had early, you could see the difference between what we had and what he now gives us. I loved CJ, have said it over and over, but he doesn’t make that run. You could see AP’s patience and ( more so ) his power on that play. And it was a beautiful thing. CJ doesn’t make that run. That was GREAT to see.

    You can see he really does have something left in the tank. I’m glad he brought it here!

    But it figures that as soon as THIS Peterson arrives, we may be without the other one. Even if we don’t, he may be limited going into a game against a team that has been scoring points by the truck-load.

    More later, but….off to London.

  16. By faster on Oct 16, 2017 | Reply

    a look back, if the weak bucs defense get a sack on palmer, the offense line is not good. maybe better then last week, but not good. and if palmer expect johnson and logan to come back, ok, but iupati and johnson would have helped more.
    and now onto next week, the rams lost homefieldadvantage, thats should help.
    a win in london, and we are in the race.

  17. By Bob41 on Oct 16, 2017 | Reply

    I’m really thankful, and Thanksgiving is a month away. I’m thankful that TB didn’t have another couple of possessions. Feeling Blessed!

  18. By Scott H on Oct 16, 2017 | Reply

    Man, I’m seeing where Fitz made the statement that if AP had been here from the beginning, he would have a ring by now. And while we know Fitz is ( probably ) not taking any shots at the FO with that comment…..it’s close! Could easily be taken that way!

    And, BTW, how could anyone not agree with that?

    Ah, what could have been…..

    FWIW, just looking at highlights from yesterday, you see immediately how much bigger AP is than CJ was. Or Ellington. Or Williams. And THAT is what gives us a run like that 27-yard TD that we were not gonna get from CJ. Or Ellington. Or Williams.

    I could watch that 27-yard run over and over. The celebration that followed with Fitz was very cool. BTW, Adrian, welcome to being assaulted by Larry Fitzgerald after scoring a TD, which might be more violent than most of the tackles you’ve ever encountered.

  19. By CARDS62 on Oct 16, 2017 | Reply

    Lot of great posts on the game. Now lets all keep the pressure on the front office. Please please keep on them. We need to bring back DRC and if this game does not convince you of that nothing else will, and bird gang if we all see it so does every QB and OC in the NFL. We need to make sure our owner and GM knows that we see it. J. Bethel needs to have number 28 taken from him and be issued jersey number – 06.

    Carson Palmer is Carson Palmer when he is on he looks great 95% of the time, but will still make some stupid throws. I know BA called the play and it was a stupid call at that point in the game, but Carson is a veteran and knows better. Sorry coach he was doubled so I had to check down.

    Key to Rams win is Patrick Peterson’s health, special teams, and coaching especially continue running the ball. I hate our special teams with a passion, but have to be honest and agree with other post stating our special teams had a solid game, but I do have to add it really helps when you do not have to punt often, and can we please block a kick, especially a punt just once this season, and have a punt return over 15 yards and a kick return over 40 yards.

    We also know putting pressure on Rams QB is critical but we all know we do not have the team to do that. Chandler Jones with 6 sacks is it for us and one is no where near enough.

    For those of you keeping score C. Campbell 28 tackles and 8 sacks and 1 forced fumble. Our best D lineman is showing 12 tackles 1/2 a sack and 0 FF.
    Our 7 defensive lineman C. Peters, R. Gunter, J. Mauro, F. Rucker, X. WIlliams, O. Pierre, and lets throw in Robert N and his one tackle which gives us in total 59 tackles 3 sacks and 0 FF. Let these stats sink in. We have to spend a lot of money or draft a lot of d linemen before next season.
    .
    If you can not rush a QB you better have a great secondary so lets get DRC, or you better have an offense that can score 30+ points every game.

    Stay on management bird gang and Go Cards beat those Rams.

  20. By CARDS62 on Oct 16, 2017 | Reply

    Honey Badger play ?

    Those of you at the game how do you think Honey Badger played with PP in the game and also after PP left the game?

    I think he is playing better this year as compared to last year, but I am still very concerned about his level of play.

    Thanks for responding

  21. By clssylssy on Oct 16, 2017 | Reply

    Mitchaz…
    You remember William Wallace’s fate?..geez, hope you’re humorous historical tidbid isn’t a foretelling of this game against the Rams!
    It was really great to see our guys actually having fun out there ball’n, or at least the offense was. A really big problem with this team has been to look to one or two players to be exciting enough to detract from all of the eother problems that keeps the team from ever sustaining any kind of indepth success. And, BA did show some flexibility to play to AP’s strenghts and had almost everbody blocking for him and opening up seams, didn’t hurt getting 0-linement back either. Putting Boehm in as a fullback was nothing short of jaw dropping, and I had to wonder what took Arians so long to make a few adjustments. John Brown had some nice blocks and he has just come back but the receivers, in general, seemed to be more on-board with helping which makes me feel it was more the Fitzgerald factor than anything BA did differently. I also have to wonder how much Fitz had to do with the signing of AP. The fact that BA’s offense was built around DJ may suggest that BA actually didn’t have to do a whole lot differently and that this “miracle” was more the result of player production than any kind of coaching or FO brillance…certainly we still saw the same recklessness and errors that plagued us previously and been so costly.
    The defense, as I feared, got exposed for it’s lack of depth, energy and toughness except for some veteran players in Bethea and T Williams and I don’t see how they will possibly hold up against our division riviials. Chandler Jones just can’t handle the pass rush by himself. and while he did a good job with a young QB like Winston,he wasn’t able to be nearly that successful with a seasoned QB like Fitzpatrick, who, we should know by now is kinda their silent but deadly sleeper weapon.Buc was helpful but, as someone else pointed out, our defense looked a little like a Chinese fire drill when we went to zone and it didn’t seem like anyone knew what they were doing except the vets. Pat P did a good job today but as a team captain, I kinda expect more leadership and toughness. Tyrann had some opportunities to find the old Badger but doesn’t look happy. While watching the Jets game, I was reminded what a difference Coach Bowles made to infusing our defense with passion and energy and how much the air seems to have now gone out of this defense w/o that kind of leadership.
    I do have to say in this game our Special Teams really were kinda special and without Phil Dawson and Budda Baker’s knowledge and skill, this game looked like it could be headed for disaster
    It’s good to be back to .500, and to get a W after what seems like so long, I guess the cynic in me just questions how long this injection of botox will cover the reality
    that’s underneath.

  22. By Coach K on Oct 16, 2017 | Reply

    Defense has to play better.

    We have no inside pressure up the middle and this is giving quarterbacks too much time in the pocket to find receivers.

    Reddick loops too wide and needs to add an inside pass rush move.

  23. By Coach K on Oct 16, 2017 | Reply

    Honey badger not playing aggressive. I watched him on the goaline give no effort on a tackle. He seems to be playing it safe not to get hurt.

    That is NOT the same Honey Badger we’ve seen in the past.

  24. By Bob41 on Oct 16, 2017 | Reply

    Regarding the Honey Badger, no one returns to their former level, physically or mentally, following two major knee injuries/surgeries. He knows that the next one will be the “end gate”.

  25. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 16, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG —

    Re: Koetter decisions

    Can you really blame a guy down 24-0 for thinking a FG before halftime isn’t really going to cut it? The Cards had scored on all four possessions of the half. The first three were TD’s and the Cards offense was barely tested — they faced only 2 third downs in those three drives (and it’s not like the drives were lucky plays where a guy broke one for 80 yards… all three were methodical drives where the Bucs had no answer). The fourth drive, the first four plays were: 13 yard pass, 22 yard pass, 8 yard run, 15 yard pass, so more of the same… then we got down to first and goal on the 1 and likely would’ve punched it in if Palmer hadn’t mishandled the snap, turning it into 2nd and goal from the 3 and then from there we went backward and didn’t get our TD… but that was the first time the Bucs had stopped us at all.

    Point being, it’s not unreasonable for Koetter to think he needed a TD to have a reasonable chance to get back in the game. Sure, when you look at how the game ended up, his decision not to kick there looks poor in retrospect, but you have to evaluate decisions at the time they are made, not with the benefit of hindsight. You can’t add up a FG he could’ve gone for, two missed 2-point conversions that could’ve been extra points, and say, oh, there’s the 5 points and the game would’ve been tied. The Cardinals would’ve played the 2nd half differently if the score had been different. (Among other things, Peterson probably stays in the game covering Evans.)

    If he had kicked a FG at the end of the half but then the second half played out differently and with 2 minutes to go, Tampa scored a TD to make it 38-27, Tampa fans would be sitting there saying, “Oh man, we’re still down two scores… but if Koetter had gone for it at the end of the first half, it might be 38-31 and we’d only be an onside kick away from having a chance.”

    Criticizing coaches for not taking the FG when it’s available is an easy thing to do, but it’s a lot like 4th-and-1 from the 50. Teams should go for it more often than they do. The way the game is played now, they normally only go for it if they are trailing late in the 2nd half and it’s the only option. The conventional play is just to punt and no coach gets criticized for punting. But they’d win more games by going for it nearly all the time in that situation.

  26. By JTDG on Oct 16, 2017 | Reply

    Kevin ,

    Koetter;

    I will tell you, right at the time, on that 4th down play, I said to those Bucs fans around me , it was a huge mistake.

    24-0 is 3 TDs and a FG. You needed a FG at some point, plus you needed to score and get points on the board after a long drive. You get points when you can get them and then look at how the game unfolds in the second half.

    As I said, I told the Bucs fans around me, that going for it on 4th down was going to cost them, by the end of the game, they all were bring it up.

    BTW, the 4th down play was designed to beat Pat P. Another very stupid thing to do. I’m not sure what was worse, the play call or the decision. But both showed this coach is clueless.

    As for the cards playing differently in the 2nd half, Peterson couldn’t play Evans because he was hurt. They played just like they played all game minus Peterson. Which by the way, how does Betcher allow a one on one situation with Bethel late in the game? The guy gives up TDs like candy on Halloween.

    My point is, teams who do stupid things like go on 4th and long in the 2nd quarter, will have it blow up in your face again and again. It was the kind of decision that if I was GM, I would have a long talk with the coach about his future.

  27. By JTDG on Oct 16, 2017 | Reply

    Cards62

    Badger;

    He sure isn’t a play maker. Bethea has been the guy making plays in centerfield and Branch has been the guy who is making plays in the box.
    Badger has not played the slot great and was fried by Detroit.

    Frankly, I don’t know what his role is. I know he has one, but it isn’t a playmaker type role or he isn’t up to making plays. I see him blitz a lot.

    He will count against the cap for over 14 million next year so they better figure out how to get him to make game changing plays again.

    Looking at 2015, he played 14 games. He had 17 passes defensed and 5 picks with 89 tackles.

    In 2017, he has played 6 games. He has 2 passes defensed, 1 pick and 30 tackles.

    Projected 16 games – rounding up, he will have 6 passes defensed, 3 picks and 80 tackles.

    So the numbers aren’t horrible but what is missing is his impact on games.

  28. By CARDS62 on Oct 16, 2017 | Reply

    Thanks JTDG appreciate the input and no idea who would give you a thumbs down just for answering a question I posed to everyone.

    I think we all love Honey Badger and want him to do well and be a difference maker so lets hope he turns it around in 2017 because we need 2015 Honey Badger very badly to make the playoffs.

    At season end we will have to make a tough call because if you pay a defensive player 14 million they have to be a difference maker.

    How many of you think our defense would be much better this year if we kept C. Campbell and let the Honey Badger walk????

  29. By CARDS62 on Oct 16, 2017 | Reply

    Also wanted to thank Coach K and Bob41 for responding on what they are seeing out of Honey Badger.

    Really like it when we have fan discussions concerning players and coaches and the games. More fans that write the more we all learn about our team.

    Go Cards beat Rams!

  30. By Dan Nicholson on Oct 17, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG- RE: Bethels play. Good analysis of goings on in game. Yeah, I believe Bethel is inconsistent, makes a good play, bad , good. Does seem every TD scored by opposing WE has been a perfect throw or good play by receiver, but he lets guy get ahead of him. Will say TB receiver Humphries #10 should have been called for a pick on Jackson td.He really went out his way to make contact. Cards cannot keep giving up 50 plus yard TD passes which most have come against him. Think change for betterment of team coming.

  31. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 17, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG —

    Again, I understand the conventional wisdom there. And you’re right, with the way the game played out, it’s not surprising that all the Bucs fans around you were talking about that decision. With the benefit of hindsight, you can always criticize those moves.

    But let’s be honest — with the way we moved the ball in the first half, and with Winston already being hurt and giving way to Fitzpatrick, no one would expect the Bucs to make a game of it. 24-3 is better than 24-0, sure, but then, 24-7 is better than 24-3.

    Flip the game around and imagine we’re getting trounced by Tampa 24-0, on the road, Palmer is out, Stanton is in, our defense has not stopped Tampa on a single drive… what odds are you giving us to come back? I could completely understand Arians going for it there if we were on the 5 yard line with the first half about to end.

    Is it a decision that one can question? Sure. Is it one that shows the coach is clueless? I don’t think so — I think it’s defensible either way. Now, you may be right about the play call, which is another matter entirely… But then, I’m a Cardinals fan, so I’m used to watching inexplicable play calling.

  32. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 17, 2017 | Reply

    Stats are a hard way to evaluate a defensive player — at least stats like tackles, passed defensed, and INT’s. Bethel leads Peterson in all of those this year, because opponents don’t throw at Peterson.

    Watching him play, Badger is a shell of 2015 Badger. Not sure I expect him to ever return to greatness — not after two significant injuries.

  33. By JTDG on Oct 17, 2017 | Reply

    Kevin

    Koetter;

    Throwing against Pat P instead of Bethel or Badger or something against a LB matchup is always clueless.

    Personally, with the success teams have had against Bethel and Badger, I am surprised the ball is ever thrown at Pat P. especially when it is 4th down. It is just plain stupid. Even if it works, the odds are against it.

    Again, I think we will just disagree with the decision. I think early in the game, whatever the situation, you just don’t go for a 4th and 8 in FG range.

    Now if they were on the 35 and it was 4th and 8, that would make more sense, because that is a long FG. But not at the 8 yard line. Got to get points, regather yourself at half time and come up with a plan with Fitzpatrick down 24-3. (or Stanton if it was the cards)

  34. By JTDG on Oct 17, 2017 | Reply

    cards62,

    Badger vs Campbell;

    It is a great question. At the end of 2015, this decision was made and it was an emotional one imo.

    Badger had just had an incredible season that ended in injury.(another injury) Fans and teammates loved the Badger. Keeping him seemed like a “must” move.

    Keim made Badger the highest paid safety while he was on crutches. Risky. Especially when he had 2016 to see how he recovered. His average contract was 3 million a year higher than the highest paid safety at the time. This is why it seems it was an emotional decision instead of a logical one.

    Now you have a guy who is average making 14 million against the cap next year and is the 3rd best safety on the team.

    As for Campbell, he was in the last year of a rich 5 year contract. He was 30 years old and it would be easy to think he was on the decline after 2015. Problem was, after Badger got his contract and it was decided Campbell would play out his contract, Campbell didn’t decline. He turned in a great 2016.

    So, if Keim would have waited to see how Badger’s injury and 2016 shook out, am I convinced he would have received a contract the same contract? I wouldn’t have given him that.

    But I am not sure I would have paid Campbell 15 million a year either. Today, I would have. But in 2016, I don’t think I would have.

    Truth is, I thought in 2016, Campbell should have been traded. I also think they should have waited with Badger and after that 2016, I might have been offering a 1 year high dollar prove it deal. If he walked, so be it.

    I think, if you follow what I have been saying over the years, In 2016, it would have been smarter to spend the money on C Alex Mack and CB Casey Hayward and draft better (ie -At DE, Chris Jones or Ashawn Robinson, who were picked after Nkemdiche).

    Then, in 2017, you add Kevin Zeiter at G, you would have had a much better inside of the Oline instead of scrambling for guys. You would have had a lot better CB2 instead of this nonsense with Bethel ,and you would have had the money.

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