The Cardinals are a toxic combination of bad and boring. I’ve run out of ways to describe how far behind this offense is, how misguided their personnel usage is and how unimaginative their play design is. I’m going to use all caps, so please excuse me: THE CARDINALS PUNTED WITH UNDER 4 MINUTES LEFT TRAILING BY 2 SCORES!This offense is terrible and it’s not getting better. Steve Wilks has one last chance to tryand salvage this season offensively. Thursday should effectively be a farewell party for Mike McCoy.
I’ts the biggest red flag of Steve Wilks tenure so far that the Cardinals are at their worst starting the second half.
1. The most damning statistic in a damning season so far is the fact the Cardinals have been outscored 42-0 in the 3rd quarter. For most NFL teams/coaches, halftime represents an opportunity to make adjustments, rally the team and put your best foot forward after the reset. Steve Wilks apparently spends halftime in silence staring at the wall. I’ts the biggest red flag of Steve Wilks tenure so far that the Cardinals are at their worst starting the second half.
Tensions have to be rising in the locker room and it adds another challenge for a first year head coach in Steve Wilks - keeping the peace internally.
2. How long before the defense and offense meet in the streets for an Anchorman-esque brawl? The defense was again gashed on the ground but did a good enough job to keep the Cardinals in the game long after the offense stalled once again. Tensions have to be rising in the locker room and it adds another challenge for a first year head coach in Steve Wilks - keeping the peace internally.
Add rebuilding the offensive line to the top of the offseason priority list.
3. I will defend the Cardinals 4th and Goal play calling. In fact, I thought their entire sequence of calls on that set of downs was solid. The problem with running David Johnson up the middle on 4th and goal wasn’t the call, it was the offensive line’s execution. Mike McCoy deserves the lion’s share of blame for this team’s historic offensive futility but the offensive line has been very disappointing in its run blocking.The offensive line blocks like they are playing against David Johnson in fantasy football every week and want to make sure he gets bottled up. Justin Pugh has been bad and Mike Iupati as well. Add rebuilding the offensive line to the top of the offseason priority list.
4. Larry Fitzgerald Sr became the latest notable figure to criticize the Cardinals offense and Mike McCoy. After Bruce Arians publicly critiqued David Johnson’s usage, the elder Fitz slammed McCoy’s play calling and Wilks handling of it all. McCoy had a few plays with Chase Edmonds and David Johnson on the field at the same time but it is too little too late for the Cardinals play caller and everyone but the Cardinals seems to know it.
His handling of Mike McCoy and the offense will define his first year as head coach.
5. I’m assuming Steve Wilks is wrestling with the idea of firing someone for the first time as a head coach, as he should. Anyone who has ever been in a position to fire someone knows it’s not easy, shouldn’t be taken lightly and almost always comes with a heavy dose of guilt. But this is the NFL, you either get the job done or you get steamrolled. His handling of Mike McCoy and the offense will define his first year as head coach.
6. Let’s talk about the ridiculous Patrick Peterson trade rumor. Football trades don’t work like basketball or baseball trades. You never, ever get full value when trading a star in football, with the exception oddly being Sam Bradford. At 28 and under contract for 2 seasons beyond this, the Cardinals would be better off letting Peterson walk in two years than trading him now. Peterson is the exact kind of player you hope to sign when you have a rookie QB contract in place. The Cardinals can and are shopping other defensive players but Patrick Peterson should be a Cardinal well beyond this season. It would be very dangerous to let Steve Wilks and his scheme influence the decision to trade the league’s best CB.
They batted down enough balls at the line of scrimmage to make Cousins feel like Doug Flutie.
7. The defensive line had its best game of the season. Sure the Vikings OL has been ravaged by injury but the consistent pressure they placed on Kirk Cousins was impressive. They batted down enough balls at the line of scrimmage to make Cousins feel like Doug Flutie.
8. The Cardinals are going to be picking at or near the top of the NFL Draft. Only 1 DT (D.Wilkinson) has been drafted #1 overall in the last 25 years and only 3 DE’s have been drafted #1 overall in the last 25 years (C.Brown, Clowney, M.Garrett). Of course, this year the consensus 5 players available are DL.
9. Silver Linings: Time of game, Benson Mayowa, Christian Kirk, Budda Baker, Corey Peters, Ronde Barber didn’t call Larry Fitzgerald the wrong name.
Would anyone be against scrapping the game and setting up a ring for the two to duke it out, winner keeps his job, loser gets fired?
10. What’s next: Thursday night against the Broncos. Broncos fans want Vance Joseph gone. Cardinals fans want Mike McCoy gone. Vance Joseph fired Mike McCoy a year ago. Would anyone be against scrapping the game and setting up a ring for the two to duke it out, winner keeps his job, loser gets fired? I'm in.