Sunday, December 25, 2011

Add another one to the Cardinal's Worst Moments list.

I'm not saying that Early's Jello legs cost them the game.  That's missing the bigger picture by a long shot.  I mean that offense was at its worst for 3 quarters, and they got extremely lucky to even be in the game.  But still... why is it a Cardinal principle to lose in such a way that every looks around and says, "Have you ever seen that before?  I think that might be the most embarassing way to lose I've ever seen."  I also wonder if their is a script writer for the Cardinals who keeps trying to one-up the last miserable finish to a game.  Oh, and once again, they lose when it matters. 

I don't know how that defense does it.  They just seem to keep this team in games.  Especially when the offense continues to put them in bad field position.  This is the one positive identity of this team.  Dockett is still creating havoc, Campbell does stuff that doesn't always show up in the stats, and NT keep clogging the middle like they're supposed to.  Washington played great again (in spite of two highlight reels he wants no part of), Lenon is solid, Schoefield is getting better every week, and Acho is officially a 4th Round steal (yes, I know, I predicted that.  But I also predicted Carter wouldn't make the team.)  Peterson played well until he got hurt (sit him for the year, take no chances), Marshall and Jefferson are doing fine, it was good to see Rhodes back again (sit him for the year, take no chances), and Wilson should get comeback player of the year (I am so glad I was wrong that he was washed up).  Ray Horton deserves tremendous accolades for his work on this D.  Is this about the time all Cardinal fans start getting worried that their star coordinator is going to get hired by another team?

I'm officially off of Whiz's back over the defense.  He let Horton do his thing and it has paid off huge.  I can forgive the philosophical mistakes they made early, (by putting way too much of the playbook in and starting the old timer LBs over the kids) .  I don't believe that a team has to start out the season clicking, but I do believe they have to click for more than half of it.  And this defense ranks as one of the best in Az Cardinal history for its second half performance.  I thought Whiz's arrogance and ineptitude was getting to Horton, but I'm glad to be wrong.  Plus, it took some time to rid themselves of the stain that was Bill Davis. 

Speaking of bad defensive coordinators: do you remember Clancy Pendergast?  You know, the guy who loved to play defense one way for 58 minutes, shut the opponent's offense down, then change the defense to a prevent D for the last 2 minutes and then lose the game.  Oh how I miss that guy.  So I was thinking about Mike Miller and I thought he should really look into what got Clancy fired AFTER he took a team to the Superbowl.  You see, Mike seems to have Clancy's philosophy in reverse.  Stink it up for most of the game and then change the offense to a 2 minute offense to catch up.  Of course, every nitwit fan with an IQ two standard deviations below the norm is wondering why they don't try the 2 minute offense from the getgo.  I mean, if Whiz isn't going to do a sensible run offense, then why not just throw ALL the time.  Yes, I mean ALL.   Shotgun, empty backfield, 4 wide with TE protection, and just let 'er rip.  What the heck.  It couldn't be worse than the dreadful offense that they sling out week after week in the first half.  It makes you wonder what kind of game planning is going on for 6 days. 

And its not just that Skelton isn't executing.  For sure, that's a problem.  But they waste time with that "running game" they have and it turns out to be useless.  Their running game doesn't set up passes.  It doesn't punish defenders.  It doesn't get them first downs. They only run because they feel like they have to.  Not because they want to.  If its one thing I've learned about Whiz, its that he hates running the football.  He hasn't done it since he left the Steelers.  Its like we all know that there's a running game there, but it really doesn't do anything.  So why have it?

Just run from shotgun like Kurt Warner did with Marshall Faulk and the Rams.  Whiz seems to think that his QBs should play like Kurt anyway, so give Skelton the same offense.  What could it hurt?

This offense reeks of having no consistant identity.  I can't believe Whiz hasn't got it through his thick skull that his offensive philosophy sucks with these players.  Its stunning.  And this is why he got hired in the first place: he was a great offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh.  How bad is it that you're specialty is offense and its your defense thats saves your butt every week?

Side thought:  On the first 4 passing plays against the Bengals it went: 13 yard gain, sack, interception, sack.
The first 2 running plays went: gain of 6, gain of 4. 

I want so badly to root for Ken.  I really do.  But without Horton this year he wins how many games? 4? 5?  If he's lucky.  In fact, I'd say he only wins for two reasons: because they have good talent on this team, and because of his defense and special teams.  Prove to me that he's done anything good with his offense in the last 2 years.

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