I'm torn. I can't tell whether I'm happy about the seven wins this year or pissed at how poor the offense is playing in the first half of games. First off, let's clear up that it isn't Skelton that's the problem. In the first half of the Cowboys game, Kolb was terrible. They adjusted at halftime and thereafter were stellar. Skelton of course, is gaining a reputation for that, but the pattern dictates that its a game preparation problem and not a personnel problem. The blame then falls in the lap of the coaching staff. They have not game planned well, and are paying for it for the first 30 minutes. However, they also deserve all the credit for the second half adjustments they've made. Like I said, I'm torn.
They say winning is everything. That's not true. If you win now and that develops bad habits that will cause you to lose more in the future, then winning is detrimental to your growth. My concern for this team is that the winning blinds them to their goal of domination. For example, in the Cleveland game there was no doubt that they should have ran over them. The Browns are one of the worst rush defenses in the league. And yet the Cards did very little in the run game. So they relied on the pass, against one of the best pass defenders, and were successful. A lot can be said about that, but allow me to focus on the first point; that is, why can't they run the ball on the Browns? A strong mentality is vital in the NFL. To the point, the Cards don't have one of those when it comes to running the ball. We saw it in the second half when they threw the ball on almost every play. The result was a win, yes, but at what cost? This is destroying all that they've established over the year in the running department. And that will keep them one dimensional, which only works if you have a HOF QB. As for the Browns, the Cards should have beat them by 10+ points and utterly dominated the time of possession. Instead they squeaked out a win.
I'm sure you'll call this talk negative, but isn't the goal to win a Superbowl? To win a Superbowl, you don't barely beat the Rams and Browns in overtime. You crush them. You send a message to the league that you will run them over. The Saints are doing it right now through the air, and the Packers were until they lost all of their O-line. Are the Cards really trying to be those teams? If they are, well, they might win. But will it win them a championship? I highly doubt it. Their best bet is to continue to establish the run and develop Skelton for the future. He will get more comfortable as they develop their identity.
And that's what I'm most frustrated about. The Cards are winning, but they are doing it with no identity(on offense). That is, unless you can call sucking in the first half and then recovering in the second an identity. They need to put it all together. But they aren't right now. They aren't the dominant team they should have been in week 3 or 4. Instead they are a mess that's winning. Mark my words, when Whiz finally pulls his head out and figures out what's best for this team, he'll dominate. Not just win. And I'll give him what their identity should be.
Offense: Establish the run early and commit to it for the entire game, which sets up play action pass, mix in some slants for Roberts, HB screens for Hyphen, and FIND Fitz, especially the fade to Larry in the endzone.
Defense: Stop the run, pressure the QB, and maintain a solid red zone presence (which they are doing right now).