The Arizona Cardinals stretched their road losing streak to eleven games after losing to the Baltimore Ravens 30-27 yesterday afternoon. The Cards were unable to hold on to an 18 point halftime lead, allowing 24 unanswered points in the second half by Anquan Boldin and the Ravens.
Let's take a look at five of the negatives coming out of this heartbreaking Cardinals loss.
The Ravens have one of the most potent pass rush defenses in the NFL, but the Cardinals made them look like the '85 Bears. Terrell Suggs had himself a day to remember, racking up a career high 13 total tackles (four of them for a loss) and a sack. The offensive tackle position needs to be addressed during the off-season if they want to keep Kevin Kolb on his feet long enough to live out his five year deal. The offensive line as a whole allowed six sacks, a season high for the Ravens.
Dropping The Ball:
In this case, the Cardinals were literally dropping the ball. Both on offense and defense, Arizona had opportunities to make plays if only the players could hold on to a catch. Early Doucet had two drops on the day, one of them in the red zone. Andre Roberts had three (by my count) and Adrian Wilson dropped an easy pick in the end zone that would have gone down on paper as a pick six. Again, these are minor tweaks and mishaps that the Cardinals cannot seem to overcome.
Anquan Boldin, the former Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowl wide receiver, was able to have his way with a young secondary all day long. Arizona tried to counter Q's productivity by putting three different corners on him, but to no avail. Boldin made catches along the sidelines, over the middle, deep, short, it didn't matter. He had a total of 7 receptions for 145 yards on the day, while also drawing three pass interference penalties in the red zone. What a way to show up for the first game against your former team.
Plugging Up The Run Game:
Both Ray Rice and Ricky Williams were able to do significant damage to the Cardinals on the ground yesterday. Rice, who only had eight carries against the Jaguars last week, had 18 carries this week for 63 yards. Oh, and he was also able to score three rushing touchdowns. He continuously found gaps in the Cardinals defense and was able to make cuts to find positive gains. Arizona did a poor job of containing him throughout the day, which inevitably opened up the deep ball for Joe Flacco to hit his talented receivers.
This is bar none the worst negative of all. The Cardinals led the Ravens 24-3 at one point in the second quarter, only to watch that colossal lead wither away during the second half. The Ravens, as aforementioned, scored 24 unanswered points before the Cardinals were finally able to get a field goal, their only points of the second half.
The lack of ball movement and an untimely interception helped contribute to the meltdown. Arizona converted only two of their 11 third downs, forcing them to punt six times against Baltimore. They were also penalized 12 times for 92 yards, which was able to halt any drive the Cardinals started piecing together. This was a collapse of epic proportions and I do not know how the Cardinals will respond because of it.
What were your biggest negatives, fans? What do you think of the Cardinals' second half meltdown? Leave a comment in the section below.