As I watched Early Doucet trip and fall at the goal line, at the end the 4th quarter vs. the Bengals, with a chance to tie - I began to think: is this guy not clutch? He's been a great set of hands this year, and I like him, but I also flashed back to that 3rd and long vs. the Cowboys as time was winding down... Kolb makes a nice move to elude the rush, puts the ball on a dime, hits Early in his hands and the ball bounces out. Were these two isolated events, or a sign of bigger things?
Then I began to think of our 2011 Cardinals team, who is clutch, and who can't seem to make that play at the end of the game? Let's break it down after the jump....
Skelton - well the guy struggles for the first 45+ minutes, but you can't deny that when the game's on the line and a play needs to be made, he's ready. My vote - Clutch.
Kolb - some will say absolutely not clutch. I say verdict is still out, as early on in the season he struggled with the playbook and did not have a firm grasp on the offense. 2012 will be a make or break for him, his 25 billion dollar contract and his Clutch Factor. My vote - TBD.
Fitz - more clutch than your civic with a stick shift. My vote - Clutch Clutch Clutch.
Early - has had some good hands and run good routes this season in general, but the two big poor plays at the end, vs. Dallas and vs. Cincinnati, have me questioning his clutch abilites. But then again, his big catch and run TD in the 2nd half vs. the Browns helped jump-start a lifeless offense in an increasingly desperate situation. I think the jury is still out on him after his first healthy season. My vote - TBD.
LSH - 4th and 2? Wheel route to Larod out of the backfield. OT? Screen to Larod and let him do the rest. 'Nuff said. My vote - Clutch.
Stuckey - Well he didn't get many shots, his fumble on that last drive vs. Washington seems to have stamped him before he got a chance to get going. Saw some good flashes but sorry guy, that fumble cost us and cost you. My vote - Not Clutch.
Feely - well in 2010 he was an absolute stud. In 2011 he cost us same games early, which may be credited to the last minute Graham to Zastudil change. Seems to be kicking better as of late. My vote - Fairly Clutch.
Defense - again, started out slow this year under Horton with the young guys. As the SchoCho combo came in and the Marshall / RJ combo at safety materialized, we really started to step up. Still wish the D would've Clutched Up during the NYG / Baltimore games and gotten a stop, but I love what we have on the field. A competent offense in the 1st half would do wonders for this D, and hope we see this in 2012. My vote - Clutch.
Special Teams - We have seen some good punters kicking it away from PP lately minimizing his impact, but with game winning returns, and game saving field goal blocks by our stout ST Unit, I don't think there's too much debate on this one. My vote - Clutch Clutch.
Who else on our 2011 squad do you think has been Clutch? Who's been Not Clutch? Who are you looking to make a statement in 2012??
First fanPost written, hoping to hear back some opinions on this one!!