The Arizona Cardinals lost yet another game. Sigh. What does the team have to do in order to get out of their current funk? With a record of 4-3, the hype surrounding this team has practically vanished and their hopes of reaching the playoffs are diminishing rapidly. Here are 5 things that they should consider correcting if they want to get back in the race.
For once, it was not the run game of the Cardinals that gave fans heart issues, but their defense against the run. Granted, Adrian Peterson is one of the best running backs in the league and possibly ever, but Arizona had no way of controlling him. He went off for 153 yards on 23 carries and had a touchdown. It seemed as if keying on him would be their biggest task, allowing Christian Ponder to try and beat them, but instead, the Cardinals decided to let AP roam free.
Jay Feely's missed kick, turnovers in the red zone, failed fourth and short attempts; what do all of these things have in common? They were missed opportunities for the Cardinals to put points on the board. A couple of field goals and possibly an additional touchdown would have seen this game turn out very differently and the Cardinals had great opportunities to get those points. The only issue seemed to be them shooting themselves in the foot.
When the Vikings were in the red zone, the Cardinals' defense decided to throw a few bones their way. Darnell Dockett held Percy Harvin as he came out of the backfield, which was an obvious call. Then, Patrick Peterson blatantly committed a pass interference error on the Vikings, giving them yet another first down. All of the yellow flags thrown led to a TD for the Vikings, which undoubtedly changed the course and entire outcome of this game.
No surprise, the offensive line was an issue yet again. They managed to run block pretty well for LaRod Stephens-Howling on Sunday, as he rushed for over 100 yards for the first time in his career. The issue came in protecting John Skelton. Skelton held on to the ball for far too long on a couple of plays, one of which he gave up a fumble, but there were also times where the o-line flat out stunk. Bobby Massie had yet another tough day trying to ward off Brian Robison, as he had 3 sacks on Skelton. The offense gave up 7 sacks in all.
The Cardinals have now lost eight straight games in the Metrodome. That is a stat all in it's own. As the broadcasters repeated multiple times, it does not seem that Larry Fitzgerald likes coming home during the regular season. His team never seems to leave with a victory.
Side note: Adam Snyder was injured in the third quarter, which could be considered a negative. He seems like a great guy and all and I wish him the best in his recovery, but I personally think Rich Ohrnberger is an upgrade anyways. His injury is a negative, but his absence from the field is not.
What were your five negatives? What were the biggest factors that determined the Cardinals' defeat? Tell us in the comments section below.