The Cardinals' loss to the Rams was ugly in a variety of ways. The offensive line was downright horrendous, but what was perhaps just as bad was the play calling on the offense. When it started to work in Arizona's favor, it was as if they would drop the quick throws, screens and run game in favor of deep passes and plays that took too long to develop.
Was it the formations that the team lined up that possibly gave away their plays and helped the Rams to get a jump on them? The NFL Game Statistics and Information page shows that Ryan Williams was in the game for 53% of the offensive plays, while William Powell and Alfonso Smith were in for a combined 27%. That left 20% of the plays made with an empty backfield, leading towards the Rams sending an all out pass rush.
And when the Cardinals did pass as much as they did, it would have made sense to leave Jeff King in to help the tackles block, right? Wrong. He only played 30% of the snaps, while Rob Housler was in for 60% of them. I found those numbers to be somewhat odd considering what was going on on the field. Housler is the superior receiver, but the Cardinals needed a blocker on the field. King would have been the better choice.
On defense, it got even more confusing. We knew Darnell Dockett would be limited, but he played a total of 19 snaps. They may as well have let him heal until the Bills game. And just when you thought David Carter would get more time because of that, NFLGSIS shows that he was on the field just 18% of the time. Nick Eason was the one that saw most of the snaps with 43%.
Perhaps the most odd stat of them all is how little Jamell Fleming played. With as much talent as he has shown, he played just one down on defense. Yep, one. William Gay, who has been consistently burned as of late, was on the field more than half the time. It would have been nice for the Cardinals to throw Fleming out there more often.
What do you think of these numbers? Am I crazy for thinking these are a big deal or do they show us something? Tell us in the comments section below.