Injuries, missed opportunities, poor tackling and drops cause the Arizona Cardinals to drop their fifth straight game on the season.
It's getting ugly, folks. I felt that Patrick Peterson's muffed punt at the end of the game was really a microcosm of how the team played. The game was downright sloppy and the Cardinals absolutely refuse to get it together. Just when we thought they were going to get back in the game at the end of the third quarter, they made some big errors to help the Packers seal a victory.
Here are five negatives that I saw from the game. As always, there are plenty more, so don't yell too much at me if I don't include the one you're thinking about. Just include your thoughts in the comments section below.
1. Run Defense
The Packers rushed for 176 yards against the Cardinals on Sunday, the most yards they have gained on the ground since 2009. It wasn't just the running backs in Alex Green and James Starks, either. Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb also helped chip in on the yardage, rushing for 62 yards on 11 carries between the two of them.
Dan Williams made a couple of nice plays and the team was really keying on trying to stop the aerial assault, but that really opened up the run attack.
2. Pressuring Rodgers
The Cardinals recorded just one sack and 4 quarterback hits on the day, allowing Rodgers and the 31st ranked pass protecting offensive line to skate through. Rodgers made plays with his feet and refused to go down, but the Cardinals rarely brought enough pressure on him. It didn't help that O'Brien Schofield left the game early with an ankle injury, either.
The drops by the wide receivers might have been the worst part of this game. Early Doucet had three to claim as his own in the first half alone. Rob Housler and even Larry Fitzgerald had a couple as well. By no means was John Skelton a superstar on the field, but it doesn't help when his receivers aren't catching the ball. At one point, you could see Skelton yelling in frustration after Housler's drop to, "catch the ball!" Frustrations continued to mount and the game really spiraled out of control.
4. Missed tackles/assignments
Randall Cobb's first touchdown on the day should never have been. If Adrian Wilson would have made a formed tackle on third and goal instead of lowering his shoulder for the big hit, this game may have had a different result.
Also, putting Paris Lenon in single coverage on Tom Crabtree might not have been the best idea. Because of that, Crabtree ran straight down the field, catching a beautifully thrown ball by Aaron Rodgers for a 72 yard touchdown. The Cardinals really need to start cracking down on the Crabtrees of the world, as Michael Crabtree killed them for 2 TD's last week.
5. Most points allowed all season
Maybe it is because the defense is getting worn out or maybe it's because of some injuries, but the Cardinals did not look like the same team on the defensive side of the ball. They could be losing confidence in the offense's inability to create any sort of sustained drive. It also doesn't help that you have last year's MVP throwing the ball on the other side. The Cardinals' 31 points allowed were the most they have given up this season after giving up 24 to the 49ers last Monday.
In all, it was a very sloppy and mismanaged game. The playcalling wasn't that great on either side of the ball, Dave Zastudil, one of the team's more reliable players this season, shanked multiple punts and the team couldn't stop Cobb or the running backs.
But hey, at least the offensive line for the Cards wasn't as bad this week, right?