Five losses in a row. The Cardinals have the luxury of the bye week to game plan, get healthy, and hopefully shake up the depth chart. Right now, what the Cardinals are putting on the field is not working. The trend for the last five weeks (and losses) is that the offense is worthless for the first quarter, so the vaunted Cardinals defense gets tired trying to contain the opponents offense. The Cardinals have put up six points in the first quarter for the past five weeks. The poor excuse of an offensive line, the three and outs, the dropped passes, and the runs up the middle with LaRod Stephens-Howling on third and short are the reason for the first quarter slump and subsequent defense playing on their heels the rest of the game.
This week the Cardinals made some adjustments to the offensive line and suddenly started playing better. John Skelton had more time in the pocket and was able to throw for his first 300 yard passing game this year. One problem fixed, how about the rest?
Early Doucet dropped four passes against the Green Bay Packers. Two squirted out the back of his hands like the ball was being held in one of those cartoon banana peels. Too bad the only people laughing were the Green Bay defenders as they hoped he had fumbled it instead of just dropping the pass.
Mike Miller's call to run LaRod Stephens-Howling up the middle of third and short. This has to be one of the worst play calls of the year, and we see it each week. LSH is 180 pounds and is 5' 7". Nearly every player on the team is either larger or heavier than LSH. There are two other running backs on the roster, Powell and Smith, and then there is always the Sherman Tank at full back. Anyone on the team is a better option on 3rd and short to try to move the pile when the opposing defense knows you're going to run it. Instead, the call was made, the team complied. Skelton is to blame as well, he could have kept the ball and tried to run it himself, or called the audible and had the FB run it instead. Or, maybe, just maybe they try to run it outside with the elusive back with a toss rather than trying to run our mighty mouse into the lion's den.
Paris Lenon getting beat for a TD by GB TE Crabtree. This was just a great play by Rodgers and Crabtree. The two 'Go' routes on the outside brought the safety's down and locked their eyes on the WRs and Crabtree just ran a seam route past the Paris Lenon. Rodgers saw the open man and exploited the match up breaking the Cardinals back. Prior to that play the Cardinals still had a chance of coming back. But that one sealed it.
Patrick Peterson's muffed punt(s). I don't know what's going on in PP21's head, but he's been scary to watch in the backfield to receive punts for the past three weeks with multiple instances of bobbling or making bad calls. He and the team might be so desperate for him to have a breakout play that he's not mentally preparing to catch the ball. His final muffed punt with two minutes left in the game were signs to me that he's distracted and is trying to bite off too much. I do have to tip my hat to the Packers organization for not running up the score when Peterson's muff landed them at the two yard line with less than two minutes left.
What was your bonehead play of the game?