Well do not fear Birdgang : those Cardiac Cards haven't gone anywhere..... they keep our blood pressure up, knees weak and in a state of shortness-of-breath. But just as they did down the stretch in 2011, yesterday's game was ugly, down to the wire, but we all woke up happier today, because we got the Win!!!
But obviously there was a big injury and blow to the Cards team......
After starting strong in the first half, Skelton had a slow 3rd quarter. When the 4th quarter started I know I wasn't the only one thinking - OK John, look at the scoreboard, it's the 4th quarter, it's go time..... but unfortunately the only place he went is to the locker room with the training staff after badly hurting (please only be a sprain) his right ankle.
Kolb came in (to a few boos from the UofP crowd) and after a bad overthrow to Fitz, proceeded to march the starting Offense down the field, utilizing an up-tempo offense that he likes, and capped it off with a 6 yd. TD to Andre Roberts. Our D then came in and got us the win. Now, as you'll recall, the only time Kolb looked decent this pre-season was that no huddle Offense against the Titans. The traditional wisdom says that up-tempo / no huddle offense is not a good strategy because you end up leaving your D on the field all game. I think we need to review this -
In my book Kolb has some talent, but he over-thinks everything. This can be easily illustrated by his penchant to come in to start a game / half and throw a bad pass / pick right away - happened a few times this pre-season. Mike Miller is not an imaginative play caller (understatement) and I feel the Cards don't tailor the gameplan to our QB. Our predictability has gone up 10,000% since Haley left, so couple that with Kolb's weaknesses - over-thinking, not going through his reads well, and you get the opposing Defense with their ears pinned back, ready to reek havoc.
Now, give Kevin a little control, run the more up-tempo style offense with his quick, dart-like release, and a higher probability that his first read will be open, and you have a chance to succeed. Again, the classical model says this isn't good because you leave your D out there too long, but I think our options are - quick, up-tempo offense OR a decent probability of a 3-and-out / turnover. Either way your D is out there all game. I'll take the up-tempo attack all day, and hopefully our D can endure on the back-end.
You can have the best plays to call and great scheming, but if you don't have the personnel, it won't work. We've been too rigid with our play calling and game planning and I think it's time we look at the 53 guys we have, and figure out the best way to win WITH THEM. Let's run the up-tempo style Offense, stay opportunistic on Special Teams and stay stingy on D. That's what I believe to be our chance to Win this year. Agree / disagree, what do you think? Go Cards!!!!