ROTB Roundtable: Rushing Game, Playoffs(?), and Areas of Concern

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

With a 5-4 record, things are looking up for the Cardinals.

However, the team still has its fair share of questions. The Writing Staff tackled three of these in this week's roundtable edition.

Don't forget to answer the questions yourself in the comments below!

1) Do you think the Cardinals should make any changes to their rushing game scheme?

Robert Norman: Honestly.. no. I know the popular calls are for Ellington to receive a majority of carries followed by Stepfan Taylor. Mendenhall clearly isn't the same player since his injury, but he has experience and I strongly believe he is the best pass blocker on the team.

My reasons are threefold. Bruce Arians was outspoken this offseason saying he wants a three down back. So, he has already been willing to change that based on his players. Second, Taylor hasn't shown to be much better overall than Mendenhall. Finally, the Juke has been compared to LSH, but remember LSH was a poor premiere running back. The Cardinals should tinker with the position, but don't pull your veteran running back entirely.

Cdeveau: Yes. I've seen all I need to see from Mendenhall. I'd leave Juke Ellington's touches at the 20ish mark and I'd start splitting Mendenhall's looks with Stepfan Taylor.

Jess Root: Truthfully, they have been running well enough to win. I guess we don't really need to change anything. I would like to see a few more carries for Andre Ellington, but I know the team does not think he can be a 20-25 carry guy. I don't have a problem with using Mendenhall, as some do.

Jesse Reynolds: No, I thought the balance of run and pass was excellent. Houston has a stout defense and the Cardinals were able to create running lanes for the RBs and get yards when needed.

2) How confident are you that the team can make the Playoffs?

Robert Norman: Remember when the Cardinals were the worst playoff team in the NFL at 9-7 or when the Seahawks at 7-9. That system is going to bite us in the butt. With Seattle and San Francisco in the division one wild card slot is all but filled. While other teams have easier paths, like the Panthers or Bears, both the Eagles and the Cowboys have a chance to sneak in along with the division winner if they can get their acts together. The last two wins came against two-win teams. If we're playoff bound the team must at least 4 out of the next 5 games.

Cdeveau: Before the season there was no chance. Now that things are solid on paper, it's a possibility.

Jess Root: Not confident yet. The way I see it, they will have to get 10 wins and that will include a win over either Seattle on the road or over San Fran in Week 17. As I said on the podcast, I don't think they are contenders or pretenders yet. I just don't know. We need to see them win on the road. A win over the Jags and the Colts would probably do it for me because I have the Colts game pegged as a loss in my mind.

Jesse Reynolds: I do not think the Cardinals are better then 9-7 and I believe it will take 10-6 to to at least be in consideration. The Cardinals will have to beat the Colts and either the 49ers at home or Seattle away as well as beat the teams they are supposed to beat. The Cardinals are a much better team than I anticipated but I'm not sure they can win two of those three games.

3) Did you have any areas of concerns after watching the Cardinals vs. Texans game on Sunday?

Robert Norman: This may be the last bad team the Cardinals play this year and if there was anything the Jags learned last week it was that turnovers can win a game. It's also the best chance for Palmer to not throw an interception. Although, he has improved it seems there is always a chance the receiver won't even fight for the ball (cough*Housler). And for goodness sake, fix the ball security issues.

Cdeveau: Yes, offensive consistency and protecting the football. Sounds easy enough, right?

Jess Root: Actually, not really. The offense did well. The defense was fantastic. Special teams was good -- including Patrick Peterson, who had his best return game since last season. The offensive line was good enough. I really had no concerns coming out of that game.

Jesse Reynolds: Nothing that hasn't been discussed ad nauseam already. The line had one of its better games and needs to continue improving with upcoming games against the St. Louis Rams and their much improved defensive line play, having to play Seattle in Seattle and the 49ers at home. Those are three very tough games and the line will be why the Cards win or lose.

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