Cardinals vs. Jaguars: The negatives in the win

Scott Cunningham

Sure the Cardinals won, but we wouldn't be Cardinals fans if we weren't pessimists, right?

Instead of seeing this game as a sign of failure on the Cardinals I think the win against the Jaguars is a great example of the parity within the NFL. Even at 1-8, the Jaguars still were able to show life and give the Cardinals a scare. Doesn't mean though the team played poorly in some areas.

Running Backs

The offense finished with 24 carries for 14 yards. Remember the best offensive weapon on the team, Andre Ellington? He had a 0.3 YPC. Every player has a bad game and this time the Cardinals had two, both just happened to be running backs. The problem with the timing however is the Jaguars have the worst run defense in the NFL.

Offensive Line

The Jaguars defensive line played inspired for sure, but even taking into account the fact that Palmer threw for 419 yards, the line still allowed Palmer to be sacked three times and was under pressure during the entire game. Add in the abysmal run game and it's clear this is still the weakest unit on the team, even once Cooper comes back.

Special Teams

Todd Bouman averaged 36.0 yards over four returns. Without the 59 yard return, the Jaguars most likely do not score the second touchdown. And punt returns? On both sides of the ball it was ridiculous. Ace Sanders looked Pro Bowl, while Patrick Peterson muffed another punt return. I think it's time to take pressure off the cornerback and let someone else take the punt return duties.

First Quarter Defense

Maybe the defense forgot the time the game started as the Jaguars offense looked the exact opposite of last place. Henne finished 5 for 6 for 105 yards in the first quarter. Give that stat line and lead to Wilson or Kaepernick with that lead and the Cardinals finish 8-8 at best.

Carson Palmer

Thought the QB got a pass? Wrong. Whether or not the team called a timeout Palmer threw another interception right into the hands of Russell Allen. Sure he threw for over 400 yards, but against the worst defensive team in the NFL and until he shows that type of performance against a stronger opponent he is still on the hot seat. Metaphorically.

Update: After much deliberation (i.e. realizing my assessment was flat out wrong). I have to say I was wrong. Palmer went 30-for-42 with 419 yards and two touchdowns, doesn't matter who you play that's great. He's not a negative, so to my shame I could only think of four this week.

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