Cardinals vs. Jaguars: A post-victory rant

Scott Cunningham

It was a win, but not everything was perfect.

I know we'll all take the win, but that first half was ugly and the running game was even uglier for all four quarters. The Arizona Cardinals rushing attack produced a total of 14 yards on 24 rushing attempts for a grand total of 0.6 yards per rush against a Jaguars defense that has allowed 139.1 rushing yards per game and is last in the league in rushing defense. For a team that is trying to make a playoff push they need to find their identity when running the ball, and run it well so that they don't become a one sided team in future contests.

Was the complete lack of rushing production due to the rushers or was it more the offensive line? Mendenhall looked pretty explosive running straight into the arms of linebackers today, and Ellington was consistently being hit behind the line of scrimmage. I realize that the Jaguars were playing inspired football in the first half, but as the game continued they should have become tired and the Cardinals running attack should have started becoming more effective. The problem is, it did not. Another problem is, according to the stat sheet it doesn't get any easier to produce through the ground game than against the Jaguars and the Cardinals just were not able to do it. This will definitely need to be addressed moving forward.

Someone buy those referees some gift baskets. That's all that needs to be said after Carson Palmer was saved from himself by a well timed time-out taken by Cardinals Coach Bruce Arians which negated a very costly interception. Calling that time out produced a TD and resulted in Palmers third best day in the NFL, and best day as a Cardinal. My problem with this is this win has the feel of carrying an asterisk next to it. If Palmer throws that interception there and the Jaguars turn that into points the game goes a different way. That timeout broke Palmer's interception streak in a Cardinal uniform, and hopefully it finally clicked in his head when he was pointing at the sky "Oh, you're not supposed to throw a bullet to the guys in the other colored uniforms".

Finally, Peterson muffing punts and blowing coverage? Come on man, concentrate on the job at hand! One play at a time, isn't that the motto? The whole first half Peterson seemed checked out and making mistakes. That 62 yard TD by Jacksonville's Danny Noble in the first quarter was Peterson's fault as he got confused who he was covering and ended up leaving Noble wide open. Chad Henne was able to make his first TD pass in Jaguars stadium thanks to a busted play. You couple that busted play with the muffed punt and it just felt like Peterson was doing early Christmas shopping in his head instead of focusing on the play at hand. Peterson and the rest of the defense turned it around in the second half, as they always do, but that first half certainly didn't look like any type of "elite" defense.

Go ahead, let's hear your rant! Also, 2nd place in the NFC West! Who would have thought we'd be hearing that right now!

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