Ranting after a win, I know some people will say I must be a crazy person ranting whether there is a win or a loss. But I like consistency and until we see a perfect game this article will be here ranting each week about all the things that made us yell, scream, or type into our ROTB game threads "Come on! *expletive*
Carson Palmer - I know we're talking about him almost every week, but this week I'm giving him credit for completing 66% of his passes, throwing a touchdown, and not throwing an interception. He's really been performing very well in the second half of the season, and his 86.6 QBR coming out of this game really shows that Palmer is becoming more consistent as a Cardinal. He played clean football and used his TEs more today than he has in the past two contests and it allowed Palmer to not force the long ball into triple coverage, and instead throw the dump pass to slow and steady Jake Ballard.
Andre Ellington - Did anyone else feel a little proud listening to the broadcast when they started talking about Andre Ellington's performance? It made me feel like Ellington was the steal of the draft, as they mentioned going into the draft he was being considered a first round draft choice. Well looking at his numbers for today four receptions for 87 yards on five targets, followed by ten carries for 71 yards for a 7.1 yard average. That's 152 yards in 14 total snaps. That's 40% of the offense from just Ellington. Does that sound like a guy who should have gone as late as he did? Does that sound like a guy who is growing into a featured part of the offense? Speaking of consistent, Ellington is the league leading rusher in yards per carry with 5.8 yards per carry, the next four are RG3 (5.7), Cam Newton (5.6), Demarco Murray (5.3), and Shady McCoy (5.0). Those are some pretty well known figures to be in the same company of.
Officiating - I don't want to be a broken record here, but there is one call I wish the officials would have made and that is the helmet-to-helmet hit on Larry Fitzgerald when he was going up for the onside kick recovery. You know, the same hit that caused his concussion? How that was not called when you can clearly see Jackie Battle launch off of his feet helmet first and primarily make contact with Fitzgerald's helmet? That play, the one where the concussion caused Fitzgerald to drop the ball which resulted in the Titans recovering? In a game filled with roughing the passer calls, for the sake of protecting QBs and a defenseless receiver call for Britt against the Cardinals when it was clearly not a defenseless receiver, where was the call protecting a truly defenseless receiver in Fitzgerald who was completely off of the ground, feet in the air? Now that is just another case of no consistency from the officiating. Terrible Refs in this game, and it's just lucky it didn't cost the Cardinals the game, too bad it came at the cost of Larry getting a concussion and then having to sit on the sidelines and hope his fumble didn't ruin his teams playoff hopes. Let's see if Battle is awarded another $21K fine following his previous helmet-to-helmet rule violation from earlier this year against the Texans. Those types of hits are dirty, and that type of play can have season or even career ending impacts.
TM32 - To close, let's talk about the impact of Matheiu not being on the field today. Without the rookie who plays like a vet the defense did not perform like a top five defense, and they certainly didn't look like one. One player being gone changed all of that, and that is interesting for many reasons. It's fantastic because it shows everyone the value that Mathieu brings to the Cardinals on a measurable level, and terrible because it shows how the removal of one chess piece exposed a drop of in productivity from the defense. The good news is, they started to bring it together at times throughout the game, but they need to return to their consistently top 10 performance in the next week if they want to have any hopes of coming out of Seattle with a win, and then doing it the following week to the 49ers. TM32, you are missed, get well soon. Cardinals D, step it up, and keep on winning.
What's your rant?