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Arizona Cardinals Week 9 Bonehead Play

If you watched the Week 9 St. Louis Rams at the Arizona Cardinals game then you know that there is a long list of bonehead plays that showed up on Sunday. In what was being called a "battle of the field goals" due to a lack of touchdowns from the two second year QB's it was shocking to Cardinals fans everywhere to watch two points go up on the board. In consecutive home games the Arizona Cardinals have given up a safety. But when it happened again one series later, the Cardinals had picked up the reins of a stat last seen in 1999, two safeties were allowed in back to back series! Congratulations to John Skelton and the O-Line, you've earned the Week 9 Bonehead Play.

The question has to be asked of the offense if they practiced what to do in those situations. Situations such as  starting a drive on the two yard line. I learned something new while watching an episode of Hard Knocks, it was the amount of time and attention spent working through odd ball situations, for example a fumble on the QB kneel down, or in our case starting inside the two yard line. I think it was Sean Payton who was explaining it to the camera when he said something like "everyone needs to practice these situations so that everyone, the coaches and players, know the go to plays, what's everyone's job, what the audible plays should be in case the look the defense is showing doesn't mesh well with the go to play on first, second, and third down. The QB needs to know how to make their reads and throw the ball away if the play just is not there". Of course I'm paraphrasing, I couldn't find the quote in a quick google search but I found it very interesting that a coach would spend so much time focusing on how to operate in the oddball situations, but then realized it's probably because that's when you need to be the most comfortable and everyone (coaches and players) need to be able to turn to the plan to get out of the situation and get back to the gameplan and scoring points.

Following the safety the Cardinals allowed to the Pittsburgh Steelers I would expect the Coaches to spend some time with Skelton to make sure he felt comfortable operating in a short field and especially know to not give up a safety. I used to think safeties were rare, and honestly were something that when it happened you just had to laugh because you hardly ever saw them. I would think, "dang, that's a good defense out there if they're able to score a safety in the modern QB driven NFL". After seeing three in as many weeks against the Cardinals I can not help but wonder if the Steelers and Rams defense really are just that good ... or is the Cardinals preparation and execution just that bad? The answer lies with the Coaches, the O-Line, and with Skelton.

Fun facts:

It was the first time a player yielded two safeties in a quarter since Aaron Rodgers did it against Minnesota on Nov. 9, 2008. The last player to have safeties on consecutive plays was Kordell Stewart of Pittsburgh against Jacksonville on Oct. 3, 1999. (Source)

The safeties marked the first time in NFL history that a team had scored a total of four points in a quarter. (Source)