The Arizona Cardinals week 2 defeat to former Cardinal RB, Tim Hightower, and the Washington Redskins can be described as many things, but the easiest is to call it an emotional roller coaster. After the offense was unable to put points on the board with their first possession the Redskins made it a point of keeping the Arizona defense on the field and chewing up the clock with long runs from Tim Hightower and receive help from penalties that negated punting situations. Once the first half was complete and the Cardinals made adjustments the offense found a new life in the hands of RB Beanie Wells and caused the Redskins a moment of pause rather than blitzing their two young OLBs, Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan, who caused havoc to the passing game all day.
While the tradition is to have one single play that was the game breaker when the Cardinals suffer a loss, I felt inclined to offer two shots that will both make your stomach turn and your fist raise in anger.
Week 2 Game Breaker 1: @ 4:31 4th Quarter 3rd & 7- Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb (4) throws a pass intended for WR Early Doucet (85) but the pass is deflected by unblocked blitzer OLB Ryan Kerrigan (91) .
See the full break down of the other game breaker after the jump!
Week 2 Game Breaker 2: @ 1:41 4th Quarter 1st & 10 - WR Chansi Stuckey (17) is stripped by Washington Redskins CB Byron Westbrook (34) and the fumble was recovered by Redskins S Reed Doughty (37). Below is the moment where the ball is in the air and either Stuckey or Doughty can grab it.
Image 1 - The Cardinals line up in a modified Shotgun Max Protect with 3 Receiver Set No Tight End. 3 WRs(Fitzgerald, Stuckey, Roberts (L to R)), 0 TE, 1 RB (Wells) (Left), 1 WR (Doucet) (Right). The Redskins have eight men in the box and three in the backfield. OLB Kerrigan is blitzing unblocked.
Image 2 - After the snap WR Fitzgerald runs what looks to be a 10 yard curl route to the 25 yard line. WR Doucet runs past OLB Kerrigan into the flat at the 22 yard line. RB Wells runs to the other flat. WR Roberts and Stuckey run a five yard curl at the 25 yard line. Kolb throws for WR Stuckey under pressure from OLB Kerrigan.
Image 3 - WR Stuckey catches the ball and runs to the 29 yard line breaking one leg tackle by LB London Fletcher (59). Redskins CB Westbrook (34) tackles Stucker from behind and in the wrap up knocks the ball loose from Stuckey's hands.
Image 4 - The ball is officially out of Stuckey's possession and can be seen at his waist at the 30 yard line.
Image 5 - There is a good chance Redskins CB Kevin Barnes (22) sees that the ball is loose and makes his move to recover.
Image 6 - Westbrook completes the tackle and both Barnes and S Doughty start trying to recover the loose ball.
Image 7 - Stuckey fights to control the loose ball and hits it up into the air.
Image 8 - The ball bounces off of Stuckey's leg.
Image 9 - The ball is right between Stuckey and Doughty, anyone's ball at this point.
Image 10 - They both miss it and the ball falls toward Stuckey's helmet.
Image 11 - Doughty falls onto the ball to stop it from moving around.
Image 12 - The hopes for the Cardinals 4th Quarter rally ends with Stuckey's fumble. Doughty recovers the loose ball.
An interesting image when selecting the game breaker and reviewing the plays is that of OLB Ryan Kerrigan constantly blitzing and only occasionally being blocked. In the case of the modified Max Protect package WR Early Doucet was the additional protection/safety valve but didn't even try to chip Kerrigan before running into the flat. I have to wonder if the additional protector for Kevin Kolb had been a blocking TE like King or Heap, who could still serve as the safety valve, if Kolb still would have chosen Stuckey to throw to, or if the decision was made due to the pressure from Kerrigan.
Any thoughts on what I can do better with the column?