The Arizona Cardinals suffered a very tough 24-22 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. St. Louis played physically and won. Arizona turned over the ball. St. Louis did not. There was, though, plenty of chatter during the game on social media about how the coaching staff was failing the team.
I saw criticism of Bruce Arians and his play-calling and also James Bettcher and how he called the second half defensively.
Those weren't the problems. The players failed to execute.
The Cardinals lost by two points.
David Johnson dropped an easy touchdown pass on third down. That led to a field goal. Four points off the board. Johnson also fumbled the opening kickoff. Three plays later, the Rams scored a touchdown.
Larry Fitzgerald fumbled after a 22-yard pass play.
Jermaine Gresham dropped a pass inside the ten on third down that would have led to a first and goal. Instead, another field goal.
On the Cardinals' final possession, Carson Palmer throws a pass a little high and Jaron Brown can't do enough to catch it. David Johnson can't haul in the fourth down pass. An easier throw could have been made, as Larry Fitzgerald was open at the first down line.
The Cardinals gave up a ton of yards to Todd Gurley, but almost all of them came on a handful of carries, when the defensive players lost discipline.
In the end, the Cardinals had plays to make, but they didn't make them. They outgained the Rams. They had the ball longer. But they turned the ball over, didn't create turnovers and were 2/11 on third down. There were dropped passes.
They didn't lose because of the play calling. They lost because they couldn't even beat themselves.