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Cardinals vs. Seahawks: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

In a game that featured a lot more good than bad for the Cardinals, the result was almost ugly.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Let's take a look at what went right and what went wrong in the the tie(?) in Glendale.

The Good

1) The Defense

This was a beautiful, beautiful performance by the defense.  There's nothing more that really needs to be said about what they did, but I'll say it anyway.  For starters, they kept the Seahawks to 3 points in regulation.  They forced the Seahawks to punt 9 times, and several of those drives ended in a 3 and out.  Players like LB Chandler Jones and S D.J. Swearinger were all over the field, and for the majority of the game, Patrick Peterson did what Patrick Peterson does, locking down WR Doug Baldwin.  And the Seahawks only made it into Cardinals territory twice all game.

Special Mention: James Bettcher - Bettcher, the Defensive Coordinator, did not have the greatest start to the season. At times, it seemed like the defense just didn't have the same fire that it did under Todd Bowles and Ray Horton, the previous coaches.  But as of lately, Bettcher seems to be earning his paycheck.  He made all the right calls today, and kept the team in the game.  His unit did an outstanding job.  Well done.

2) Time of Possession

If you were to just look at the time of possession for this game, you would think the Cardinals absolutely destroyed the Seahawks.  At 46:21 minutes, the Cardinals offense was on the field for the most amount of time in NFL history. Unfortunately, this makes the 6 total points scored that much worse.

3) David Johnson

This offense would be nothing without DJ.  He is to the team what Palmer was last year.  For the 7th straight game this season, DJ had 100+ scrimmage yards, as he rushed 33 times for 113 yards and brought in 8 catches for 58 yards. Johnson did everything asked and more, and he even came close to clinching the win when he was a toe away from scoring a TD in overtime.

If there is any reason to be optimistic for the rest of the season, it's DJ.  Against one of the league's best defenses, DJ still managed to carry the team.  If he can stay healthy, there's no stopping him and this new run-heavy game-plan the Cardinals are using.

4) Carson Palmer

At times, Palmer's pocket presence confused me.  He holds on to the ball for way too long, and unlike Russell Wilson does not have the mobility to extend plays and avoid sacks.  However, Palmer played well.  While his completion percentage should definitely have been higher (59.2%), he did complete 29 of 49 passes for 342 yards.  But what lands Palmer in the "Good" section was his overtime performance.  He was almost perfect, completing the passes that he needed to complete, and making the decisions that he needed to make.  This was a solid game by a proven veteran.

The Bad

1) Michael Floyd

It hurts me to put Floyd here because up until his drop in over time, he was having such a good redemption game.  Floyd was single-handedly carrying the Cardinals at the end of the 4th quarter and into over time by making clutch catch after catch.  But then his drop came, and man was it ugly.  On 3rd down during the 1st drive of OT, as the Cardinals were seemingly on their way towards a TD, Floyd dropped a catch that could not have been easier to complete.  I'm not exaggerating when I say that I could have made that catch.  And just like that, the Cardinals had to settle for a FG, and overtime went on.

Floyd's drops are a serious problem.  He also killed two big runs by DJ with penalties (holding and interference).  His contract year has not gone well, and it's looking like we'll have a new #2 WR in the valley next season.

2) Red zone efficiency

Multiple trips to the red zone, multiple clock-draining drives, and only two field goals were scored.  This would have been a different game had the offense been able to finish drives.

3) D.J. Humphries

For the better part of the game, Humphries was man-handled.  He gave up multiple sacks, and just seemed to get run over by the Seahawks D-line.  He is only in his second year with the team, so he of course has time to improve, but by Week 7, I expect more out of a player as talented as him.

4) 3rd down conversions

This has been an area of concern all season for the Cardinals.  Last night was no exception, as the offense went just 10-21 on 3rd downs, less than 50%.  The Seahawks defense is no doubt phenomenal, but like I said, this has been a problem all season.

5) Playoff standings

It's getting to that point in the season when we need to start looking at Playoff scenarios.  While a tie is of course better for us than a loss, it doesn't really help us in the standings.  The Seahawks are still 1.5 games ahead, and the Cardinals are now behind five teams (and tied with one team) for the two NFC wildcard spots.  The easy answer here is that the Cardinals should just win out and worry about Playoff standings later.  But as of right now, we're going to need some luck as well as wins if we want to see playoff football.

The Ugly

1) Coaching decisions

We should not have gone for it on 4th and 1 at the 19 in a 3 point game.  We should not have used all of our downs in the red zone on the final drive in overtime.  We should not have let the clock run out at the end of the 1st half with three timeouts remaining.  Arians did not coach a good game.  Neither did Amos Jones, the special teams coordinator.  Jones should be on the hot seat now.

2) Chandler Catanzaro

There was a time when Catanzaro was one of my favorite players on the team.  My, how times have changed.  This is the second game Catanzaro has directly lost for the team.  Yes, they really shouldn't have let this game come down to a FG in over time, but that's besides the point.  Like Arians said in the post-game conference, these are the kicks Catanzaro is getting paid to make. There are no excuses for missing a chip shot like that.  In the off-season, I think the team should explore other options.  Zane Gonzales out of ASU perhaps?

3) Special Teams in general

Catanzaro was not the only player on his unit to mess up.  The entire Special Teams unit played terribly, concurrent with how their season has been going.  They allowed a blocked FG.  They allowed a blocked punt.  And for some reason, the team's star CB Patrick Peterson was back to return punts, meaning we still don't have a solid return man.  I'll repeat it for effect: Amos Jones needs to be on the hot seat.

4) The deep ball

I can't recall the last time Palmer completed a true deep pass.  Last year, this was the staple of the Cardinals high-powered offense.  This season, however, teams seem to have figured out Palmer.  Whether it's a blatantly misplaced pass, or a throw into double coverage, Palmer's long balls just aren't connecting.  He plays best when he plays smart and sticks to intermediate passes.  It would be nice to see another bomb to John Brown or J.J. Nelson, though.

5) The outcome

The Cardinals dominated the Seahawks in almost every aspect of the game, from yardage to time of possession to 1st downs.  This should have been a win, and that's what is most frustrating. Now the team has one week to recover before they play the Carolina Panthers, who are coming off a bye.  There is no more room for error for the remainder of the season. They need to win now.