We’re now a quarter of the way through 2016. In that time span, the Cardinals have lost as many games as they had lost in all of 2015. There’s cause for concern, but obviously Bruce Arians and Company are staying as calm as they can.
In Sundays 17-13 loss to the Rams, the Cardinals still could not find a groove. They had moments, but there were more than enough mental lapses and mistakes. A week after realizing this team is not the same as last years, what did we learn this week?
- The Offensive line still has some work to do. The Rams have a talented defensive group, but the Cardinals offensive line struggled more than they should have. The Cardinals allowed three sacks, for a loss of 23 yards. That does not include the countless pressures they allowed. The team looked fine in their run blocking, but their inability to keep Palmer clean, lead to his concussion.
- The Defensive front seven had a bounceback game. A week after getting gashed for more than 200 yards, they only allowed 41 all game. Todd Gurley had less yardage on 19 carries than Chris Johnson recorded on six.
- Special Teams was attrocious. While long snapping and punting were not issues, their coverage was horrible. They allowed Tavon Austin to return his only punt for 47 yards. It’s time for Amos Jones to go. His time has been spent.
- Marcus Cooper had a rough game. He had the responsibility of covering Brian Quick on both his touchdown receptions.
- New Punter Ryan Quigley had an okay start. Quigley punted four times, averaging 42 yards per punt. Quigley was able to down one of his four inside the 20, and another bounced inside the five, but rolled into the endzone before anyone got to it. Had it not been for poor coverage on his last punt of the night, Quigley would have had a quite night on Special Teams.
That’s about all we learned. We already know this teams needs to find a spark soon. They are now the only team in the NFL to not score an offensive point in the first quarter. We will see if that changes on Thursday, when Drew Stanton seems poised to take on the San Francisco 49ers at Levi Stadium.