When you witness a good game like Sunday nights, it’s easy to write about it. There was a lot to like, and despite the defense struggling in areas, the team had a generally complete game (outside of the now usual special teams play).
The Legend and the Truth - Without Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson, the Cardinals are probably sitting with the Rams and 49ers at the bottom of the division. Fitz had 10 receptions and furthered his place in NFL lore. DJ was a monster with his 10th consecutive game with over 100 combined yards and he also increased his league leading touchdown lead to 15. Don’t forget the nine receptions for 90 yards and an actually successful screen for a TD!
The Defense - You may think I’m crazy for putting these guys here after giving up 23 points, but the Redskins are a top-three offense in the NFL. The Men in Red forced two turnovers, and had some impressive stops in the red zone after Drew Butler punted (if we can call it that) the Redskins into great position most the game. Calais Campbell was a monster and was the DMVP on the night.
Carson Palmer - Tonight Palmer deserves credit on his own. He was accurate most of the night, despite generally being under pressure. He made some big throws and led the offense like it was 2015. Even with half the line being backups, he showed poise and did everything a fan could ask of his QB.
Dropped Passes - Michael Floyd dropped two, J.J. Nelson had a drop as well as Jermaine Gresham. If the Cardinals want to make the playoffs someone needs to step up for an ENTIRE game, not just one or two plays.
Miscommunication in the secondary - It almost cost the Cardinals the game with the Redskins finding a lot of open lanes tonight. If not for the Cardinals pass rush he likely would have carved up everyone not named Patrick Peterson. Marcus Cooper and Tyvon Branch in particular had pretty bad nights.
How Andre Ellington was used - Runs up the middle? Doesn’t seem a great use of a tiny back known for his speed and elusive running. While Ellington didn’t get great help from the line, he was also put in bad situations for what his abilities are.
Special teams - I already wrote about it Winners and Losers, and we’ve all talked about. Coverage was good but the kicking game is just horrendous. Why did Keim bring back Drew “ducking” Butler?
The Cardinals Road to the Playoffs - Dragon Nkemdiche has a nice post that breaks it down in the Post Game Recap. It’s going to take a miracle for the Cardinals to make the playoffs.