So---with 12:49 in the 4th quarter with the Seahawks having just scored on Russell Wilson's 2nd TD pass to TE Jimmy Graham to make the score 22-10 Seattle---did any of you think it was time for the Cardinals to bring on the Tooth Fairy to try to overcome what had been a 3-quarter root canal for the Cardinals' offense?
I did. I found myself begging and pleading for the Tooth Fairy.
I thought of the Disney song and mantra that "dreams can come true---they can happen to you."
I thought it was the perfect time.
How sweet it would be to awaken on Friday morning with a 5-4 record.
For those of you who may have missed NBC's pre-game show, they had a clip of QB Blaine Gabbert dressed up as the Tooth Fairy (for having lost this week's Bucket Challenge) doing nifty footwork drills up and down the middle of the field.
With 12:49 left in the game, I thought to myself that if the Cardinals could just get a little smoother tempo in the passing game and just some added accuracy on their throws, with CB Richard Sherman out of the game and no Earl Thomas---they could do what the Redskins did to Seattle the previous week. Beat their secondary and pull the game out in the nick of time.
As it turns out---QB Drew Stanton, who had missed a handful of wide open receivers, which in three cases led to missed 3rd down conversions and 4th down punts---was limping for a good reason. He was nursing a sprained knee. The Cardinals' coaches, just as they had elected to put star RB David Johnson back into a game when Johnson had broken his wrist, stayed with the injured Stanton---and it backfired.
The Cardinals' answer to Wilson's TD was a 3 play -7-yard possession and yet another Andy Lee punt from deep in their own territory.
Stanton, despite his injured knee, tried like crazy on the final two possessions, but his coach shunned the two-minute drill on the first of those possessions with less than 5 minutes left in the game, which made scoring on the last possession a relatively moot point...that is unless you can convert an on-side kick with 20 seconds left and successfully throw a Hail Mary.
Yesterday it was reported that Stanton's injury might cause him to miss one or two games---and that, if so, Blaine Gabbert will get the start in Houston.
Later it was reported that it's still a "wait and see" on Stanton and that if he can practice this week, he might not miss any time at all.
And so the Cardinals' QB tease continues...
Carson Palmer chimed in yesterday to assure everyone that he could make it back for the final two games.
But, as a long-time believer in fairy tales and in the critical importance of maintaining hope where dreams are concerned, I am going to say that Blaine Gabbert, by virtue of his sharp accuracy in the pre-season, especially going through his progressions (which surprised me), combined with his ability to escape a busted up pocket and score in the red zone with his feet, completely captured my imagination.
Yes...it was only the pre-season...but your eyes have to see it first in order to dream it---and what I saw gave me hope.
For a couple of years now, I have dreamed about what a mobile QB could do in BA's offense.
To me, I am totally on board with BA's spread 0 RB offense in passing situations---if the QB is mobile---but not if the QB is stationary. Look at the issues Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson present when they pass out of the spread. Teams either have to play zone coverage or they have to take a player out of their man coverage to spy on the QB, which likely means going with one safety, not two. And---good QBs can exploit single safety coverages left and right.
I like Gabbert's chances because he is mobile, and he can extend plays. I don't know yet how tough he is under pressure within BA's system. He's had 7 offensive coordinators in 7 years, the first 6 of which were for losing teams that rarely won games.
For Gabbert the stars could align in Arizona. He has a supporting cast unlike any he's ever had. And he is playing for a coach who knows how to get receivers open on all three levels, short, intermediate and deep. In addition, he also gives that coach a dimension that the coach hasn't had for years (save Andrew Luck's rookie season) ---a QB who can keep drives alive with his feet, which in today's NFL is a boon and pretty much a necessity, unless that QB is Tom Brady.
If Gabbert can take control at this critical time in the season, Gabbert might be the spark that gets the team on a roll and back into playoff contention.
Give the Tooth Fairy a chance. Maybe he can provide surprisingly shiny dividends and sweet mornings after.