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Arizona Cardinals @ Washington Redskins: What we learned in the Arizona Cardinals 20-15 loss

What we learned from the Cardinals loss to the Redskins.

Arizona Cardinals v Washington Redskins Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images



* Rushing Offense (kudos to the makeshift OL, RBs Williams and Penny)

* Time of Possession in the 1st Half


* Shoddy Pass protection

* Passing game out of sync

* Erratic QB play

* Dropped passes in key situations

* Costly turnovers

Tough Game POW:

QB Blaine Gabbert:

Needs a lot of coaching---not sure if he has the right temperament---might be too laid back---the Redskins sped up his clock and it repeatedly affected his throws---for a mobile QB he is ineffective passing on the move---his clock runs even faster on the move---every time he bootlegged the Redskins had their DE in his face, fine, you ball fake him and extend the play into a RPO (run, pass option)---instead Gabbert throws the ball too quickly---he continues to lack touch on short passes---was getting his passes batted at the l.o.s as if he was a sub 6 foot QB---but, he keeps fighting and threw a perfect pass to Niklas that could have won the Cardinals the game. He kept some drives alive with his feet---and he threw a good deep pass to Nelson which Nelson didn't need to jump up to catch and might have run away from the DB for a TD---so many close plays the Cardinals missed by inches---the passes to D.J. Foster---so frustrating---but the Redksins got in Gabbert's face and got their hands up in key situations---and thus took advantage of Gabbert's antsy-ness. Two poor choice passes, for example, on 1st and goal, throwing a 4 yard pass into coverage for RSJ---and same thing late in the game---throwing a 4 yard pass to Niklas that should have been the 2nd interception.

Surprise POW:

Elijaah Penny---really took over in the 2nd half, 10/45/4.5. Great to see a Cardinals' RB lower his shoulder and keep his legs moving.

Unsung POW:

Kerwynn Williams---once again, while playing with sore ribs, he runs his heart out on every play---plus he blew up the blitz this week.

Question for BA:

With all those trips to the red zone---why were the vast majority of the plays designed to go to the young players (Foster, RSJ and the brand new TE signed off the street) at the expense of ignoring Fitzgerald, Jaron Brown and J.J. Nelson?



* Aside from two poor plays, both of which cost the Cardinals 14 points, the defense in the 1st half was outstanding---stopping the run---pressuring Cousins---and making timely pass breakups.

* Chandler Jones and Kareem Martin

* Antione Bethea's strip of TE Vernon Davis and CB trombone Williams' scoop fumble return

* Getting the ball back for the offense twice late in the game


* Soft zones in the 2nd half which left a number or Redskins wide open---by then with the pressure they had been getting on Cousins, it made no sense to take the pedal off the metal.

* A number of missed tackles in the 2nd half.

Tough Game POW:

Patrick Peterson:

* Very poor efforts on both TDs---(1) when playing a WR like Crowder in the slot on the goal-line, the first thing a CB cannot do is lose leverage and let the WR cross his face---PP gave it up badly and way too easily---then, as PP tends to do when he gets beat, he slips---even worse, he didn't even try to get up quickly---he basically quit on the play, as he did last week when he complained to the refs while his man was running with the ball. (2) with the Cardinals playing zone, the Redskins called a screen to PP's side where he has the flat (been saying for a long time that teams know to run screens to PP's side, because they know he will panic and take himself out of the play---which is exactly what he did---when a CB is playing the flat in zone coverage---and no WR or TE is in his zone, he has the luxury of being able to read the screen and bust it before the RB can get any speed going---the play is coming right at PP---but he inexplicably backpedals with no receiver to cover, then, when he sees the screen coming his way and sees the tackle coming for him, instead of juking and out-quicking the tackle or at least breaking down to then make a move to get to the RB, he does what he always does in that situation, he panics and runs away from the play (almost out of bounds), not toward it.

Surprise POW:

Kareem Martin: Made a couple of big plays---staying home and making the tackle on the end-around and batting down Cousins' pass right before the 2 minute mark which helped get the offense the ball back.

Unsung POW:

Corey Peters: he plugged the middle like a pro, as he has been doing all year.

Special Teams:


* Aaron Brewer, Andy Lee and Phil Dawson

* Dawson's pooch KO to start the 2nd half, recovered by Budda Baker

* Brittan Golden's punt return (during which he unfortunately broke his arm)


* A couple of kickoff returns of 30 & 34 yards respectively.

1 PM Game Woes:

1-5 this year and the one win at Indy was a minor miracle---remember the fumbled snap that bounced CP's way for a first down deep in Cardinals' territory?

The offense looked sluggish all day---just like it does with Palmer---not getting out of the huddle on time (other team hustle their OL to the line, not the Cardinals---they practically crawl to the line)---play clock ticking down to 1 or 0 too often---yes, there were technical issues for 10 minutes, but the sluggishness did not change. The Cardinals' lack of tempo on offense, no matter who the QB is, has been at the crux of the Cardinals' inconsistencies on offense the past two seasons.

Thanks in part to Larry Fitzgerald sprinting the ball back to the official---the tempo in the hurry-up offense was better this week. But, alas, the 10 quarter TD drought continues, thanks to a number of near miss and poorly timed passes.

Best News of the Day:

The Rams dominating the Seahawks in Seattle with the NFC West championship on the line.