It’s been a season to forget for the Arizona Cardinals, but for the first time this year, we saw the vision if what the Cardinals want to be.
The reality of what Steve Wilks wanted out of the Arizona Cardinals is not fun football, and so far it has not been effective football.
However, seeing the Cardinals pull off a 20-17 win over the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau, for the first time since the Truman administration, was something no one expected.
That’s the season it has been for the Arizona Cardinals under Steve Wilks.
Everytime you think they’re done, that they have reached rock bottom, they come back out and fight
Wilks envisioned having a dominant defensive football team that was buoyed by a strong running game and a quarterback who could manage the offense, make enough plays when needed and keep turnovers low.
That’s exactly what he got on Sunday.
The Arizona Cardinals ran for 182 yards and two touchdowns.
They held the Packers to 98 yards rushing.
The Wilks brand of football, the type of football he described when he became head coach in January is not a sound football philosophy in 2018.
Moreover, even when you are successful with it, like the 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars, the fall can be swift.
Hell, the Minnesota Vikings knew their 2017 season wasn’t something that could be easily reproduced, so they went out and spent big money on a quarterback to boost their offensive output.
In today’s NFL, a dominant, defensive lead team is nearly impossible to have.
The NFL has molded the league to be about passing and scoring at astronomical rates.
Running the ball and stopping the run is a philosophy that just doesn’t survive in today’s NFL.
Oh sure, being able to stop the run will always be important. Look how bad the Cardinals are at it now and see why they are struggling so much.
The problem is more as an offensive philosophy, it'll kick your ass.
If you can't get an early lead, or get behind by two scores, controlling the ground game does nothing for you.
In today's NFL, you must be able to score in a myriad of ways but more importantly, you have to be able to score quickly.
Good teams can run the ball when they get ahead, look what the Cowboys did against the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football. Oh, the Saints were also the top rushing defense in the NFL going into the game.
Your team must be able to make the other side one dimensional. That is the idea behind stopping the run, is that you make the other side into a pass only team.
The problem now is that passing offenses in the NFL are so dynamic, so hard to stop for 60 minutes, that it usually does more to hurt you than help you.
The best defense is one that is able to create turnovers and limit points.
The best defense is the one playing with a lead that can take risks, be aggressive and get the ball back to your offense in a hurry.
Not to grind the game out, but to go out and score again.
Will Wilks philosophy win games? Sure, he’s got three to his credit this season.
It's just not a sustainable product in this time in the NFL.
Yet, this week Wilks philosophy worked.
Let’s enjoy it.