It was an ugly loss for the Cardinals against Washington Sunday. The offense couldn’t get much going as Sam Bradford threw for under 200 yards. They couldn’t stay with the running game. On defense, tackling and simply being in the correct spot was an issue. Here are my three main takeaways from the game.
Bradford’s arm looks shot
20/34 for 153 yards, averaging 4.5 yards per attempt is a problem. Bradford is 34 throws into the season and his arm looks shot. He didn’t have much behind the majority of his throws. It showed. That’s the bigger problem. I would chalk up him not being on the same page as his receivers or not willing to continually throw the ball downfield to still being early in the season. His arm? Not so much. Washington’s defense was able to get their hands on five passes. Bradford tried to fit the ball into tight spaces underneath, and it just didn’t work.
Fitz and DJ pick up where they left off
The year is 2034 and Larry Fitzgerald is still getting open. He’s so good. Fitzgerald finished with seven catches for 76 yards on 10 targets. One of those shouldn’t have counted and was a hilarious push off.
nice, subtle, veteran move by Larry Fitzgeral to get open here in the slot pic.twitter.com/puk57RDyW7— KP (@KP_Show) September 11, 2018
Just watching him find a way to get open at every level and manage to catch it no matter if he’s wide open or if a defender is hanging all over him will forever be impressive to me.
In the case of David Johnson, the only reason he didn’t rush for 100 yards is because of his workload. Your best player can’t have nine carries. That just can’t happen, no matter what the score is. If that’s the case, give Johnson 10 catches instead of five. I didn’t get the impression that the offensive line was blocking poorly, against the run anyways. I wouldn’t look at Johnson finishing with 37 rushing yards as if he had a bad game. He didn’t.
Unprepared on defense
All those preseason turnovers feel like they happened years ago. The Cardinals defense I saw looked unprepared and out of control. The Redskins were going to get to the edges in the run game, throw it to Chris Thompson and Jordan Reed, throw quick passes with Alex Smith on the run. Everyone knew that, except Arizona. Thompson caught six of his seven targets. Reed caught four of his five. Adrian Peterson was able to keep Washington’s offense ahead of the chains.
I actually didn’t think Alex Smith played that well, the Cardinals just weren’t in a position to make him pay. Take for example that touchdown throw to Reed near the goal line. In the slot it was Tre Boston against Reed. Tre. Boston. Boston is a fine zone defender, but in man coverage? Absolutely not.
Speaking of Boston, there was a lot of out of control play. Whether it was him or Deone Bucannon. Too many missed tackles from the defense. If the team wants to be competitive this year, that’s going to have to change.