What did we learn after a hard fought bout with a playoff contender? Well, not much that’s new, but a few things have been reaffirmed...
Defending tight ends is officially a problem again.
It was a nice break, but we’re back to being plagued by tight ends. After a T.J. Hockenson had a historic rookie debut in week 1, second year TE Mark Andrews followed it up with a career day to the tune of 112 yards and 1 touchdown. Bad news with players like Greg Olsen, Evan Engram, Jared Cook and All-Pro George Kittle on the schedule.
Kingsbury is too Konservative.
Kliff Kingsbury and the Cardinals are now the first team since the NFL moved the goal posts in 1974 to attempt 3 field goal attempts in a game, while trailing, from inside the 5-yard line.— Football Perspective (@fbgchase) September 15, 2019
Despite being well within striking distance again, and again, and again... repeatedly Kliff settled for the FG. Hopefully things get more aggressive in this area as the rookie HC gets more comfortable in the pros, because walking away from favorable scenarios to play it safe isn’t producing results.
Scoring in the red zone is an issue.
Another week, and more missed opportunities in the end zone. It’s a struggle to produce within the 20, but I don’t think it is something you should be losing sleep over, not yet anyway. It’s already a volatile area to score within in general, but when you factor in an anemic offensive line, limited weapons, and a rookie HC and QB - things are bound to be tough. It may not be as quick an improvement as we’d all like to see, especially with personnel deficiencies, but as Kliff and Kyler Murray get used to things, there’s hope for improvement.
The team can hang.
The Cardinals went into this game as 13 point underdogs, on the road against a playoff contender and potential MVP, and despite that found themselves in a winnable fight. It’s not hard to imagine remaining competitive from game to game, and they just might eke out a few more wins than we all anticipated, especially once reinforcements to the secondary arrive.
What did you learn?