The Cardinals find themselves in a 0-2-1 hole, and don’t look now but unfortunately there are at least 3 more backup quarterbacks on the schedule.
But let’s reflect on week 3 for now and take a look at who made strides, who didn’t, and some unfortunate rehashing of issues that keep rearing their ugly heads.
The Defense: After admirable, if flawed performances in the first two games of the year, the defense put up a dud as the away team put a resounding beat down on the team with backup quarterback Kyle Allen. There’s no pretty way to paint this, especially as the woeful tight end defense continues to be a glaring issue as grizzled vet Greg Olsen brought in two touchdowns on 75 yards.
The Offensive Line: It’s never a good thing when your quarterback is sacked as many times in one game as he has been all season, even if it’s just week 3. While all 8 sacks weren’t all on the line, pass protection was a constant issue as Murray scrambled to keep plays alive. The run game didn’t fare well either, as both backs were limited to a total of 52 yards on 14 carries.
Kyler Murray: The young signal caller had a rough day at the office. While his line and receivers did him little favors, he also gave the ball away twice and took a few sacks that weren’t necessary. Despite throwing the ball over 40 times, the passing game only managed a meager 173 yards. Growing pains are expected, especially with a supporting cast such as this, but the #1 pick will have to be more efficient going forward.
Christian Kirk, Trent Sherfield and Co: The aforementioned receivers did little to help the struggling passing game as both Kirk and Sherfield dropped some key passes that would have resulted in big plays. (Kirk’s drop being the more egregious of the two.)
It’s early, but it’s looking like while they have some nice potential in the group, they’re more of the complementary mold and will need a true #1, especially once Larry Fitzgerald hangs up his hat.
Red Zone (And early) Offense: After struggling both out of the gate and in the red zone the past two weeks, the offense finally got some things going as they marched down the field for a touchdown on their first drive of the game. No settling for field goals this week.
Chandler Jones: After a less than stellar week 2 showing, the OLB bounced back in a big way this week with two strip sacks, recovering one that resulted in a touchdown scoring drive for the offense. The edge rusher showed in other phases of the game as he continues to be one of the few blue chip talents on the team.
Haason Reddick: While I’d put breakthrough talks on hold and there were a few blemishes on the day, I’d be remiss if we didn’t give a tip of the cap to the much maligned linebacker. Reddick lead the team with 12 tackles, 6 of which were 6 solo and 1 a TFL. He also showed up in coverage with 2 passes defended. Have a day, Haason.
He Who Must Not Be Named: I’ve brought him up to the point of basically asking for karma to punish us, but you know who continues to be perfect...