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ARI 27 DET 27 OT: Talking Points

NFL: Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Kliff Kingsbury:

  • You took the blame for 3 quarters of what you honestly called the worst offense you’ve seen. This is what pro coaches do, they protect their young QB. Kudos to you.
  • You found a way to get the offense in rhythm in the 4th quarter—-something you are vowing to build on as the team heads to Baltimore in week 2.
  • Suggestions: (1) offense is better with a quicker tempo—-it was far too deliberate up until the 4th quarter; (2) you don't need to revert to 3 straight rushes following Murray’s interception—-that was so last year, run, run and then getting stuffed on 3rd and 1; (3) next time that defenses like Matt Patricia’s are playing blanket man to man coverage, it would be great to see you call some designed QB scrambles—-through the vacated middle—-you never threatened the Lions’ defense with what they had to be most worried about in running consistent blanket man coverage—-if defenders have to cover AND worry about Murray scrambling, it will force the DC into trying to switch coverages between man and zone—-look at how the Lions profited when the Cardinals played zone—-3 wide open pass plays 2 of which were TDs and the scramble TD to Hockenson in red zone zone coverage. (4) As head coach you obviously can’t afford to sit with Murray for too long on the sidelines—-that should be Tom Clements’ job—-get him down to the bench area to be mentoring Murray between series—-there seemed to be little to no tablet analyses on formations, blitzes and coverages—-Murray’s just sitting there on the bench for 3 quarters looking frustrated as all getout.
  • You made two excellent calls, in my opinion. The call to go for the 3rd FG, even though it was unpopular with the fans—-had the offense missed on 4th down—-chances are the momentum you were gaining would have been lost. Take the points and try keep the foot on the gas pedal. The second was to punt on 4th down from midfield in OT. You said it best—-with the NFL record holder for FG distance on the other team—-it was too much of a gamble to give the Lions and Matt Prater an easy chance to win the game. Plus, you almost got the game winning turnover you were hoping for.

Kyler Murray:

  • Way to keep your head up. That was a furious comeback and the reason why every Cardinals’ fan was on his/her feet in the 4th quarter and OT. You clearly are better suited to play up tempo with quicker snaps. Keep getting the plays off faster.
  • Your footwork was not right (flat-footed) for three quarters, which is why you had so many passes batted down and so many passes a yard off the mark. As you know, your passing lanes are tighter in the NFL, just as the offensive line splits are tighter—-even though Tom Brady is 6’4”, go and watch his footwork in the pocket. Even he has to shuffle his feet to create open passing lanes because the reach of NFL linemen is often well over 7 feet.
  • When teams are blanketing your WRs—-take off—-less sideways and more up the field as much as you can. Your ability to put this kind of pressure on a defense can enable you to dictate what the coverages are. Get teams to have to zone you.
  • Your clutch passing to tie the game was a thing of beauty and a true characteristic of all great QBs who want the ball in their hands when the game is one the line.

David Johnson:

  • Great to see you running with greater explosion and purpose and with a stronger commitment to ball security.
  • Impress upon the coaches why you should be targeted more when you are lined up in the slot...or going in motion. Using your size and speed to leverage LBers and Ss in coverage is such an advantage for the offense.
  • Loved to see you stop your jumbotron watching and see you hustling to get back to the huddle or formation. You showed very good leadership in this game.

J.R. Sweezy:

  • Love the effort you brought in this game. Your pancake block on the holding penalty looked textbook—-but seeing as refs often call holding on pancakes these days (as Mark Schlereth rightly pointed out), once you got the seal as you did, you can disengage and hustle downfield.
  • Loved the way you were doubling back to help RT Justin Murray in his first start, although, as you know from playing with Russell Wilson, you don’t want to impede your QBs ability to escape pressure through vacated spaces.

Larry Fitzgerald:

  • Your legend grows with every snap of every game. Congratulations on another 100 yard performance and another notch up the NFL history ladder in career TDs. But everyone knows the personal stats are secondary to winning for you.

Christian Kirk:

  • Way to shake coverage and come alive in the 4th quarter. The mesh and rub routes helped.
  • The Lions’ CBs were shadowing you very well in this game—-but it also seemed like they were sitting on every route you ran. When that happens, it’s time to start running double moves—-which would be great to see this week. Crossing and post routes with your speed should be featured on the offensive menu.

A.Q. Shipley:

  • Your fist pump the Red Sea when the offense tied the game was awesome.
  • Good leadership up front—-you guys battled hard.
  • Fast pickups/switches needed on twist and loop stunts—-which early in the season is always an adjustment.

Corey Peters, Rodney Gunter, Zach Allen

  • Much improved effort and technique stopping the run. Held the Lions to 3.6 yards per carry.

T-Sizzle and Chandler Jones:

  • Loved the sacks, QB strips and pressures. You sack bros are showing excellent leadership.
  • Try to convince the coaches to have you rush the edge at all times—-you guys in coverage were exploited pretty badly.

Jordan Hicks:

  • Big first game as an Arizona Cardinal. Welcome to the BirdGang!

Byron Murphy:

  • That’s the kind of physical, all effort CB play the Cardinals have needed for quite some time. You are bringing it, dude!

Tramaine Brock:

  • Way to come through in the clutch on the end zone pass in OT. You probably were in shock to see the pass coming right at you with under 10 seconds left. But, hopefully you will get your first pick this week.
  • You need work on your tackling fundamentals. You are just nicking guys and not wrapping up.

Chris Jones:

  • This was a big step for you in this game—-showing what you consistently do in practice in live action.

D.J. Swearinger:

  • You are supposed to be a more imposing presence out there—-you had a decent game—-but man you never ever settle for decent.

Budda Baker:

  • You brought the boom to this game—-man, your tackle of Marvin Jones bent Jones in half.
  • The couple of tackles you made coming up to the box were excellent as well.
  • Not sure why there were so many busted coverages. As the leader in centerfield let’s get this figured out.

Zane Gonzalez:

  • Silky smooth all day, Gonzo!

Aaron Brewer and Andy Lee:

  • Bravo, ST stalwarts. Never want to take your excellence for granted.

Dennis Gardeck:

  • A rare punt block! And you narrowly missed another (running into the kicker, which didn’t cost the team on that down and distance).

Trent Sherfield:

  • You are a baller, man. You are a dude.
  • Would love to see you gets some targets in the passing game. Keep turning heads, dude!

Red Sea:

  • Good to see you on your feet and great to see you roaring again!