Well, they made it. The Cardinals enter the holiday week with what most fans probably wrote to Santa for... the hopes of a playoff berth still alive.
More peaks, more valleys.
This game turned out to be somewhat of a microcosm of what has been the Cardinal’s season. Inconsistent and sloppy with flashes of offensive brilliance. Kyler Murray started the game off at a very efficient pace that wore down as the game went on. Up 16-0 in the first quarter, it looked like the redbirds might just cruise their way to an easy W.
Unfortunately those are hard to come by for this team as Philadelphia quickly made a comeback with a promising performance from an OU product of their own under center in Jalen Hurts.
One would think a very depleted Eagles secondary would prime the Cards to easily stave off the comeback, but once again the wide receiver was largely dependent on what super-human feats that #10 could pull off. And that he did, complemented by some big plays from both tight ends.
And there was more of the shooting-of-the-foot that we’ve come to expect from the team, this time in the form of redzone turnovers from the two pillars of the offense - Kyler Murray and Deandre Hopkins.
Is Hassan Reddick driving up his price?
The much maligned linebacker followed up a career game in New York last week with another solid performance. While the box score might reflect a single sack, PFF credited the edge rusher with 10 pressures... of the team total 32.
Chandler Jones will be 31 by the team next season rolls around, coming off an injury and a season that was disappointing given the standards he has set. And the cupboard is looking bare at OLB outside of their premiere defender...
While I’m one to caution buying into small sample sizes, (in both Jones’ and Reddick’s case) one does have to wonder what Steve Keim’s plans are for addressing the position. Will Reddick be brought back? Can the Cardinal’s afford to make that happen if he keeps this pace up?
The shopping list is starting to crystalize.
Speaking of Steve Keim and addressing positions, it’s become increasingly clear that cornerback and offensive line are among, if not the two positions in most dire need of help. With receivers not far behind.
While playoff hopes are technically still alive, the team does still have some tough questions looming on the horizon. With the few options at interior OL in free agency and said options likely being cost prohibitive, as well as an even smaller list of options at cornerback, the Cardinals are in a tough spot if they want to shore up the team and make the most of Murray’s rookie contract.
Do they have the ammo, talent evaluation and luck to make the most of the upcoming draft class in a shortened college season?