The Arizona Cardinals took it on the chin on Sunday in their 44-21 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
There are plenty of issues to look at, and as I said on Twitter yesterday, this outcome was not surprising to me with how good the Chiefs are.
However, the issues that were prevalent are things that were supposed to be “fixed” by personnel moves.
That is why I can’t harp on the pass rush or work in the secondary, we knew that was an issue coming into things, although I was surprised that Jalen Thompson looked bad in game one.
Here were three players on defense that struggled in game one.
Isaiah Simmons - Simmons was supposed to take the next step and in game one it was backwards. Simmons struggled in coverage against Travis Kelce which is not a surprise. Kelce is literally one of the best tight ends to ever play in the league. However, Simmons was really bad against the run and that was something we were hoping to see him take the next step in. It is one game against maybe the best or second best offense in the NFL, but man Simmons took a beating on Sunday.
Nick Vigil - Again, the Cardinals basically stood pat on the defensive side of the things. Except grabbing Vigil who was supposed to allow the Cardinals to deploy Simmons and Zaven Collins in a plethora of ways. Well, after one game it was a terrible idea and showed up. Vigil may have been the worst player in coverage on Sunday, which is saying something and then he couldn’t help against the run either. This is a huge issue if the Cardinals are deploying Vigil and Simmons together and both are struggling in coverage and to stop the run.
Vance Joseph - Look, I won’t blame Joseph for what he has to work with, he is not making the signings or lack of signings.
However, when you have invested two first round picks in Collins and Simmons, and you are asking Ezekiel Turner to make plays in coverage, I have so many questions. Not only have you lauded Collins and Simmons ability in coverage, both struggled on Sunday, but you went and grabbed Vigil to cement the coverage ability of the linebackers and the you are giving snaps to Turner.
I love Zeke Turner, he is a great special teamer who has played his role for five years. His career high in defensive snaps in a season was 18. VJ had Zeke on the field for 16 snaps on Sunday.
The Chiefs don’t just a good offense, but a great offense and you are deploying a guy who had 36 career defensive snaps, only 13 in coverage and asked him to cover nine times in a game?
I can’t defend that.
Jalen Thompson, Markus Golden, and Zaven Collins all struggled as well in the game, let’s hope it was a week one issue against a great team.
Of course, Davante Adams is on tap.