For the first three games the Cardinals were undefeated, beating out New England, Seattle, Philadelphia and Miami. Now, Arizona has seen nothing but a downfall with their third loss against Minnesota. Below is a breakdown of how the game played out and my ratings.
–Final Score: 14-21
–Cardinals Ratings Report: C
For starters, still no quarterback has been determined. So whether it is Skelton or Kolb inside the game, the quarterback still needs to be protected. While the offense received good yardage, there was a lack of points. It makes me question the plays that are being called.
With seven sacks during the Minnesota game, this makes me wonder what is happening with the offensive line. Where is the offense? It is the offensive line’s job to protect the quarterback–seven sacks are unacceptable, although Skelton had more protection than Kolb did in the past three games.
Sacks are not the only factor that come into play. With so much field position and yardage, the Cardinals only scored 14 points, which brings me back to what kind of plays was the team making that allowed for so little scoring. I will give credit to Stephens-Howling who rushed for a career high 104 yards. Overall the team needs to focus on quarterback coverage and making plays that count for points.
Others might see differently, but I feel the Cardinals defensive line was better this game than the previous game. In spite of Vikings’ RB Adrian Peterson’s performance (he ran 23 times for a season high 153 years and received the first quarter touchdown for his team), the Cardinals defense gave the Vikings a tough run, and I think the defensive line showed much improvement.
Special Teams: C
While one Peterson played well, I am not so sure about the other. Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson is down 8.8 yards this year. Last year, as a rookie, he averaged 16 yards/punt and scored four touchdowns.
P. Peterson wasn’t the only one from special teams who let me down this week. For the past three games Jay Feely has missed the field goal each time. I don’t understand how this is possible. This is his one area. I am not sure if I am still angry that Feely made a record field goal and then choked, or if he truly is on his own losing streak right now and I am giving him too much pressure. Regardless, in the game against the Vikings he missed a 47-yarder. He needs to start focusing. These extra points are valuable and can help make or break the game.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals
University of Phoenix Statium
Mon, Oct 29, 5:30 p.m. PDT