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Thursday nighter in Glendale. Seahawks was coming off a 17 - 14 loss to the Redskins. Santa Claus almost came 2 months early, last Sunday, when the Cards left ten 1st half points on the field (via a missed FG and a red zone interception) and gave up another 4Q touchdown opportunity which threatened to give SF new life in a 20-10 Cardinal win. Seattle was 5 & 3 going into week 10. Cards were 4 & 4.
We love the Cardinals very much...but sometimes they stink.
Answers to Unasked Questions:
For most of the season, we've gritted our teeth while Cardinal naysayer fans whined about variety of issues (see below). Time to eat a bit of crow: "You were right/I was wrong." Specifically: how bad Stanton was....why the OL sucked...Poor judgment and timing by Steve Keim...Failure by BA to address a coaching problem on ST
We're not going to win consistently with Stanton. Sure, he'll get hot occasionally and win a percentage of games, but not enough to get us to the playoffs. Problems - (1) Receivers can't hang onto his passes (His bad? Or receivers' bad? Dunno. Maybe a shared issue. Maybe not). (2) Lack of consistent accuracy (when receivers were open, he missed them about half the time).
Would Gabbert do any better? We don't know. But we do know what we've got in Stanton and it's not enough to get us where we want to go.
"Famous Amos" - Penalties in return game repeatedly cost us field position. Blocked XP. Performance is unacceptable. Buck stops with A Jones
Were we tipping off running plays? All I know is that - as an old bald dude (with no street creds) sitting in front of my TV screen - I pretty much knew if it would be a run or a pass and even worse, what the play-call was. (If I could do it, imagine what Wagner, Bennett etc, could figure out before each play).
Is Steve Keim overrated? That's a tough one. Put it this way - Is he just unlucky? Or have other GM's throughout the League just gotten a whole lot smarter? Another year has gone by and the only positive things about the Cardinal OL are lofty words/& not performance
There comes a time when we can no longer find a place to hide Bethel.
Budda came in late and has had his moments, so we're inclined to give him a pass for now.
Everyone knew - going in - that we could not afford to lose contain on Russell Wilson. Yet, how many time did he escape to extend the play?
Injuries...Erratic Execution...Feeble Run Blocking...Unforced Errors - do-in Cardinals in 22 - 16 loss to Seahawks.
Cards won the toss and deferred (to our recollection, the first time we didn't receive the opening kickoff this year). Seatttle returned KO to their own 25. Pierre's sack of Wilson set up a 3 & out on the first Seattle possession. But on the first Cardinal play from scrimmage, Adrian Peterson (AD) put the ball on the ground. Seattle ball on the Cardinal 48. Once again the Cards held Seattle to 3 & out. Punt (net holding penalty on Bethel) spotted the ball on the Card 4-yd line. Cards made it all the way to their own 11 before punting. Punt returned to Seattle 49. Wilson nickel and dimed Seattle to the Cardinal 6 where Wilson hit Graham over the middle for a Seattle TD. Seattle 7 - Cards 0.
TB on KO. Stanton (aided and abetted by 4 Seattle penalties) made it to the Seattle 14 in 8 plays as the quarter ended.
1st Quarter Score: Seattle 7 - Cards 0.
- On the first play of the quarter, Stanton crossed up Seattle & threw a weakside screen to Gresham who waltzed in for a 14-yd TD.Seattle 7 - Cards 7.
- KO returned to the Seattle 22.. Six plays; punt. Ball (net another holding call on Bethel) spotted at the Cardinal one. On the first play from scrimmage, Peterson was stopped in the end zone for a Seattle safety. Seattle 9 - Cards 7.
- Free kick downed at the Seattle 19. Bethea sack set up a Seattle 3 & out. Punt returned to the Seattle 47. Two runs, an incompletion and a punt. Punt downed at Seattle 9. Wilson led an 11 play drive ending in a 33-yd Walsh FG. (Key plays - 16-yd pass to Lockett...23 yd run up the middle by Rawls....Wilson to Vanett - 16 yds.)...Seattle 12 - Cards 7.
- TB on KO. Completions to Gresham (+20) and Fitz (+16) helped move the Cards to the Seattle 38 where BA "went for it" on 4th & 9 and didn't make it. Seattle now got ball back on their own 38 with 0:46 left till halftime. On the first play from scrimmage, Wilson hit RIchardson (Baker in coverage) for +43 yds to eventually set up a 43-yd Walsh FG.
- Seattle 15 - Cards 7.
- KO to Card 29 on final play of half.
First Half Score: Seattle 15 - Cards 7.
Cards received. TB on KO. Stranton took his teamin 11 plays to the Seattle 24 where Dawson was good from 24. (Note - Longest gainer was a 13-yd completion to AD).Seattle 15 - Cards 10.
KO returned to Seattle 20. A sack by Reddick set up a Seattle punt. Punt (net holding call on K Martin) put ball on the Cardinal 18. Completions to Nelson (+17) and Jo Brown (+17) got Cards across midfield, but the drive fizzled at the Seattle 41. Punt downed at the Seahawk 9. 'Hawks held to 3 & out. Punt returned to Card 46. (Veldheer called for false start on first play from scrimmage). Cards went 3 & out. TB on plunt. Seattle moved from its own 20 to Card 48 as the quarter ended,.
Third Quarter Score: Seattle 15 - Cards 10.
Penalties pushed Seattle back to its own 44, where - on 2nd & 21 at the Seahawk 44 - Wilson (with a little help from Budda Baker) dialed up "the play that broke the Cardinals' back": Forced to scramble(& reversing his field more than a couple of times), the Seattle QB appeared to be falling onto his back, but somehow was able to throw a long "pop fly" to Baldwin who then ran down the left sideline for a 54 yd catch & run to make it first-down on the Cardinal 2. He then hit Graham for a 2 yd score. .Seattle 22 - Cards 10.
TB on the KO. After AD lost 7 yds on the first play, Stanton couldn't hit anything in sight/Cards went 3 & out but then held Seattle to 3 & out. Punt returned to Card 19. Cards survived a 9-yd sack by Jordan and made it to the Seattle 17 but N Jones sacked Santon for minus-8 and set up a 4th & 8 at the Seattle 15 where Stanton's pass for Ja Brown was incomplete. 6:22 left to play. Cards held Seattle to 3 & out. Punt returned to Card 39 with 2:28 left. Short passes by Stanton along with an 18-yd completion to Fitz set up a one-yd TD run up the middle by Ellington with 0:23 left to play. (Dawson's XP attempted was...blocked)! Seattle 22 - Cards 16
- 0:20 left. ON-side recovered by Seattle. Game over.
Final Score: Seattle 22 - Cards 16
Notable Game Stats.
Passing: Stanton was 24 of 47 for 273 yards, 1 TD and 0 Int. (Wilson was 22 of 32 for 238 yds, 2 TD's and 0 picks).
Rushing: Peterson gained 29 yds on 21 carries. (Niner runners gained 75 yds on 23 carries).
Card rush defense gave up 3.3 yds per rushing play (Card rushers averaged 1.4)
Receiving: Fitz led the Cards with 10 catches. Gresham had 5. Too many drops by the two Browns and Nelson
Turnovers: Minus-2. Cards gave up a pick and a fumble but had no take-aways.
Penalties: Cards were penalized 9 times. Seattle 12
- Run/Pass Ratio: Cards: 24/47. (Seattle 23/32)
Field Goals: Cards 1 for 1 Seattle 2 for 2
Net Punting Yards: Lee averaged 38.4. Seattle averaged (42.1)
Tackles: spread around - Baker, Dansby abd Bucannon each had 7. Mathieu had 6. Bethea 5.
Sacks: 5. (Bethea, Pierre, Ruckerm C Jones and Reddick each had one sack)
Third Down Efficiency: Cards were 6 of 15 (40%. Seattle: 3 of 13 for 23%).
Red Zone Efficiency: Cards were 2 of 3 - 66%. (Seattle: 2 of 3 - 66%).
Time of Possession: Cards 29:07/ Sea: 30:53
The Dark Side
Stanton - Missed open receivers too often. Balls not always catchable
Wideouts- Real/Not fake perception - Not handling Stanton fastballs. Of all our WR's, only Fitz seems to take his blocking assignments seriously,
Missed XP - Speaks for itself
O Line - Give them a pass because of Humphries injury. But don't give Keim a pass because his backups aren't getting it done. And don't give our run blockers pass for failing to give AD any semblance of an opening to run through.
Bethel - Two holding calls on ST's? Give us a break?
Amos Jones - Who do you blame for a blocked XP to add to all those missed FG's - the Tooth Fairy?
BA - I've liked what I've seen up till now and have been one of his staunchest defenders, but, some coaches look like geniuses when times are good, but aren't so hot dealing with adversity. The danger, here, is that the Cards will nosedive after losing a tough division game and ging to 4 & 5. This will be one of BA's toughest coaching challenges as a Cardinal. (Note- In the coaching biz - "being good handling adversity" works against common sense - What owner wants to have a coach "who's really good at losing)?
We're not giving up until we're mathematically eliminated, but, folks, it sure doesn't look good from here on out.