Cards were coming off a dismal 17 to 3 loss to the Lions. The 4 & 9 Falcs lost to the Packers 34 - 20. (According to Atlanta beat writer, Will McFadden, "With three games remaining, Coach Quinn was getting evaluations on everybody, including his staff"): Falcs were in the midst of a five-game losing streak. Atlanta had 13 penalties in the Packer loss along with a few other mistakes. Lack of consistency has been noticeable. Quinn made it clear that a focus on evaluating younger players would likely continue over the final three games. It' was also clear that players weren’t the only ones who will be getting looked at in the coming weeks.
The Cards are in similar circumstances, with Steve Keim's and Steve Wilks' jobs said to be on the line.
Falcs Wax Cardinals 40 - 14
The Bottom Line:
Cards came out of the tunnel and started out like an express train (causing fans to express astonishment that they could look so good. Then fate raised its ugly head, starting with a batted Josh Rosen pass that turned into a Pick 6 that sucked all the air out of the Cardinal sideline. It was all Falcones after that - they posted 5 unanswered scores to take a commanding 27 - 7 lead t halftime.
We're not going to waste time on play by play. Here's the scoring summary.
Cards - Da Johnson - 1 Yd TD run. Cards 7 - Falcs 0.
Falcs - D Jones - 41 Yd Int Return (XP Good). Cards 7 - Falcs 7
Falcs - Bryant - 22 Yd FG - Falcs 10 - Cards 7
1st Quarter Score: Falcs 10 - Cards 7
Falcs - Ryan - 1 Yd TD run (XP Good). Falcs 17 - Cards 7
Falcs - Bryant - 33 Yd FG - Falcs 20 - Cards 7
Falcs - J Jones - 21 Yd pass from Ryan (2pt failed). Falcs 26 - Cards 7
Halftme Score: Falcs 27 - Cards 7
Falcs - Coleman - 43 Yd TD run (XP Good). Falcs 33 - Cards 7
- Third Quarter Score: Falcs 33 - Card 7
Falcs - Hardy - 5 Yd TD pass from Ryan. Falcs 20 - Cards 7
Cards - Sherfield 0 7 Yd pass from Glennon (XP Good)). Falcs 40 - Cards 14
Final Score: Falcs 40 - Cards 14
Notable Game Stats.
First Downs: Cards 18 - Falcs 23
Total Net Yards: Cards 253 - Falcs 435
Rush Yards: Cards 22/60 -Falcs 27/215
Passing: Rosen 23-36 -2
................Ryan 22 - 36 - 0
Passing Yards: Cards 193 - Falcs 220
Interceptions Lost: Cards 2 - Falcs 0
Fumbles Lost: Cards 1-1 - Falcs 0 - 0
Penalties: Cards 8 for 75-yds- Falcs 6 for 50-yds
Time of Possession: Cards 29:20 - Falcs 30:40
Rushing: Johnson 11 carries for 33 yds
................ Coleman 11 carries for 145 yds and 1 TD
Receiving: Fitz 7 for 82. Logan 4 for 18. Da Johnson 3 for 68
................: J Jones 6 for 82 Ridley 5 for 42
Glennon looked unflappable engineering that final Cardinal TD drive
Lots of qualifying excuses - mostly having to do with the lengthy injury list and expecially the number of rookies and backups at WR and the offensive line. (A healed-up roster should make for better play. Or will it?).
Liked Budda B getting his hands up in Ryan's face on one early defensive play.
- That's about it.
The Dark Side
Are the Cards tipping off plays on both sides of the ball?
Cardinal turnover deficit of minus-2
Falcon RB's (especially Coleman) had a field day. I may be wrong but it sure looked as though #95 (Gunter) was held out to dry on a few Atlanta running plays - including Coleman's TD run.
For every pass Seals-Jones comes down with, 2 others fall to the ground (Momentum-killer).
Card pass rushers were continually out of control and biting on fakes by Ryan.
Decline in Card oomph was noticeable after the Jones 1Q pick 6.
Doom and gloom talk from Cardinal fans (especially about coaching changes) hasn't exactly boosted team morale.
Coach Wilks' sideline demeanor can best be described as "numb."
It's become clear that the Cards are mailing in the back-end of the season. (As a fan, I can only hope for a handful of plays that signal hope in the future. Cards would be well-advised to steal a page from the Forty Niners (who rose up from the dead to drive a wooden stake through the Seahawk's heart despite having every excuse for folding up their tent. Why can't we do likewise finishing up this miserable season?
Fans are shifting their attention to who we'll take in the 2019 Draft. Memo to Birdgang et al: One talented player like Bosa won't be enough. We're going to need an 8-player upgrade (or thereabouts) and, in this writer's humble opinion, a major coaching change. (Happy Holidays)!