Cards were coming off their first win (over SF) but might view this Sunday game vs. Vikes as a "sandwich game" before they host Denver this Thursday night.
Fading Cards Lose to Minny 27 - 17
The Bottom Line:
The Cardinals blew a 14 - 0 halftime league and failed to cash in on a number of other scoring opportunities to allow Chicago to kick a winning field goal to go ahead 16 - 14 with roughly 4:00 left to play. Coach Wilks used this as an opportune time to give rookie QB Josh Rosen some playing time with the game on the line.
Plenty of finger-pointing to go around: Sloppy tackling technique. Penalties. Failure to protect the ball. Miserable coverage in the secondary. Cards started the game with motr creative play calling and design (leading to the early 14 - 0 lead, but then gradually settled back into its boring, "paint by the numbers" offensive style. Bradford's two interceptions and a number of incompletions confirmed my fear that he lacked zip on some of his passes and allowed opposing defenders to break early on the ball and light up his receivers,
Post game jibber-jabber was full of all the typical cliches you hear from users. Frankly, listening to an endless series of these platitudes makes my brain hurt. I'll try very hard to skip the bs). We lost the freakin' game. Period.
The team and the league are having trouble integrating game log information with the new Team and League web pages, so we'll have to skip this for now. (Credit to the Cards for trying but all they gave us were play by play logs for part of the 4th quarter
- Dawson - 26 Yd FG Cards 3 - Vikings 0.
- Murray - 21 yd run Vikings 7 - Cards 3
- Bailey - 37 yd FG Vikings 10 - Cards 3
Thielen - 13 yd pass from Cousins Vikings 20 - Cards 10
Cousins - 7 yard run Vikings 27 - Cards 10
- Third Quarter Score: Vikings 27 - Cards 10
D Johnson - 1 yd run Vikings 27 - Cards 17
Final Score: Vikings 27 - Cards 17
Notable Game Stats.
Bradford (aka "Charlie Checkdown") went 13 for 19 for 157 yds2, TD's and two picks. (Rosen was 4 for 7, 36 yds, no TD's and a pick)
Kirk led Card receivers with 7 catches. Seals-Jones and D Johnson each had a TD grab.
D Johnson gained 31 yds on 12 carries.
Lee had 39.8 net punting yds (Bear punter had 43.7)
Each team lost 1 fumbls
Baker and Bynes led the Cards with 10 tackles apiece
Card QB's sacked 4 times (Cards sacked Bears 3 times - Jones (1) Nkemdiche (1), Baker (0.5) and Benwikere (0.5).
Bears beat Cards by +2 in turnovers (3 to 1 in interceptions)
Average yards per rushing play: 2.9 (vs 3.9 for Bears)
Average yards per passing play (5.6 (vs.5.1 for Bears)
Rushing plays: Cards 18/Bears 31.
Passing Plays; Cards 27/Bears 32
Cards were penalized 7 times (Bears were flagged 6.
Third Down Conversions: Cards: 3/10 for 30%. Bears: 5/14 35%
Time of Possession: Cards: 23:39/Bears 36:21
- We scored 2 TD's
- We showed we can move the ball (at least in the 1Q).
- No crucial injuries
The Dark Side
If you were to compile a list of sins your team should avoid doing in order to win football games, the Cards would be guilty on all counts: Penalties. 3rd down conversions (both offense and defense). Protecting the football at crucial points in the game. Poor tackling. Poor run blocking. Uncreative play calling. Poor pass blocking (4 sacks!!).
To me, (with the exception of the first half of the first quarterr, it seemed as though Coach Wilks and his staff were "going through the motions" in their play calling (as if they were flipping through their "How to Call Plays" pro football manual and then calling a play "because it seemed appropriate."
Case in point - bringing in Rosen on our own 25 with 4:31 to go (plenty of time to dink and dunk our way into FG range - but the best way to do that is with a veteran QB who's "done that." Yanking Bradford might have been good for the soul, but this was the one rare time when you really wanted him in there).
Second Case in Point - Running Play Design - With the Bears "bringing it" on virtually every down, the last thing you want to do is hand off to your RB deep in the backfield (to give the defense the chance to nail your guy in the backfield. Quicker developing plays with handoffs nearer the LOS would at least give D Johnson a chance,
Each play has its own game-situation objective (i.e. pick up the first down, burn the defense deep, sack the QB, hurry the QB etc. . Each play has its own critical 11 on 11 battles (i.e. win a majority of jump balls, move your guy out of the hole, nail the RB in the backfield). Each down has certain things you don't ever want to do if you're going to avoid disaster (i.e. fumbling, penalties, leaving points on the board). Those gaffes are what losing teams do. It's part of their DNA. As of right now, it seems as if all that losing stuf is becoming the most visible part of the Cardinal DNA
Like I've said, before - coachspeak, trash talk, all that good stuff is what losers do until they win. Prove otherwise - JGG