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The Setup
Cardinals were 2 & 1 coming off an unexpected loss to Detroit. Panthers were 1 & 2 and missing their All Pro RB McCaffery. Key questions concerning the Cardinals: Could this team be trusted to play to the talent-level of the players on their roster?

Answer: "No."

From the opening kickoff till the final whistle, the Cardinal on-air radio voices were attributing the Cardinal tank-job as "a case of the blahs" at having to play at 10:00 (AZT) in the eastern time zone. Whatever the case, the entire team - from offense to defense to special teams - played like cardboard cutouts of real players. What does this mean looking forward? The good news is that the Cardinals are young and hard-to-predict and could pull a number of surprise upsets. The bad news is that they've played poorly enough to lose the remaining 12 games on their schedule. It could go either way.

"Wing-clipped in Carolina."

The Bottom Line:
A meh Cardinal football team showed up in Charlotte, NC Sunday morning (Arizona time) and proceded to lay the biggest egg in recent franchise history. Kyler Murray played like a rookie, missing a wide open #11 on his opening play. The OL couldn't pass or run block. Kenyan Drake had no finishing push to his running opportunities. Cardinal receviers looked lethargic. Defensive players couldn't tackle. Back 7 couldn't cover. Defense didn't play as though each player knew where he was supposed to be...or what he was supposed to be doing.

In short, it was a nightmare. Cards were shut out and down 2 TDs to the Panteras in the 1Q. Big Red managed to close the gap to a TD on Edmond's 2 yd TD pass from Murray; but couldn''t stop the Panthers from hanging onto the pigskin for 7:45 in the 4Q and putting 3 final pts worth of icing on the cake to secure a 10-pt "W."

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter

Panthers - Davis - 1 yd run (Slye kick) - 7:21 - Panthers 7 - Cards 0

Panthers - Bridgewater - 18 yd run (Slye kick) 1:29 - Panthers 14 - Cards 0

2nd Quarter

Arizona - J Thomas - 3 yd pass fr Murray (Gonzalez Kick) 7:26 - Panthers 14 - Cards 7

Panthers- Bonnafon 3 yd pass fr Bridgewater 1;55 (Slye kick) - Panthers 21-Cards 7

3rd Quarter

Panthers - I Thomas 3 yd pass fr Bridgewater (Slye kick) - 5:26 - Panthers 28-Cards 7

Arizona - Kirk 3 yd pass fr Murray - (Gonzalez kick) -1:15 Panthers 28 - Cards 14

4th Quarter

Panthers - Slye - 27 Yd FG -7:45 - Panthers 31 - Cards 21

Arizona - Edmonds 39 Yd pass fr Murray- 2:31 - Panthers 31 - Cards 21

Notable Game Stats.

  • First Downs Cards 21 - Panthers 30
  • Passing: Murray 24 for 31, 270 Yds 3 TD, 1 Int 133
    ................Bridgewater 26 for 37 Yds 2 TDs, 0 Ints, 276

    Sacked By: Cards 1 - Panthers 0

    Rushing: Cards - Drake 13 for 35 ...Murray 6 for 78
    .................Panthers - Davis 16 for 84...1 TD....Bonnafon 10 for 53 Brdgwatr 6 for 32...1 TD

    Receiving: Anderson 8 for 99 yds, Davis 5 for 27...Moore 4for 49
    .................. Hopkins 7 for 41 yds...Edmonds 5 for 24...Arnold 4 for 39.

    Tackles - Cards - Hicks 12...D Thompson 9...Campbell 9
    ................Panthers - Chinn 8...Burris 6...Thompson 5...Whitehead 5

    Interceptions By - Cards - 1... Panthers 0

    Fumbles Lost - Cards 1 of 1...-Panthers 0 of 0

    Penalties - Cards 5 for 48 - Panthers 10 for 72

    Time of Possession: Cards 22:52 - Panthers 37:08

The "Bright Side"

  • Turn off the lights

The Dark Side

  • In terms of accuracy, Murray was as dull as a doormat.
  • Drake wasn't finishing runs with much power (Late rib injury didn't help)
  • Run blocking by OL non-existant.
  • Pass blocking by OL equally non-existant.

Cards are as unpredictable as a West Virginia thunderstorm

  • Defense didn't play as though they cared
  • Defensive players didn't seem to know where they should be positoned or what they should be doing.
  • Tacklers weren't tackling
  • Pass defenders weren't covering/taking strange angles

Last Word:
(Ed Note - It's easier to cover the Cardinals when they lose, because there are more witty things you can typically say).

Horrible performance by the Big Red - they appeared to be lacking in skills, football smarts and want-to. Does this mean we'll wind up 2 & 14? Probably not (There's too much talent here to lose every remaining contest). But if anyone is dancing in the rain because making the playoffs seems a sure thing...better think again.

From losing sure-winners to attributing losses to "time-zone difficulties" - this group of players looks...walks...and quacks like (at best) a .500 football team.

Now go out and prove me wrong.

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Copyright 1996 Gollin & Associates. Last modified: 11/26/2012