The Bottom Line:
Card let a 10 point 1Q lead slip away but managed to come back late in the 4Q to tie the game only to have their kicker (Zane Gonzalez miss wide right from from 45 yds with 1:47 left to leavie enough time for NE kicker (Nick Folk) to boot home the winner from 50-yds as the clock ran out. The Cards continued to be the epitome of consistency (i.e. consistently penalized, continuing a pattern of sloppy play and victims to special teams let-downs. So it should be no surprise that they came up short against a coach known for his football smarts, overachieving players and mistake-free football.
We wish we could say that, if the Cards miss making the playoffs, fans will point to this NE game as the key reason. Oh but if this was so. But truth be told, penalties, sloppy play and special teams letdowns have become part of the personality of this football team.
Ari 2:51 Kenyan Drake 1 run (Zane Gonzalez Kick) AZ 7- NE 0
Ari 13:11 FG Zane Gonzalez 47 AZ 10 - NE 0
NE 0:45 James White 7 run (Nick Folk Kick) AZ 10 - NE 7
NE 7:14 FG Nick Folk 22 AZ 10 - NE 10
NE 11:30 James White 1 run (Nick Folk Kick) AZ 10 - NE 17
Ari 6:58 Kenyan Drake 1 run (Zane Gonzalez Kick) AZ 17- NE 17
NE 15:00 FG Nick Folk 50 AZ 17 - NE 20
Cards have enough athletic talent to make up for sloppy play - but not always and maybe not usually. We're letting a playoff spot slip thru our fingers. ).
At the beginning of the season, we were nervous about the ability of GM Steve Keim and DC Vance Jospeh to restock the defensiive roster with enough talented players. Looks like they've done an admirable job.
But with midseason defeat after crippling defense piling up on us, it seems reasonable to look elsewhere for the reasons. Chief culprits - Sloppy Play. Lack of Poise. Questionable Down and Distance Judgement. Untimely Penalties.
On any team at any time, these shortcomings logically wind up on the front-step of the HC. Now Coach Kingsbury is a bright guy, but there are more and more times this season when, instead of being the "outsmarter", he turns out to be the "outsmartee."
Fortunately, most smart guys can (& do) learn from their mistakes. We hope to see Coach Kingsbury become a wylier, more resourceful HC.
Suddenly at this point in the season, the downhill course has become an uphill slog. But there's still hope.