PHOENIX - The Arizona Cardinals look like a team trying to find an identity! Carson Palmer can’t seem to find any rhythm and the defense looks overmatched. But perhaps the problems on the offensive side of the ball can be attributed to the lack of protection from the offensive line.
So far this season, the Cardinals have given up nine sacks and Palmer has been roughed up, hurried and hit far too many times. Taking as many hits as Carson has in three games might just make a quarterback a little timid when it comes to standing in the pocket.
But after an 80-yard drive to start the game and a seven point advantage, you kind of felt like the Cardinals might be able to pull off a win in New Orleans. Especially after the Saints managed just 14 first half points. At halftime, it seemed like the Cardinals might be able to pull off another second half, come-from-behind win.
Unfortunately, the Saints kept the pressure on Palmer and Drew Brees was, well, Drew Brees. The offensive line continued to play poorly, giving up four sacks, nine quarterback hits and more than a dozen quarterback hurries. Carson Palmer finishes with a measly quarterback rating of 43.4
Brees completed 29 of 46 passes for 342 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. His favorite target -- tight end Jimmy Graham, a 6 foot 7 inch, 265 pound tight end that the Cardinals just couldn’t cover. Graham finished with nine catches, 134 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
Bottom line, the Cardinals got beat soundly by a better team. The problem is, next week they take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team that’s started 0-3, so they’ll be hungry for a win and you just hope the Cardinals don’t look at their record and think they’re the superior team.
Nice to see former Chandler High School standout Cam Jordan finish with four tackles, two sacks and three hits on Carson Palmer. Not good for Arizona, but good to see a local kid do well in the NFL.
After three weeks, I think we could say Dennis Green had it right years ago when he said, “They are who we thought they were.” Although Green was talking about the Bears after a Monday night meltdown, the same could be said about the Cardinals in 2013. We knew coming in that the offensive line would have to perform at a much higher level if Carson Palmer was going to have any kind of chance to play well.
Unfortunately, the “O” line isn’t playing anywhere close to what they need to be, even with three coaches focused in on making them better. Remember what Coach Arians said when he got here? “They just need to be coached up.”
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