Sep 13 2012
Finally, football-real regular season means-something type football has arrived..and it was great.
For the birdgang faithful in attendance at U of P stadium, I salute you. The atmosphere was great with a minimal amount of blue and green dotting the crowd. From the pre-game introduction, the crowd was loud and proud. The defense especially seemed to feed off the crowd (as always) and I would like to think we all played a little part in the win. Today, I will break down what I saw from my vantage point. But, I would like to focus on non-QB issues as that issue has been beaten to death at this point.
First off, I must say this, as a Cardinal fan I prefer to kickoff to start the game. There is less likelihood of the offense making a costly mistake early in the game and spotting the opposition points plus it also means that the Cards receive to start the second half which is always nice. Further, I say start with your strength and this team’s strength is in the defense. If this team is to have any success this year, it is going to have to lean heavily on the defense. I reminisce of Superbowl-era Ravens teams which featured a punishing and opportunistic defense with a less than impressive offense but a QB that did not do anything terribly stupid. That is how this team needs to win…and for the most part, that is exactly what happened.
On the offensive side of the ball, I must give a shout out to D’anthony Batiste and Bobby Massie. I was very nervous about the pass protection going into the game from the tackle position. However, I was pleasantly surprised as the line held pretty well against a good Seattle defense. Skelton actually had a pocket the majority of the team in passing situations…so for that, I salute you O-line.
Now, that doesn’t mean there is not work to be done because the running game was a train wreck. Andre Roberts was the leading rusher…enough said. LSH, Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams repeatedly were forced into almost non-existent holes. I think it is too early to panic on the run game and maybe I am not giving Seattle enough credit in their gameplan and run support…so this topic will be tabled for now.
Otherwise, offensively, this team was pretty much as expected. Larry is Larry and if you feed him the ball good things happen generally speaking. One day Skelton and Kolb will learn that. I really liked Roberts effort as well. I have never been a fan but I will admit he played a good game. The play-calling was largely unimaginative as we have come to expect from The Whiz. Man, I miss Todd Haley and his creativity. From the start of the second half until the final drive, it was as boring of an offense as you could ever imagine. Whiz seems content to try to run the ball repeatedly with any kind of lead at all and we have all seen many a lead dwindle away. And, could we ever consider stepping into modern-era football and running some draws and screens? I just do not see them out of this team. But, when they do eventually run one successfully, it works because the opposing teams are so surprised to actually see one, they are caught flat-footed. LSH is a weapon that can be used like Darren Sproles with any imaginative play-calling.
Defensively, what can I say? They were balling…and I loved it. At one point, I turned to my wife and asking how many tackles Daryl Washington had because I swear he had been in on every tackle. It seemed like Docket and A-dub were in the backfield the entire time and if Russel Wilson was not so fast, he may not be alive today. He was running for his life most of the game and I was not that impressed with his play considering all the hype. I really liked the linebacker play as well as the secondary for the most part. I thought they played fast and aggressive and I look forward to seeing what else they can do this season. I think the D may need to really carry this team and create scoring opportunities as well as get in the endzone themselves.
Overally, a win is a win especially against a division opponent. Next up, Gisele’s husband and some other guys that are pretty good.