Many thoughts floated in and out of my head Thursday night:
I wondered if the Philly fan - while snarfing down a cheesesteak - was thinking to himself, just how did his beloved Eagles lose to this team. I wondered if the Patriots' fan (sub out the cheesesteak, sub in a lobster or something) was wondering the same thing about his team.
I wondered if Kevin Kolb has a good dentist.
I wondered if Gambo misses Levi Brown.
A week ago Ron Jaworski told us that the Green Bay Packers' offensive line play in that Monday Night game was the worst he's ever seen. I wondered if he would care to revise that statement.
I know the focus will be on the offensive line, Kolb getting bloodied and battered, the 17 sacks given up over the last five days (according to Mike Sando there are a handful of teams that have given up 17 or fewer sacks in an entire season). I'm sure some will look at the Cardinals and decide that they are, in fact, not for real. Not after that game. Not with that line. That's where the debate will live for the next week and a half until the Bills hit town.
But once you get past the obvious stuff, the fingerprints of this loss can be found in the first half. On all the missed opportunities. All the plays that, if even just a couple were made, might have changed the entire outcome of the game.
A bad pass to Rob Housler, Kolb not looking to Larry Fitzgerald's side of the field (had he, he would have seen a wide open Fitz), a Michael Floyd drop, a Jay Feely missed FG, a Janoris Jenkins breakup of a pass that didn't quite get to Rob Housler in stride, Andre Roberts open deep but missed, penalties that negated potentially great field position on a Patrick Peterson punt return, and on and on and on.
How many points did the Cardinals leave on the field in the first half? How would that have changed the dynamic of the game? Who knows. But it was a factor and a big part of this disheartening loss.
I'm not trying to take the focus off the historically bad protection; I am merely pointing out there were other reasons for this loss.