Unfortunately for the Cardinals, their defense was as bad as their offense was good in Sunday’s 28-21 win over the Carolina Panthers.
Sure, the team won, but yielding 477 total yards is reason for pause, if not a little concern.
“There’s no doubt about it,” Arizona Sports 620’s Ron Wolfley said of there being something to worry about. “You can’t deny that when you give up the chunks of yardage the Arizona Cardinals secondary, in particular, did, that is a huge concern.”
Wolfley pointed to the defensive scheme, saying the Cardinals did blitz on many downs. Not getting to Newton meant the defensive backs were left to cover receivers without help and for long periods of time.
Combine that with young players, and it’s really no surprise Newton had himself a day.
“You’re going to get blown assignments in the secondary, especially when you’re coming with more complex schemes,” Wolfley said, “and that’s exactly what I think we saw.
“Of the eight big plays they gave up yesterday, I think there were four where you could just say there were mental errors or poor technique.”
That being the case, it’s not unreasonable to think the team should improve as the season progresses.
Then again, as Doug Franz noted, one of the biggest mistakes may have been courtesy of a couple of veterans. Newton found Steve Smith wide open down the sideline for what became a 77-yard touchdown, and with a blitzing Patrick Peterson it was up to Kerry Rhodes and Adrian Wilson to keep an eye on the wideout.
“What bothers me about the play is I don’t know whether it was Rhodes’ fault or A-Dub’s fault,” Franz said. “But if we’re going to make mistakes I’d rather it be Patrick Peterson.”