Cardinals GM Steve Keim doesn’t sugarcoat ugly loss in Philadelphia
You don’t have to be an astute football observer to realize what happened on the gridiron at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday wasn’t good for the team in red and white.
The Eagles dominated all three phases of the game and waltzed to a 34-7 win, dropping the Arizona Cardinals’ record to 2-3 on the year. Philadelphia jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.
The Cardinals’ issues in all areas were very much on display Sunday, a sobering fact that the architect of the team, general manager Steve Keim, realizes.
“Quite frankly, I don’t think we’ve played this bad in all three phases maybe since the NFC Championship Game two years ago,” Keim told Doug & Wolf Monday morning on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “It’s disappointing in a lot of different ways.”
Keim started his critique on what had been the Cardinals’ bright spot so far in 2017, the defense.
“The third-down conversions they made, you know, 3rd-and-19, obviously that can’t happen. Poor tackling, simple coverage basics that you’re taught like playing the sticks, playing aggressive in coverage and not giving up first downs as easily as we did,” Keim said. “It’s really frustrating.”
The Eagles converted 9-of-14 third-downs and Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz threw three of his four touchdown passes on third-down situations, including a 72-yard back-breaker to Nelson Agholor on 3rd-and-19 in the third quarter.
How about the offense?
“Offensively, I don’t think it’s any question that we had to try and run the ball effectively to get them off-balance and then maybe to throw some play-actions, maybe try to hit some deep shots on them,” he said. “But when you can’t run the ball effectively, I think we all know, and for a guy like me who has played on the offensive line, when teams tee off and they know that you’re going to throw the football quite a bit, not only is it extremely difficult to pass protect, but it’s difficult to pass protect knowing what’s coming — you know you’re constantly going to be getting pressure.
“Long story short, they jumped on top of us early. Special teams certainly didn’t help, which was another disappointment and the game got away from us pretty quick, even though we had a few different times where we could have gotten some momentum and jumped back into it.”
There is some hope after a bad day in Philadelphia; that hope rests on the possibility of some healthy bodies returning to the offensive line, which has been the weakest spot on the team through five games.
“There is some hope that when we get D.J. (Humphries) back and once we get (Alex) Boone back — which could be this week — there’s no doubt in my mind that it will improve,” Keim said. “That being said, there are some current players that will continue to play on this line that have to improve. They’ve got to take it upon themselves to get better.”
Regardless of who is on the offensive line, it won’t be an easy day at the office when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to University of Phoenix Stadium. The Bucs’ defensive line is anchored by Gerald McCoy, one of the premier tackles in the game. The Bucs’ pass rush has struggled thus far, registering only four sacks in four games, but they’ve got to be eagerly anticipating a matchup against the Cardinals’ O-line, which has yielded the most sacks and quarterback hits in the league.
Sunday’s contest gets underway at 1:05 p.m., and you can hear all the action on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
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