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Franz: Five observations from Cards press box

5) No one says this after a loss but the play calling was outstanding. Mike Miller had one of his finest days as the offensive coordinator of the Cardinals. It’s not his job to catch the passes. He didn’t spike his headphones after a first down to pick up a personal foul penalty. The overtime screen pass was so open it appeared only one Bill had a chance to keep that from being at least a 40-yard gain.

4) I’m normally very critical of Daryn Colledge. I think he’s going to grade out very well in this game so I want to be fair and give him some credit. The offensive line deserves praise for improving. Granted, it went from “National punchline” to “pretty bad” but that’s still a huge jump.

3) I hate saying this because I feel like such a jerk and a hypocrite, but Jay Feely has to make that kick to end regulation.

2) The Cardinals only have to go 4-6 to finish 8-8. Never forget this loss because it might be the game that costs the Cardinals a playoff spot. It’s a weird team because anyone who beats New England and Philly is a playoff team. Anyone who loses to St. Louis and Buffalo should be watching as much college football as possible to prepare for the draft.

1) This is an organizational loss. The owners didn’t own well enough. The coaches didn’t coach well enough. The players didn’t play well enough. The fans didn’t fan enough.

There is never a way to justify losing to Buffalo. Sure, these are professional men who couldn’t stand hearing they had the worst two-game stretch in the history of defense losing to New England and San Francisco. Obviously they were going to play a little bit better, but scoring 16 points against Buffalo is an embarrassment. There were some protection issues. Kolb and Skelton made some bad decisions. There were plenty of things that can be cleaned up a little.

However, the dropped passes were a nightmare. You can never blame one group out of 53 men but I’ll give you three plays and ask for the ball not to go right through the hands of a receiver and that game is a win. This team isn’t terrible but it’s not talented enough to overcome simple things. When you don’t have playmakers, dropped passes and penalties on fullbacks make it impossible to win.

At the beginning of the season, the game in New England was a clear loss. This game was an easy win. The Cards are 2-1 against the AFC East, just like everyone thought they’d be at this point. Three of the next four are on the road and the one home game is a Monday Night game versus San Francisco. The road games are against the surprising Vikings, angry Packers and undefeated Atlanta. The only thing worse than the loss to Buffalo is the timing of it.