Of all the woes suffered by the Cardinals on Sunday nothing compares to what happened on the line-of-scrimmage (LOS) on the defensive side of the ball: the Cardinals got pushed around.
This was appalling. I wanted to cover my mouth and gasp like my aunt Edna used to do when reality seemed too much to bare but my testosterone levels impeded the process. This was the most disconcerting reality of a regrettable day.
To watch good football players get pushed, pulled and peeled like play-Doh is like watching the Dalai-Lama spear a defenseless receiver; it’s disturbing. But it was there for all to see. Darnell Dockett, Calais Campbell, Bryon Robinson, Joey Porter and Clark Haggans got pushed about the field like slush on a plow. And that doesn’t include the domestication of Daryl Washington in the middle.
I never saw this coming.
You can talk about the penalties, the missed assignments, the missed opportunities and Derek Anderson’s struggles, but these are things that have and were expected to plague this team moving forward.
The defensive side of the ball is replete with talent. In addition, it has the most leadership and experience. These are the things that cannot be.
And will not be…
This defense shut down Steven Jackson, limiting him to 81-yards and 3.7-yards/carry. This was a huge factor in limiting the Rams to 13-points.
Whatever malaise the defense endured last Sunday, this side of the football needs to carry the team as the offense finds its stride…and they will. I am confident these players are too good and have too much pride to continue down a road paved by offensive lineman.
In the end, it better be. If the defensive front seven doesn’t play more physically on the LOS, winning a third consecutive division title in the NFC West seems highly unlikely.