Well that just about takes care of that…..doesn’t it?
The Arizona Cardinals have been hobbling around for most of the season, resting the weight of their playoff hopes on two crutches; the dreadful NFC West and their heaven sent schedule. Sunday, both gave out and the Cards collapsed in a heap.
In a game that was non-negotiable for the Cardinals playoff hopes, they not only lost but were humiliated on their home field by the Seattle Seahawks 36-18. Many will continue to lean on the crutches (the division stinks, three of next four at home) and tell you this team still has a chance to make it to the playoffs. I’m having none of it.
Sure, the date on the carton tells you the milk in your fridge is still good. But if it smells funny, you’re not going to drink it. The smell test for the Cardinals right now is equally as pungent. They had to have this game. Instead, they just lost at home to a team that had been outscored 74-10 in their last two contests.
Coming into the game Seattle averaged around 261 yards per game and 16 points per game offensively. Sunday they amassed 490 yards of offense and 36 points. Matt Hasselbeck threw for 333 yards. You have to go back to 2007 to find the last time he threw for more than that in a game.
On his Thursday radio show, Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson was asked to give his defense a grade. Without pause he said “F”. I thought Wilson was simply being accountable. Turns out he is a physic. The unit earned every bit of that grade on Sunday. Darnell Dockett was inactive; so was the pass rush. The secondary had the consistency of burnt toast. I lost track of the number of big plays by Seattle.
What did Wilson think of the defense? Don’t know. The Cardinals defensive captain wanted no part of the reporters who had waited around just to talk to him.
As hard as it is to believe, the level of awful achieved by the defense was actually matched by the offense in the second half. Protection issues, dropped passes, bad throws.
Given the magnitude of the moment it was an inexcusable and unexplainable outcome. So much so that the word “effort” was being thrown around like a hand grenade in the locker room after the game. Was there enough of it? Coaches and players alike assured us that wasn’t the problem. So if the effort isn’t lacking, what is? The talent?
A week ago, I thought the Cardinals schedule and coaching would be enough to win this division. I didn’t think they had the best team but I thought they had the best situation. But the schedule will only take you so far. And despite having everything lined up perfectly for the Cardinals they tripped on their own feet before the journey even began. Losing to the Seahawks at home, with so much on the line, disqualifies you from the conversation and certainly doesn’t pass my smell test.