Run or pass, Cardinals just need to move the chains

Sep 20, 2011, 11:30 PM | Updated: Sep 21, 2011, 12:33 am

Ken Whisenhunt and the Cardinals are taking some heat this week for avoiding the running game in Sunday’s loss to Washington.

The Cardinals ran the ball just three times in the first half — and 15 for the game — in losing 22-21. To make matters worse, the Cardinals ran the ball just one time after taking a 21-13 lead, electing to take to the air in an effort to gain first downs and kill the clock.

Bad move?

“You know what you need to do, ladies and gentleman,” Arizona Sports 620’s Ron Wolfley said, “Outside of your four minute offense, what you need to be able to do is move the chains.”

Wolfley said you do whatever you have to in order to get a first down, and if that means throwing the ball you do it.

“Especially if you’ve got a quarterback you’re confident in like Kevin Kolb,” he continued, “and you’ve got the best receiver on the face of the planet, at some point in time you’ve got to be able to trust them as well.

“Did it work? No, it backfired in their face.”

Arizona Sports 620’s Doug Franz didn’t have as much of an issue with the play-calling in the fourth quarter as he did with the first half decisions. The Cardinals ran just 16 plays in the first half and were barely on the field.

Arizona Sports 620’s Doug Franz said while the defense could have been better, the offense could have helped.

“It’s easy to say the defense allowed the ‘Skins to have too many plays,” he said. “The first half the defense needed to get the ball to the offense.

“But a small amount of the offense’s 16 plays is because a., they’re not getting first downs and b, when you’re throwing it and going three-and-out now the defense is right back on the field. It’s somewhat of a symbiotic relationship.”

The Cardinals changed the gameplan in the second half, and the offense succeeded because of it.

“It seemed like in the third quarter the Cardinals came out with the mid-set ‘we are going to run you over’ and they did that,” he said.

Lesson learned? We’ll see.

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Run or pass, Cardinals just need to move the chains