When a man is challenged, his instincts usually kick in and he stands and protects his name or whatever it is that was challenged. So after the Denver Broncos defensive end Von Miller declared “were gonna kick their ass” in a press conference to the world on live television, we just knew this would be a game to watch the Arizona Cardinals defend their pride.
This game was over before it started.
Some fans getting off of work to sit in heavy traffic at rush hour to make the game, piled in the stadium late and running into disgusted fans filing out at halftime, as their beloved Cardinals had already checked out of the game down a quick 35-3 score.
The first 30 minutes of the game Cardinals allowed Denver’s defense to take back two Josh Rosen pick sixes, a busted coverage to give up a bomb to Emanuel Sanders, and a trick play touchdown, and the run game pounded threw large gaps to score.
This was a team coming in (Broncos) that gave up 593 yards rushing to their last two opponents, and the Redbirds could not exploit that at all in their own running game.
The Cardinals run game has been just as invisible as their passing game making their entire offense ineffective.
A 14 point deficit so quick in the game appeared to make the entire Cardinals team throw in the towel, knowing that they would not be able to make up that lead with their inept offense. Broncos finish the Cardinals 45-10 and looked like a team better than their record (2-4) coming in.
Finally, the obvious happened early Friday morning when the team parted ways with offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. After seven games of an ineffective and non creative offense it appeared on field that the entire team directed all of its frustrations toward McCoy during the game.
I watched the inept play caller walk down the bench early in the third quarter, and took a seat by himself, and it was as if he had the plague, as not one player or coach sat near him on an entire bench.
At one point a frustrated Larry Fitzgerald even walked away from McCoy as he was going over the play or lack thereof coming off the field.
Things must be bad if the humble Larry legend doesn’t give some encouragement.
The writing was on the wall and even McCoy himself knew it, as he walked the sidelines as the minutes ticked down and the deficit on the scoreboard continued to rise.
An entire team collectively lying down and bullied by a mediocre Broncos team like a little brother in a fight with his older brother, and the older sibling has the palm of his hand on his forehead with an extended arm while the little helpless kid is swinging at nothing but air.
At the same time the older brother is laughing that the inferior sibling has no chance to compete against him. It was very hard to watch.
When you see one team not put up a fight, the one word that is sports taboo comes to mind, the big “S” word, soft.
To add insult to injury, the Cardinals allowed a team and its fans to come into State Farm Stadium and put their feet up on the tables, eat all the food, trashed the house with orange peels, parted the red sea fans from their own house and didn’t leave until after the pre-game shows of NFL Network and FOX were done.
One man taking the blame for this fiasco is surely not fair, but in sports someone’s head has to roll when production is not happening and ends with that type of result.
Quarterback coach Byron Leftwich has been promoted to OC and much is expected, but how much change can really come from removing one piece when the team has so many other pieces broken.
The Cards have one game in the next 23 days to give Leftwich time to get acclimated to the position, hopefully some of that time hasn’t been lost with his main piece after the franchise quarterback went down to a toe sprain late in that game.
One thing is for certain, every man is being exposed if they have heart or not, and if the team does not show some progress, more heads will roll and perhaps bigger ones the next time.