The Cardinals were victorious over the San Diego Chargers on Monday night by the slimmest of margins with the 18-17 win. I am going to go over some of the things I liked and some of the things that I didn’t like from the game Monday.
WHAT I LIKED
After a lackluster opening to the 2nd half, the team was able to bounce back before the game got out of control. Two touchdowns after a 6-3 halftime lead, the Cardinals got the ball staring at a 17-6 deficit. The team maintained their composure and was able to drive down the field and score. The 2nd touchdown drive was even more impressive, driving 91 yards to pay dirt.
The Offensive Line
The line was not spotless throughout the game, but there was definite progress. There were many dropbacks where Carson had a clean pocket and plenty of time to throw. Carson did take 2 sacks and was forced into rushing for 29 yards, but overall I think it was a performance to build on. It will be interesting to see how the line gels and if Jonathon Cooper can supplant Ted Larsen at left guard.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE
The 2nd Half "Adjustments"
Typically you want to see a team come out strong in the 3rd quarter after the halftime adjustments made by the coach. This has been a bit of a trend over the last 17 games with Arians as coach. The silver lining in all of this is that the team is 11-6 in his reign and while the 3rd quarters haven't been pretty, the fourth quarters have been pretty good.
Lack of Targets to Fitzgerald
I am not going to go out on the limb that Father Fitzgerald did about the targets his son received. But it was a huge disservice to the great icon that he wasn’t targeted until the fourth quarter. There were definitely times where Carson would not ever look his way or give up on his route before Larry got open. I don’t want to say that there is something between Carson and Larry, but something definitely wasn’t copacetic. Let's hope this doesn’t become a trend.
The team is 1-0 and that is the most important thing. We have a bit of a tough game: West Coast team playing the early game on the East Coast and short rest after the late Monday night game. The team should be able to compete against the Giants who did not look great in their game against the Lions. What I think is also impressive is that we are a favorite in the game. It probably has been a while since we have been a road favorite, but let's see how the team handles it. Go Cardinals!