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Cardinals 3 vs. Rams 17: Final Game Grades and Player Analysis for Arizona

Cooper AllenAnalyst IIAugust 24, 2016

Cardinals 3 vs. Rams 17: Final Game Grades and Player Analysis for Arizona

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    It seems appropriate that this game ended with Kevin Kolb being sacked and stripped of the ball. I mean, that was pretty much the story of the game.

    Arizona lost 17-3, continuing their streak of awful performances in prime-time. With the loss, they drop to 1-1 in the division and 4-1 on the year.

    If San Francisco wins this week then there will be a tie for the lead in the NFC West. This is a tough pill to swallow for the Cardinals and their fans. Let’s take a look at where they went wrong.

    Here are your final game grades and analysis for the Cardinals in Week 5.

Kevin Kolb: C+

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    Final Grade: C+

    There is no way around it; Kevin Kolb had an extremely rough day. However, he actually didn’t play too poorly.

    Did he miss a few throws? Absolutely, but there is no way this loss is on his shoulders. He made plays that other starting quarterbacks in this league do not make.

    Kolb threw the ball 50 times in this game, but completed just 28 passes for 289 yards. After throwing two interceptions last week, he did not throw any in Week 5.

    He is not to blame for this loss.

    Fourth Quarter: C

    For the second quarter in a row, Kevin Kolb didn’t play that bad. The pass in the end zone to Michael Floyd should have been made a second earlier, but aside from that, he was ok.

    He actually stayed in the pocket on most plays which is something that very few quarterbacks would do with this offensive line.

    Third Quarter: C 

    As frustrating as it has been watching Kolb this game, you almost have to feel bad for the guy. Russ Grimm must have been offended when people started saying that the Cardinals have one of the worst offensive lines. He has made sure that they have the worst.

    Kolb made a couple of good throws to Fitz and had a great sell job after being sacked, which resulted in a personal foul penalty against St. Louis.

    Second Quarter: D+

    After a solid opening quarter, Kevin Kolb took a huge step down in the second as the offense was shutout.

    He was very inconsistent, missing on several throws and then making a couple of clutch third down passes.

    Time to step up, Kolb.

    First Quarter: B

    Kevin Kolb took the field following a St. Louis touchdown and looked calm and collected. He led Arizona on a drive of over nine minutes that resulted in a field goal.

    He did miss Rob Housler over the middle and did not take advantage of a wide open Larry Fitzgerald, but he made a few nice throws to make up for that.

    Kolb now has the Cardinals driving again as we head into the second.

Offense: F

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    Final Grade: F

    You could make an argument for the offense to get a better grade. Sure, Kolb threw for a lot of yards and a lot of different guys were involved.

    That said there is absolutely no excuse to only put up three points against any team, let alone the Rams.

    Beanie is out, Ryan Williams may be out and the offensive line is flat out awful. If you are in an IDP fantasy league, you should be all over Mario Williams and Jared Allen in the next two weeks.

    Fourth Quarter: D

    Kevin Kolb made a few nice plays and several different people got involved, but it was too little, too late. Not only that, but the offensive line completed its mission of becoming the worst in football.

    Beanie is out, Heap is out and we don’t know about Ryan Williams. Should be an interesting couple of weeks.

    Third Quarter: F

    The offensive line does not even deserve to be talked about in more than one slide. Aside from their terrible play, Ryan Williams is getting nowhere on the ground.

    This offense is a mess right now and it is because of the men up front.

    Second Quarter: D

    It is very tempting to give this offense a failing grade. Kolb missed a couple of throws, the offensive line was absolutely terrible and Michael Floyd dropped a very catchable pass.

    The only thing saving them is the play of Rob Housler and the Early Doucet third down conversion.

    First Quarter: B-

    Aside from maybe two or three plays, the offensive line was absolutely terrible in the opening quarter. Early Doucet also missed a pass that he should have caught.

    On a positive note, Andre Roberts and Larry Fitzgerald have looked great and Ryan Williams is doing his part.

Defense: B

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    Final Grade: B

    When a team loses by 14 points, you would think that it would be because of the defense. That was certainly not the case in this game, though.  

    Aside from a couple of big plays, this unit held St. Louis to just 111 rushing yards on 27 carries (4.1 YPC). They also held Sam Bradford to seven completions in 21 attempts.

    The Cardinals do have a bit of work to do in the secondary. Once they get their issues resolved at corner, they will have a great defense.

    Fourth Quarter: C

    Despite giving up a touchdown early on in quarter, the defense made multiple stops late, giving the Cardinals offense a chance to get the ball back.

    Steven Jackson ran on them a bit, but they stepped up when it counted. Unfortunately for them, not many others did.

    Third Quarter: B+

    The Rams run game finally started to get going as Steven Jackson and Daryl Richardson were running all over the Cardinals defense.

    Patrick Peterson came up with a huge pick in the end zone to prevent points.

    Second Quarter: B

    The defense was much better in the second quarter; however they still aren’t playing like they were in the opening three weeks.

    Daryl Washington picked up another sack, held the Rams to just three points, but benefited from a few missed throws by Bradford.

    First Quarter: D

    In an interesting turn of events, the Cardinals defense looked silly on their opening drive. Sam Bradford picked them apart and scored six points with ease.

    The only thing saving this unit from a failing grade is the three-and-out on the following drive.

Special Teams: D

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    Final Grade: D

    Patrick Peterson had a solid night returning kicks and Dave Zastudil had some nice punts, but there were two key plays that cost the Cardinals on special teams.

    The first is the missed field goal. If that field goal is made, Arizona can kick another instead of going for it on fourth down. All of the sudden it is a one score (17-9) game with a lot of time left on the clock.

    The second play is the consecutive offside calls. It took the Cardinals from starting with great field position, to being pinned back inside the 20.

    Fourth Quarter: A-

    If you had to pick one player that could turn an NFL game around the quickest, then Patrick Peterson would receive a few votes.

    On multiple occasions during the final quarter, he was looking like he was going to go all the way before being stopped.

    Two big returns put Arizona in great field position, they just didn’t capitalize.

    Third Quarter: B

    The special teams did their job in the third quarter. Zastudil had a couple of nice punts and the punt coverage was good for the first time all night.

    Aside from that, there were no significant special teams plays this quarter.

    Second Quarter: F

    Arizona is losing the special teams battle, but that is not much of a surprise. Zeurlein hit a field goal to the moon, while Feely missed a 40-yarder.

    Peterson had a nice return, but it was negated due to multiple offside penalties. Amendola also had a solid return before leaving with an injury. C’mon coverage team.

    First Quarter: C

    There was a missed tackle on the opening kickoff which resulted in a 36-yard return. Jay Feely hit a 35-yard field goal and Patrick Peterson had a decent punt return. Nothing crazy yet, folks.

Coaching: D

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    Final Grade: D

    I have been saying for a long time that if Coach Ken wants to have a job past this year then he has to find himself a legitimate offensive coordinator and get rid of Russ Grimm.

    He is 0-for-2 in that department and it has resulted in an ugly loss in prime-time.

    After the first quarter, the play calling in this game was absolutely horrendous and Grimm’s boys up front weren’t much better.

    Forget the players; some decent play calling would have won this game. Whisenhunt has been great for Arizona and Horton will continue to do his thing. The rest of the staff should be embarrassed.

    Fourth Quarter: F

    It is games like this that make Cardinals fans really miss Todd Haley. The play calling on offense has been terrible since he left and we saw it again today.

    They did get a bit creative in the fourth, but that was only because they had to with Ryan Williams out.

    The fourth down pass to Fitzgerald was one of the worst possible plays they could have called in that situation.

    Third Quarter: F

    Russ Grimm has failed miserably with the offensive line. Mike Miller went to the no-huddle once, it worked, and we didn’t see it again.

    Let’s keep forcing something that is not working... that will win a ball game.

    Second Quarter: D-

    I really don’t understand this coaching staff. They had a great thing going in the first quarter. The no-huddle was effective, there were a lot of quick throws and they had success. So why move away from it?

    They allowed Kolb to get hit and set up the offense to fail on certain occasions.

    First Quarter: A

    Offensive coordinator Mike Miller did a great job of calling plays during the first quarter. There were a lot of quick throws to help avoid pressure as well as a mix of the run. This needs to be continued.

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