The Arizona Cardinals are First on Fourth Down
The Arizona Cardinals have not had much to celebrate lately. Their five game losing streak is the 3rd longest in the league behind the Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars. These teams are 32nd and 31st respectively in most NFL Power Rankings. The good news, the Cardinals are first in win probability added when they go for it on fourth down.
Of course, over the past 5 games they have nothing to show for it, but here is a list, via Mike Sando of ESPN, of the Cardinals big fourth down plays.
- QB Kevin Kolb‘s 15 yard TD pass to Andre Roberts on fourth down helped the Cardinals get to OT against the Miami Dolphins.
- FB Anthony Sherman forced a fumble on a punt return against the Philadelphia Eagles.
- Rashad Johnson took a direct snap on a punt against the Buffalo Bills on fourth down
- John Skelton completes a pass to Michael Floyd on fourth down against the Green Bay Packers.
Two of those big plays were in losses, but it just goes to show the success the Cardinals have had on fourth down. The Cardinals have been desperate at points in their 5 game losing streak. The worst play that sticks out in my mind is a bubble screen to CB Patrick Peterson that went nowhere. This wasn’t on fourth down, but the play itself was terrible. The entire defense knew what was coming and the Cardinals called the play anyway.
I think this team can really benefit from trick plays over the next few weeks. They won’t work all the time, but it’s really the only way this team could possibly beat the Atlanta Falcons this weekend. I have said it before, but a trick play here, a fake onside kick there, and maybe the Cardinals can get some easy points on the board and compete for the first time in a game since an overtime loss to the Bills.
Follow Kase Brammer on Twitter @KBlive33