Heading into their primetime matchup against the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night, many NFL fans thought that the Arizona Cardinals would be locked in a defensive battle for that game. However, what they got was an entirely different type of game.
In a twist few saw coming, the game ended up being a shootout. Unfortunately for them, they were on the losing end by a score of 34-22.
With that said, the Cardinals’ defense was not entirely to blame for giving up 34 points, nor were they solely to blame for the loss. That blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the Cardinal offensive line.
While Carson Palmer did not exactly look like Joe Montana on Thursday night, he hardly had time to breath in the pocket for the majority of the game. He was sacked an astounding seven times and was hit 13 times on the night. When he did have time, he was forced to find less-than-spectacular receivers as Larry Fitzgerald was bottled up all night long.
Now, I don’t think you need to be a football genius to realize getting sacked seven times and hit 13 times will lead to trouble for an offense. That is exactly what happened as the Cardinals abandoned the run game early and were forced into primarily a short-passing game.
Additionally, the pressure clearly affected Palmer as he threw two costly interceptions in the game, his 12th and 13th of the year.
Had the offensive line played better in the game, the final result in the game may have been a very different story. Now with this loss, the Cardinals fall to 3-4. That is clearly not where they want to be in terms of a potential playoff spot down the road.
In the future, the offensive line must improve if they want to win football games and more importantly, make the team contend in, crucial playoff games.