How bad are the Arizona Cardinals? There are only three winless teams left in the NFL and the Seattle Seahawks play two of them over the next three weeks. The first of those is the Arizona Cardinals Shaquill Griffin Jersey
, who are set to host the Seahawks this coming Sunday. Seattle avoided an 0-3 start by beating the Dallas Cowboys last week and are surely capable of dropping a road game to the Cardinals — this is not a personal attack on Arizona, regardless of what some fans may say after reading a tweet and evaluating for themselves what the entire content of the post is meant to be — instead, it’s just a simple, realistic question worth asking:How bad are the Cards, really?Ok, they actually are really bad. Or at least, the version we saw over the first three weeks has been. Maybe that version will change with the rookie Josh Rosen replacing veteran Sam Bradford as the starting quarterback, but this is one of the worst offensive performances we’ve ever seen to open a season.Arizona is the first team since 2002 to score 20 points or less over their first three games. The last to do so was the Cincinnati Bengals, en route to a 2-14 finish that put them in place to draft Carson Palmer the next year. Before that was the 2001 Detroit Lions, they also finished 2-14. However, that same year, Washington scored just 16 points — and gave up 112 — over the first three games, and they finished a shockingly-better 8-8. One of the key changes for that Washington team?They benched starting quarterback Jeff George after two games and replaced him with Tony Banks.Only 21 teams have accomplished the “20 or less” marker since the 1970 merger, and of course most of them were terrible, terrible teams. The Cardinals entered the 2018 season as a candidate for worst team in the league, but had some positive markers in their favor, like a defense that finished fourth in DVOA last year. That’s not nearly enough to save the NFL’s worst offense, and the defense hasn’t been that solid either.What do they really struggle with?Arizona ranks 32nd in points, yards, first downs, passing yards, rushing yards, yards per pass attempt Authentic Ethan Pocic Jersey
, and rushing touchdowns allowed. They are 29th in rushing yards allowed and 27th in yards per pass attempt allowed. Opposing QBs are completing 71.1% of their attempts for 829 yards (almost double what the offense has thrown for), three touchdowns, two interceptions, 8.5 Y/A (compared to 5.0 for the offense), and a rating of 98.7. Those three passing touchdowns allowed would look a little better if not for the 394 yards and five touchdowns allowed on the ground.FootballOutsiders has the Cardinals ranked a more respectable 14th on defense, including 18th against the pass and 11th against the run. They got a huge boost with their near-win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday, but an abysmal offensive performance made it a moot effort; the Cards rank 32nd overall, 31st in passing, and 29th in rushing by DVOA.David Johnson, who signed one of the richest contracts in NFL history for a running back prior to the season, has carried it 34 times for 116 yards and caught 10 for 63. That’s a full season pace of 955 total yards from scrimmage, a far distance from the 2,118 that Johnson had in 2016. The blame for that could fall on the shoulders of offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and/or the offensive line, but it doesn’t really matter where the blame is: Arizona’s offense isn’t one you so much fear as an opposition as it is something that is loathed by the locals.Sam Bradford was the game’s worst starting quarterback through two weeks but he actuallygot off to a great start vs the Bears, opening the game with a 75-yard touchdown drive. A turnover led to another early drive that started at the 21 and resulted in Bradford’s second score of the game, but that’s where things got ugly:Punt, Punt, Punt, Interception, Interception, Fumble, Interception, End of GameThat last pick came courtesy of Rosen Youth Rashaad Penny Jersey
, who head coach Steve Wilks thought would be in the best position to make his NFL debut in the fourth quarter of a two-point game just moments after the other team just took their first lead and less than five minutes to go. To his credit, Rosen immediately had the Cardinals at the Chicago 42 for third-and-two — close to field goal range — but a three-yard loss forced a fourth-and-five, which is where the pick came in.Famously, Wilks and McCoy pulled Johnson from the field before that play.The defense did play well, but it was against Mitchell Trubisky and a week earlier they were awful against the LA Rams.After punting on their first two drives (though the Rams didn’t have a single drive go for less than 20 yards on the day), this was the result for LA: Touchdown, Field Goal, Touchdown, Interception, Touchdown, Downs, Downs, TouchdownThe two drives that ended in loss of downs went for 44 and 50 yards, respectively. On the other side of the ball, the Cardinals gained 25 yards on their first drive, and that was their longest of the day until a 35-yard garbage time drive to end the game; 7 of their 10 drives went for less than 10 yards. LA won the game 34-0.Facing Washington in Week 1, Arizona allowed 31 yards on the first drive but then forced a punt. The next three drives for the Cards defense went like this: 80 yards, touchdown. 73 yards, touchdown. 92 yards, touchdown. Washington went up 21-0 before halftime and won 24-6.Call me a biased hater if you’d like, but this is arguably the worst Cardinals team we’ve seen since the 2000 season, when they went 3-13. That team had Jake Plummer at QB, Michael Pittman and Thomas Jones at running back http://www.seahawksauthorizeds…..fin-jersey
, David Boston as the number one receiver, and some notable defensive players like Simeon Rice, Aeneas Williams, and Pat Tillman. But they were 29th in scoring and 30th in points allowed (remember, there were 31 teams in 2000) and fired head coach Vince Tobin after seven games.I don’t think they’ll be firing Wilks this year, but this team could be worse.Barring some immediate changes that spark remarkable dividends, this is a roster with an exceptional amount of holes. The top receiver is a 35-year-old who hasn’t really been more than a possession guy since 2011. (Leave me alone, I know Larry Fitzgerald is a Hall of Famer who is still good.) The number two guy is a rookie. The number three guy doesn’t exist. The quarterback is a rookie. The offensive line has been ranked as the worst in the league. The running back doesn’t stand a chance with these players and even then we are giving Johnson an immense amount of credit for his one season as an All-Pro player. The defense has Chandler Jones and Patrick Peterson … and then what? Budda Baker is a budding young star, but still budding and young. Even if he’s great, bringing him up on this list so soon is an indictment on the rest of the defense. What is Haason Reddick? Or Deone Bucannon? Maybe they have something with Robert Nkemdiche (two sacks) now and even Benson Mayowa (also two sacks), who is only 27, but what’s a long season going to look like for this defense after they find themselves spending 35+ minutes on the field every single week?We’ve seen that wear down the Seahawks in the fourth quarter in the past and I don’t see how the Cardinals are going to figure that out any more easily.How bad are the Arizona Cardinals? Well, imagine the New Orleans Saints defense and then think of the offensive version. The Saints can’t stop anybody. The Cards can’t start anything. That’ll give opposing teams short fields to work with and far less to travel down the field against an average defense. Barring immense success from Rosen to open his career, this does look like the worst team in the NFC, if not the NFL.Does it mean that Seattle, a team that tied Arizona 6-6 not long ago, will win? No, of course not. This is not a hater piece. This is a realistic view of a very bad team. More change is coming, sooner or next February. We’ve said it before (recently) and we’re saying it again (today): The Seattle Seahawks offensive line can pass block. And after years of passing up big name free agent tackles, many of whom you’ll see listed as being poor in pass blocking in 2018, the Seahawks may have done absolutely the right thing to ignore criticisms of their young right tackle and stick with him for as long as they could.Because according to ESPN’s Seth Walder, Brian Burke, and the Pass Block Win Rate metric Duane Brown Jersey
, Germain Ifedi is right on the edge of being in the top-third for right tackles in pass blocking, while the combination of him and Duane Brown is the fifth-best pass blocking tackle tandem in the NFL … my fingers hurt from typing that sentence.Most of the story is behind ESPN’s Insider paywall, so let me get across the information that I can. Beginning with the not-behind-paywall breakdown of PBWR:Seeing “2.5 seconds” probably gets you asking questions like, “What if Russell Wilson chooses to scramble?” and so on, that could skew the numbers for or against the Seahawks and other teams. Well, for one, let’s always assume that guys like Burke have thought of this. Even if a metric doesn’t catch this, let’s at least give them the benefit of the doubt that they too see the obvious. Here’s what Burke says:After Week 4, Brown ranked 9th in the NFL among tackles for PBWR at 87%. Two games later, he’s still at 87%, and only two left tackles in the entire league are ranked higher: Andrew Whitworth (93%) and David Bakhtiari (92%). Laremy Tunsil of the Miami Dolphins is also at 87%, an impressive feat for the 24-year-old who was once considered a potential number one overall pick before he Bane’d himself. (“No one cared who I was until I put on the mask.”)There were many who wanted Seattle to address the left tackle situation immediately when Russell Okung left via free agency in 2016. Okung now plays for the LA Chargers and his PBWR is the same as Brown’s … if you flipped the numbers. The Chargers’ tandem is ranked 23rd. The New York Giants made Nate Solder the second-highest paid tackle in the NFL, $15.5 million per season, and he is currently the worst pass-blocking left tackle of 2018. The only one overall who is worse is his tackle teammate Chad Wheeler at 54%.The Detroit Lions spent a first round pick on Taylor Decker and gave $47.5 million to Rick Wagner and are ranked 30th on this list.The Cincinnati Bengals traded for Cordy Glenn, taking on an $11 million cap charge in 2018 while moving down in the draft from 12 to 21, and they’re ranked 29th on this list.The New England Patriots gave a $32.5 million contract to their right tackle and he’s one of the worst rated in the league in this category.Here are some more tackle combos you may be surprised to learn are doing worse in pass blocking this season than Seattle’s tandem of Brown and Ifedi, who is at 83% in the metric: Jake Matthews and Ryan SchraederJason Peters and Lane JohnsonJoe Staley and Mike McGlincheyTyron Smith and La’El CollinsTerron Armstead and Ryan RamczykTrent Williams and Morgan MosesTaylor Lewan and Jack ConklinAlejandro Villanueva and Marcus GilbertEric Fisher and Mitchell SchwartzSeattle got to where they were at without a top-15 pick like Matthews, Johnson, McGlinchey, Smith, Williams, Lewan, Conklin Authentic Germain Ifedi Jersey
, and Fisher. They basically traded a second round pick for Brown and used a late first on Ifedi. Brown didn’t need much coaching from Mike Solari, I’m sure, but Ifedi has now gotten two years of training from Tom Cable and less than a year from Solari, and he’s become one of the better pass blockers in the league for now. Perhaps the only comparable (or better) cheaply-acquired duos are Jordan Mills and Dion Dawkins of the Buffalo Bills, or Bryan Bulaga and Bakhtiari of the Green Bay Packers. Charles Leno, Jr and Bobby Massie of the Chicago Bears, plus Garrett Bolles and Jared Veldheer of the Denver Broncos, also deserve some credit in line with that.Still, no team can even come close to competing with what the LA Rams have. At present, left tackle Andrew Whitworth is playing like the best tackle in the NFL (93%), while right tackle Rob Havenstein ranks fourth in that category (90%). The rest of the Rams line is playing similarly well. Whitworth cost $33 million a year ago, but is a bargain because right now he’s only the 13th-best paid LT in the league, just a hair behind Brown and his new extension. Havenstein ranks third in pay for right tackles.Seattle will next eventually have to decide what to do with Ifedi, but he’s entering the fourth year of his rookie deal in 2019, then has a fifth-year option for 2020. At this point it seems inevitable that the Seahawks will pick it up, something that few thought feasible prior to this season. Or even prior to a month ago. Now instead Ifedi looks like a key building block for the offensive line, especially when it comes to protecting Russell Wilson.