Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impa

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Different country, same old story.The Arizona Cardinals followed a 33-0 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in London weeks ago with a 32-16 defeat on Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium.Here’s some quick reaction to the game from the staff of 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station and ArizonaSports.com.Of course, you can get more reaction Monday starting at 6 a.m. with Doug & Wolf and continuing with The Blitz with Bertrand Berry & Mike Jurecki and Bickley & Marotta — who will both broadcast from the Cardinals practice facility in Tempe. Then, Burns & Gambo will wrap up the day’s analysis on your drive home from 2-6 p.m. • The Rams feasted on the screen pass. Todd Gurley had 84 receiving yards, the second-highest output of his career.Oh, and the Rams are just better in every facet of the game.Craig Morgan, reporterAmong the many questions the Cardinals must answer this offseason, whether to bring back special teams coordinator Amos Jones is not one. Jones, whose contract expires after this season, has overseen some horrid specials teams play the last two seasons. Sunday’s 32-16 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at University of Phoenix Stadium was the latest exhibit.You could make the argument that the game swung for good on a pair of third-quarter punts. With the Rams leading 19-13, L.A. was forced to punt and Johnny Hekker uncorked a 70-yard boot to flip field position. When Andy Lee had a chance to do the same for Arizona, he punted 40 yards, and the Cardinals’ coverage team allowed a 30-yard return . The Rams scored a touchdown on their next possession to put the game away.Toss in a blocked PAT and a blocked field goal from Phil Dawson, consistently lousy return yardage (Patrick Peterson’s wondrous rookie season feels like a million years ago) and there is little to feel good about with this unit. Arians will insist that players make plays, not coaches, but that’s a pass-the-buck mentality. When your unit has been this consistently poor, it’s time for a change. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Dave Burns, Co-host Burns & GamboIf you considered the Cardinals’ game against the Rams as their last gasp to maintain even the slimmest of hopes in the playoff race, you’re now out of breath. I didn’t only because even if they had won the game, they would have needed so much help from those ahead of them.The 2017 season has partially turned to a judgement on Blaine Gabbert and clearly today was the least-enticing game of his Cardinals career. Two early interceptions led to two early Rams touchdowns, and the Cardinals spent the rest of the game chasing. Those hoping for more from Gabbert got much less today, and our opinion of him moving forward will suffer because of it. Simply put, he needed to be somewhere between above average and extraordinary to be considered a part of the future. He was neither today, but it sounds like he’ll get another chance next week vs. the Titans.Kudos to Kerwynn Williams for fighting through his cracked ribs. The same cannot be said for the Cardinals special teams which between a big punt return and a couple of blocked kicks failed to do their job today. And Karlos Dansby has to hold on to that interception. It completely changed the potential dynamic of the game. Top Stories Arizona Cardinals quarterback Blaine Gabbert (7) avoids the hit at Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Robert Quinn (94) pursues during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) 12 Comments   Share   John Gambadoro, Co-host of Burns & GamboCan’t put yourself in a 16-0 hole against a good team and expect to win. Arizona came out of the gates with some crucial mistakes by Blaine Gabbert that turned into 13 Rams points. First, Gabbert had an awful interception throwing across his body that gave the Rams the ball at the Arizona 23 and led to a touchdown. Then, Gabbert had a pick-six when Alec Ogletree returned a bad pass to the house.The Cardinals fought back and got within 16-13 but the poor start doomed them. While we are all hopeful that Larry Fitzgerald decides to continue his career, we can’t say that about a few other Cardinals — mainly J.J. Nelson, who continues to drop pass after pass, and special teams coach Amos Jones, whose unit had an extra point blocked, a field goal blocked and gave up over 100 return yards, including a 30-yard return on a punt of 40 yards that gave the Rams the ball at the Cardinal’s 30. That return resulted in a touchdown pass to Sammy Watkins that put the game away.Jones should not have a job. Plain and simple, the un-special teams has been a disaster and the unit needs a new voice and new leader. On a positive note, Cardinals running back Kerwynn Williams had a big game rushing and rookie tight end Ricky Seals-Jones continues to show that his hands are specia; I am certain he will have a big part of the offense next season. The bar is now set in the NFC West, and it is the Rams who everyone will be chasing. That is a good, sound football team. Vince Marotta, Co-host of Bickley & MarottaAnother Rams game, another shellacking.Sunday’s 32-16 final wasn’t nearly as bad as the beatdown the Cardinals suffered in London, but the separation between these two teams is clear. The Rams are a playoff outfit and the Cardinals are a team stuck in a large group of mediocrity.You want reasons for the loss?• Blaine Gabbert wasn’t good. He threw two picks in the first quarter, one of which was returned for a touchdown by Alec Ogletree.• Bruce Arians may have abandoned the running game too early for the second time against the Rams this year. Kerwynn Williams ran through gigantic holes in the first half, but got only four carries out of Arizona’s 18 offensive plays in the the third quarter.• The offensive line didn’t protect well, yielding six sacks — although some of that has to be pinned on Gabbert, who held the ball too long on occasion.• Special teams, again, were a disaster. The Cardinals had two kicks — an extra point and a field goal attempt — blocked. Their coverage on punts was lacking and they get virtually nothing in their own return game.• The Cardinals simply don’t have any reliable receivers outside of Larry Fitzgerald. Gabbert completed all 10 of his targets to Fitzgerald for 98 yards and a touchdown, but couldn’t find any rhythm with any other target. Somehow, J.J. Nelson was the most-targeted receiver on the Cardinals’ roster, getting eight balls thrown his way, two of which were completions. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Craig Grialou, reporterSince Week 1, the Cardinals have been trying to dig themselves out of a hole. One that they created, mind you. And they fell into a deep hole early against the Los Angeles Rams. That can’t happen, regardless of the opponent, but especially versus a team playing as well as the Rams.The pick-six, the two blocked kicks, the inability to contain Todd Gurley: The Cardinals made too many mistakes on Sunday.Special teams was most concerning. Not just the blocked kicks but the return game as well. The Rams had one and the Cardinals did not, and that’s been an issue all season. That it seems like every team — but the Cardinals — can return a kickoff or a punt is both frustrating and disappointing. Would T.J. Logan have made that much of a difference? We’ll have to wait until next season, most likely, to answer that question.The best news of the afternoon came postgame: head coach Bruce Arians announced Blaine Gabbert would remain the starting quarterback. He’ll make a fourth straight start when Tennessee visits next week as next season gets closer and closer into focus. – / 51last_img read more

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