Cardinals Week 4 Pregame Thoughts

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I don’t know what is going to happne today, but the season feels brand new for the Arizona Cardinals. Josh Rosen is starting and the sky is the limit for the kid. Lets see what happens and I will check back in at halftime.

No Time To Panic For the Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals looked like trash last Sunday. Every message board and facebook group I am in are calling for Josh Rosen and an overhaul of the roster. Everyone knows that I am an eternal optimist, especially when it comes to my Cardinals, but is no time to panic.

Let Him Sit

Watching Patrick Mahomes this week gives me hope of what resting a rookie quarterback can do for their development. Mahomes looked poised in the pocket and looked like he will be excellent for a long time. Aaron Rodgers history of sitting behind Bret Farve is well documented. In many interviews, Rodgers talks about what he learned from Farve and much of it was about avoiding many of Farve’s bad tendencies, like turning the ball over. I expect that Rosen will have lots to learn from Bradford, good and bad.

The Roster Is Fine

The roster has talent. It has four guys that have all-pro ability and handful of other pro-bowl long shots. Regardless of the top end talent, some issues must be fixed on both sides of the ball.

Last season I criticized a player and they blocked me on Twitter, so I risk that again. Deone Bucannon played one of the worst football games I have ever seen. He was beaten to the spot by a tackle an a swing pass and was taken for a ride for ten yards. He was burned twice in coverage by either being out of position or flat out getting shook on an option route. The switch to a 4-3 exaggerates those mistakes.

Some Perspective

In the 2017 season the Saints, Titans, and Patriots lost their opening game and still made the playoffs. Now, nobody is comparing the 2018 Cardinals to the Drew Brees led Saints or the Patriots, but 25% of teams that lose week one make the playoffs. I do not expect the Cardinals to win in week two on the road against the Rams, but still, 12% of teams that start 0-2 make the playoffs.

This Arizona team is brand new and has never faced adversity together. Nobody has any idea how they respond to the likely scenario of going 0-2 to start the season. I still think that this roster is better than the 8-8 team that took the field for the Cardinals in 2017 and I am still sticking to that evaluation.

This might come back to bite me later, but that is the whole point of putting my thoughts on paper.

So as Aaron Rodgers would say R-E-L-A-X.

Cardinals Game Day Podcasts: Week One

Here is the latest from the podcast. You can always subscribe to listen in almost every place that you can listen to podcasts. If you ever want to be a guest on the pod, reach out and we can set it up. I love talking to all sports fanatics.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-long-ball/id1348288439?mt=2#episodeGuid=059d26b2-36b6-cb69-0eb6-aeb0e8d44963

 

Cardinals Preseason Overreaction

Three games into the Arizona Cardinals preseason and we have learned a lot about the team. The Cardinal’s have not lost a game under new head coach Steve Wilks. In those three games, Arizona has forced 16 turnovers with eight of them coming last week against the Dallas Cowboys. After watching a few meaningless games, only one thing is sure. The Arizona Cardinals are going to win the Super Bowl.

The Cardinals Are Better This Year

Every single expert has Arizona at the bottom of the division, if not the entire league. Madden has given the team the same overall rating as the Cleveland Browns. That is correct; Madden thinks that a team that went 8-8 without David Johnson is somehow on the same level as the 0-16 Browns.

Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton lead our team to eight wins and were a botched field goal or two away from a ten win season. The signing of Justin Pugh has gone unnoticed, but he is a considerable upgrade over Evan Boehm. Boehm was playing out of position at guard in only his second year in the league. The left side of the line is back and healthy going into this year and through the first three games rookie Mason Cole has only allowed one pressure.

How experts think that the team is going to be worse than 8-8 after adding Bradford and Rosen at QB is confusing.

Parity Is Real

Watching the rest of the NFL this preseason has only shown me that the league is up for grabs. The Patriots are going to be good, but the difference between them and the bottom of the league is not that much. With the Cardinals defense’s ability to keep them in games, they will have a chance to win every week. They have some challenging games on the road this season, but as the saying goes, defense travels.

If they can go 6-2 at home and 4-4 on the road, they will find their way to the playoffs. We all know that if they can get in the playoffs, anything can happen. The perfect mix of veterans and young guns will help Arizona in the close games that they will find themselves in. Larry Fitzgerald looks like he is still is ridiculously good self and Patrick Peterson and Chandler Jones are in positions to dominate this year.

What It All Means

The Cardinals have four guys on their offensive line that have injury problems. The health troubles of our QB has been well documented throughout his entire career.

If we can keep our core starters healthy, the Cardinals have a real shot this year. Coach Mike McCoy can protect Bradford by getting the ball out early. Our defense can cause turnovers at an incredible rate. We have two of the best players in the league on both sides of the ball. I will repeat it. The Cardinals will win the Super Bowl.

Suns Draft Reaction

Phoenix Suns #1 Pick Overall

My immediate take as soon as the first pick of the NBA draft happened was, thank goodness the Suns didn’t mess it up. The Suns added a very exciting young big that is an elite rebounder and solid scorer from the post. Deandre Ayton has excellent touch on his jump shot from mid-range and shoots 75% from the free throw line.

Playing in Sean Miller’s defense, you would expect the seven-footer to be better than the fourth-ranked within the Pac-12 in blocked shots. He attributed the lack of blocks to not playing much on the ball defense in the system. I see him being able to use his freakish athleticism to defend at a high level in the NBA despite what Joel Embiid tweets.

I am very excited to see the two-man game that Booker and Ayton can create for Phoenix. Will they be Stockton and Malone or Kobe and Shaq, I doubt it. But, I do think that they will create unique matchups to take advantage of most teams.

Phoenix Suns #16 Pick

The Suns’ second pick had a little drama to it. As the picks kept coming in and Micheal Porter Jr. was still on the board at 12, Suns draft twitter started getting excited. There was real buzz that the 6′ 10″ phenom would still be on the board for Phoenix. By the time the Nuggets were on the clock fans were foaming at the mouth for the big man as Denver ruined their hopes and took Porter two picks ahead of the Suns.

When the 16th pick arrived fans were convinced that the pick was Donte DiVincenzo, but a trade offer came in. John Gambadoro detailed this perfectly on Twitter.

Bridges, whose mother works for the Sixers was giving an interview about how great it is to stay in Philly before he found out about the trade. It had to be a tough moment for Bridges, but an early reminder that this is a business. I like Bridges a lot. He is a knockdown shooter from the catch and shoot or off the dribble. Bridges is also a good defender and finishes at the rim very well. He can be a starter next year if the Suns decide to play Booker, Jackson, and Bridges together.

Suns Pick #31 (Second Round)

Finally, with the 31st pick, the Suns took the French guard Elie Okobo. The guard once dropped 44 in a first-round playoff game and averaged nearly three steals a game. I don’t know enough about him to say if he is the answer to the point guard issue in Phoenix, but at 31 he was worth the risk.

As a struggling Suns fan, I would say that I am skeptically optimistic, but there is hope. That is something that I haven’t had in a while when it comes to the hometown team. Let me know what you think about the picks in the comments or on twitter @lennyletcher.

The World Cup and The NBA Draft

The World cup is in full swing and Cristiano Ronaldo has given Portugal a 1-0 lead over Morocco with a header in the fourth minute. This year has not been the same as years past with the US not fielding a team. But, the few games that I have been able to watch have been fantastic and full of excitement. So find a TV this weekend and watch the games as we start to see who is going to come out of each group.
The NBA draft is on tomorrow and my Phoenix Suns are expected to do the right thing and take Ayton. If for some reason they lose their minds and take Doncic I will stop watching them for the rest of my life. If the Suns went outside of expectation and drafted Marvin Bagley III, I would actually be ok with that. He is a talented big that could develop into a monster in the NBA.
All of this is happening while Kawhi Leonard and coach Popovich meet to discuss the future of the defensive juggernaut. Most people expect that he ends up in LA with Lebron and a few other all-stars. I am not sure how I would feel about another superteam forming in the west and particularly in the same division as the Suns, but we will find out how the chips fall soon.
 
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For more follow me on twitter @lennyletcher. This segment is sponsored by Host Boogie. Now you know where to start if you have an idea for a website, company or a blog come party with us at HostBoogie.com. 

Start Playing HQ Today

It is 6:01 PM Pacific Time and I am about to play one of the coolest games available on the computer you carry in your pocket. At least twice a day every day, there is a live mobile event that lets you answer 12 multiple choice questions for a chance to win cash.

You and anywhere from 500,000 to 2 million of your closest friends will be a watching a live stream that takes your bar trivia up a notch with a share of at least $5,000 dollars up for grabs. The questions start out easy and get harder as you go, but don’t worry since each question is accompanied by three multiple choice answers so you will at least have a chance for a guess. It’s suitable for kids and is a blast to play as a family. My family has worked out a system to maximize our chances of winning and have gotten to question 10 and 11 in our most recent attempts.

Update: Gosh dang it. Burning man is in the Black Rock Desert and not the Mohave. I am out at question five this time. 

Later on tonight, there will be a HQ Sports version of the game played from the same app, but you have to follow them on Twitter to find out when those games are being played. The prize pools for the sports games are lower with the winners getting a share of $1,000.

But that is not all. On Sunday nights they have special games with a prize pool of $25,000 and they often have sponsored quizzes with prizes as big as $400,000! So download the app, gather some friends or family and get ready to quiz for cash.

If you refer a friend you get a free life that you can use once a game on any question other than Q12. So, if for some reason you have no friends you can use LennyLetcher as a referral code and hook me up. Have fun guys.