Funny thing, my son and I watched the AZ game from last season where we played them here, and won 36-26. The game pretty much followed the script of yesterday’s game. That one was back and forth, up to and including a touchdown scamper by Kyler Murray late. However, in that game, Jimmy G threw a late TD to Jeff Wilson to win the game as time ran out.
Yesterday? Well, let’s just say Jimmy G was the one who looked like a spooked rookie, not a vet of any kind. I’m hoping against hope that this was an aberration due to the fucked up circumstances we currently live in. As in no preseason, weird practices, and the myriad injuries to our wide receivers. Disheartening to me was to see Jimmy once again very bad at feeling pressure and either throwing the ball away, or avoiding sacks.
Jimmy had a Jim Everett moment when he ducked out of pressure that wasn’t there, spun around with still no pressure, and still took the sack when he had time to throw it away. Jimmy also failed in the clutch at the end of the game when he had Kendrick Bourne open on a corner route, and he underthrew it. He also was late and behind Trent Taylor on the 4th down play to seal the loss.
The game started well enough, but we lost all momentum and our 10 point lead when our special teams failed on a punt and gave AZ a touchdown, and we failed on a 4th and inches on the goal line.
The defense did all it could to keep the game close, but the offense repeatedly failed to generate any flow or consistency. Our 3rd down conversion rate at one point was 0-9. And of course 0-1 on 4th down. AZ kept us in the game by missing 2 FGs, but in the end it didn’t matter.
And unfortunately for us, this very much resembled the Super Bowl where we lost the lead late and flailed trying to contain a young mobile quarterback. as he picked us apart all day.
Yes, there was a lot of blame to go around. Special teams failed miserably to allow the blocked punt. Gould did nail a 52 yd FG though. The defense allowed way too many 3rd down conversions to the tune of 7-14 by AZ. The refs got into the act by calling a meaningless holding call on 3rd and 12 from AZ’s own 8 yard line, a bogus PI call, and another bad holding call all led to AZ’s first TD drive.
Most of AZs pressure came up the middle so our 3rd string center Grasu’s ass was grass, and jimmy did face a lot of pressure. AZ merey got the ball out inunder 4 seconds to negate our pass rush. Thing was, AZ had regularly 5-6 blockers on any given pass play, yet DeAndre Hopkins got open nearly every look they gave him. They dinked and dunked us to the tune of 26-40 for 230 yards. 14 of those went to Mr. Open Hopkins.
AZs WRs had 21 catches for 206 yards. In contrast our WRs got 4 catches for 41 yards. Yes, we desperately miss Deebo Samuel, and Emmanuel Sanders for that matter.
But this comes back to Jimmy G in my opinion. He looked confused and lost in the pocket. He still can’t feel the pressure to avoid sacks and either throw the ball away or buy time. I hope Kittle is OK as Jimmy G hung him out to dry on a fucking 10 yard swing pass, and he nearly had his knee taken out. He also missed on plenty of short passes.
Anyhow, maybe AZ is now the top team in the NFL, and we are in catch-up mode already. Sure, it’s only one game, and these guys always play us tough, but this was a pretty thorough beat-down that didn’t look pretty on any side of the ball.