- The Cardinals’ game plan was to throw on the Colts because of the absence of running back David Johnson and an inexperienced Colts secondary. The Bruce Arians’ coaching staff believed they could throw all over the Colts. However, the Cardinals had a hard time protecting the QB (Colts sacked Cardinals QB Carson Palmer four times) and the Colts young secondary held up well for most of the game. There were yards to be gained, but the Cardinals kept taking chances downfield.
- With 13:05 left in the second quarter, on 4th & goal from the Colts one-yard line and behind 10-0, rather than attempt a FG, the Cardinals elected to score a touchdown. Carson Palmer attempted to throw a low percentage pass to Larry Fitzgerald that fell incomplete. This play did not come back to hurt the Cardinals, but it was a questionable move on the road and down two scores.
- The Cardinals made adjustments late in the second half and were able to start moving the ball both via run and pass. These play calls allowed the Cardinals to connect on a number of explosive plays late in the game.
- The Colts had two good drives to start the game with a new starting QB. On the first drive, the Colts converted on four third down opportunities and scored a TD. On the second drive, they kicked a FG to go up 10-0. Offensive coordinator Rod Chudzinski was calling a good game. However, the magic disappeared and the Colts didn’t score again until the fourth quarter (FG). They failed to make adjustments to what the Cardinals were doing defensively to stop the Colts.
LATE GAME MADNESS
- Both Chuck Pagano and Bruce Arians showed poor clock management in the final few minutes of the game. First, the Colts elected to pass and threw incomplete which saved Arians a timeout with 2:08 left. Arians, however returned the favor by allowing precious seconds to whither away twice. One on a fumble clearly recovered by the Colts, and the other when setting up a field goal try, which was called by the Colts instead.
- After the Colts timeout, the Colts get flagged for 12 men on the fieldon a Cardinals kneel down play on 2nd & 7. It is now 2nd & 2 and the Cardinals get to kick a field goal from 42 yards as opposed to 47 yards.
- Colts head coach Chuck Pagano called a timeout with three seconds left in the game to “ice” Phil Dawson, the Cardinals kicker. Dawson missed a 42-yard field goal as time expired to send the game to overtime.