Bob Kemp’s Bottom Line
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2018
A CARDINALS SIX PACK
*THE CARDINALS COMMITTED THE FOLLOWING GAFFES OVER THE FIRST 18 MINUTES DURING SUNDAY’S EMBARRASSING LOSS AT ATLANTA – on offense, two men in motion and unable to prevent Josh Rosen from getting knocked down on a screen pass … and on defense, a blown time out and two other times not lined up prior to Atlanta snapping the ball. These examples are more evidence that they weren’t mentally ready.
*CHANDLER JONES HAS BEEN MIA THE LAST TWO GAMES: In the 17-3 loss two Sundays ago, he had one tackle that coming on the first play of the play. At Atlanta, Jones had one solo tackle and one assist.
*MARKUS GOLDEN IS NOT THE SAME PLAYER: This is not breaking news. Golden, in his free agent season, has 1½ sacks and has not displayed any explosiveness coming back from last season’s torn ACL.
*CHAD WILLIAMS BEGAN THE SEASON AS THE #2 WIDE RECEIVER: He has missed the last six weeks because of injury. Prior to that, Williams had 11 catches on 31 targets for 113 yards with 22 yards the longest reception = yet another wasted Steve Keim draft pick.
*THROUGHOUT TRAINING CAMP AND THE PRE-SEASON, WE DECLARED THAT THERE WAS NO PLACE IN THIS OFFENSE FOR DEEP THREAT J.J. NELSON: Nelson, FOR THE SEASON, has seven catches on 19 targets for 64 yards with his season-long catch 17 yards.
*ROOKIE TACKLE KOREY CUNNINGHAM HAS DECLINED RAPIDLY: Cunningham showed some promise in brief time at right tackle, but he has been totally outmatched the last three weeks at left tackle.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2018
FALCONS 40, CARDINALS 14
PREGAME: David Johnson, Budda Baker and Deone Bucannon are active ... Chad Williams is inactive once again.
FIRST QUARTER: Cardinals won toss and deferred ... Peterson PBU first play on Jones > Bucannon starting > Falcons no huddle > Golden, likely in final month with the organization, sack >Amerson possible concussion = Brandon Williams corner opposite Peterson > Williams third down PBU first play in game > Ford hold on punt return nullifies 16-yard punt return by Peterson (12:24) ... Johnson 40 yards on wheel route to 12-yard line > Rosen injured foot but stays in game > 3+10, 12 = false start Sherfield + 3+15, 12 > Johnson underneath in middle plenty of room and +16 to 2 >Johnson touchdown (first in four games) - Johnson 61 of 64 yards on drive = AZ 7-0, 8:25 ... Cardinals defense forces 3+out concluding with Reddick sacking Ryan (7:42) ... Amerson being evaluated for concussion - Williams playing CB first time this season (special teams only previously this season) - also Reddick, Turner and Bucannon linebackers ... Cardinals seemingly in control - Rosen sidearm throw deflected and turns into pick six, yet another example of Rosen's awful not showing any improvement under Leftwich and this coaching staff = 7-7, 6:11 ... Seals-Jones drop on perfectly thrown pass from Rosen > Rosen to Edmonds first down >On first+10 play, Logan thrown for loss on jet sweep (Leftwich trying to get too cute) > Rosen had no chance on third down and sacked (2:00) ... Coleman 65-yard run on first play to Cardinals seven (Boston hustle to save touchdown - others didn't seem interested to make tackle) > Gunter saves TD on inside pitch > 3+goal from 3 - incomplete pass with Reddick PBU at goal line = ATL 10-7, 0:40 ... Edmonds +13 > Leftwich needs to forget cute plays and run the ball against Falcons defense who appear to have little interest in tackling.
SECOND QUARTER: Rosen stripped after Cunningham whipped at left tackle = Atlanta ball at AZ 34 = Cunningham has been bad last three weeks at left tackle ... 1st play +22 to Julio against Cardinals zone, yet another example of Peterson not on Jones and Cardinals again burned by #1 receiver when Peterson not shadowing > Cardinals confused on defense results time out before 3+7 play at AZ 9 > Ryan to Smith +8 with Reddick easily lost in coverage > 1+1, 1 - Cardinals didn't get lined up in goal line alignment and Ryan easy quarterback sneak = ATL 17-7, 12:32 ... The Cardinals, over the first 18:00, have no clue on many plays, both sides of the ball, yet another awful example of horrendous coaching - they obviously lack talent, but there is no excuse for bad play-calling and not getting lined up correctly on both sides of the ball (two man in motion on offense, forced to call time out and not iined up on Atlanta td drive on defense) ... Cardinals awful three+out - second down sack (10:46) ... Lee 61 yard punt - he has had a tremendous season (10:30) ... this is starting to resemble the quit job against the Chargers > Reddick is clueless in coverage and Falcons are wisely exploiting him > Cardinals awful tacking, another sign of effort lacking > drive ends in end zone with Ryan way off on easy pitch and catch with Bucannon beat in coverage = ATL 20-7, 5:21 ... Can't even execute a screen pass without Rosen getting hit - Understandably, Rosen bailing out and getting rid of ball before he has to - Johnson dominated during touchdown drive, but Leftwich gone to have seldom since (3:50) ... Boston gets away with PI against Jones to end drive (2:33) ... Cardinals last stand, 2:33 and begin drive at AZ 39 > Cunningham another hold (ideas that he might be a future starter, at least at LT, were extremely premature) > Rosen roughed to continue drive > Rosen awful throw into zone is picked at midfield at ATL 28 (1:40) ... Falcons continue attacking Reddick in pass coverage - he has zero chance > Ryan misses td to Ridley who easily beat Williams < next play Ryan to Julio who beat Peterson > also, Jones roughed Ryan on play (Jones second straight game without an impact) > Falcons had not scored +20 during five-game winning streak = ATL 26-7, 0:13 ... Cardinals on their way to fourth loss of 30+ points this season, more evidence for Keim and Wilks to be fired ... Should Cardinals bench Rosen (7-14, 96 yards, 0/2, 1 lost fumble) for second half - how can this be helping his development ... 252-118 yards (64 yards on td drive).
THIRD QUARTER: 2nd play into half - two Cardinals false start > Rosen sidearm throw again deflected > one first down and punt (13:08) ... good to see Sara Walsh back on television after she was screwed over by ESPN ... what's sad about this game is the Falcons are playing well and they have three score lead (10:59) ... Peterson illegally hit on punt return which is exactly why he shouldn't be returning punts ... Cardinals looks like an amateur offense - Fitz+Johnson only two who of starting NFL quality (8:34) ... How about running time or so kind of mercy rule .. Brandon Williams zero interest in making tackle ... Coleman 43-yard td run with little resistance > we wrote earlier that this was starting to look like quit job against Chargers - defense looks like it doesn't care = ATL 33-7, 5:39 ... 33 straight points for the Falcons after Cardinals up 7-0 - led 10-0 versus Chargers, then allowed 45 straigh ... Inexplicably why Rosen is still in this game.
FOURTH QUARTER: I am done with the Cardinals for today - going to focus on the PROFESSIONAL football being played!
THE BOTTOM LINE:
LAS VEGAS SUPER BOOK: Falcons 9½ Cardinals (44½)
PREDICTION: Falcons 20, Cardinals 16
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2018
FRESNO STATE 31, ASU 20
PREGAME: ASU, in addition to N'Keal Harry, will be without leading tackler Merlin Robertson who went home because of a family emergency ... Also, left tackle Zach Robertson was injured in practice this week and will not play.
FIRST QUARTER: ASU won the toss and deferred ... Fresno moves to ASU 41 before punting - McMaryion missed open receiver for td two plays before punt (11:40) ... ASU three and out with just one yard (9:45) ... Fresno moves again but Forman PD at line on third down forced field goal = FRES 3-0, 7:02 ... Harry paid own way to game and is on ASU sideline ... Wilkins baited by corner and easy pick six covering 71 yards - something you don't expect for three-year starting quarterback = FRES 10-0, 4:58 ... ASU responds well with nine-play drive with nice mix of Benjamin runs - lots of to plays to outside, smart against stout Fresno defense which is physically stronger than ASU defense inside hashmarks - inside pitch to the still underutilized Kyle Williams for td = FRES 10-7, 1:25 ... Kobe Williams suffered apparent head injury on kickoff - he has been ASU's best corner this season ... ASU another injury - Tyler Johnson, who was terrific second half of season, walks off ... ASU forces three+out - usually accurate McMaryion clearly off ... Aiyuk excellent kickoff and punt returns this far (0:31) ... Wilkins to Darby long completion called by because of hold by Bailey.
SECOND QUARTER: ASU now large holes up middle after stretching out Fresno defense on last drive - easy td after overcoming hold on first play of drive, Benjamin 17 yard run for td - Benjamin broke Woody Green's ASU single-season rushing record during that drive= ASU 14-10, 12:43 - two impressive TD drives after Manny's pick six ... Fresno, with McMaryion off target first quarter, goes back to run game which exploited ASU's second half of the season poor tackling = FRES 17-14, 8:12 ... Manny picked in end zone but he knew if was free play - smart play by three-year starting quarterback > ASU 6 of 7 on third down - Fresno stout rush defense being abused by Benjamin > freshman Carter getting time, spelling Benjamin - Carter should much be much than Floyd as Benjamin's backup > 4+1 @ 9, Wilkins sneak fd > 16th play of drive, 3+goal, 5 - Wilkins keep to 2 > 17th play, 4+2, 2 - very confusing series of time outs and Herm calls time out to kick field goal - what happened to "you play to win the game" = 17-17, 0:54
THIRD QUARTER: ASU has gone from awful kickoff return team early in season to opponents not kicking short to avoid Aiyuk returns ... ASU 3+out after scoring on final three possessions of first half (13:47) ... ASU allows 40 yard punt return after Fresno muff = Fresno ball at ASU 38-yard line to begin drive > McMaryion misses on another easy td - he is way off accuracy wise compared to regular season > Fresno touchdown on 30-yard screen pass correctly overturned when runner lost ball just before goal line which means touchback and ASU ball (11:56) ... Kobe Williams (concussion) still out while Tyler Johnson has returned to begin second half ... ASU two consecutive three+outs - Eno just two touches is questionable play-calling (10:31) ... C rosswell pick when receiver totally stopped on route - Fresno passing game a mess (9;53) ... ASU 3+3 becomes 3+8 after false start on LT Rising who then gets pulled for veteran the more experienced Miller before 3+8, 38 and Benjamin gets eight for first down > 3+5. Benjamin loses two = Ruiz 44 yard field goal = ASU 20-17. 5:29 ... McMaryion total meltdown - has been bad entire game - Fresno third turnover in eight plays (Lucas interception) starting with overturned TD at 17-17 (4:17) ... ASU OL Tucker leaves with leg injury (3:13) > 4+1, 50 - ASU punts (2:21) ... ASU allows 68-yard td run up gut = FRES 24-20, 1:00 ... ASU three+out with Benjamin not on field on second and third down plays - terrible quarter of play-calling by Likens ... Herbstreit not a fan of Wilkins ability, or lack there of, to see field.
FOURTH QUARTER: First play, Sleep Dalton punt downed at Fresno two-yard line - defense needs to make a play > Fresno two first downs before dropped pass on third down that would have been big play for Fresno = ASU gets ball back (10:57) ... ASU 3+14 - might have been first down but Hodges turf monster tackle = third 3+out for fifth time in six drives this half (one first down) followed by Sleep Dalton punt shank to just Fresno 45 (8:39) ... ASU missing Robertson in middle of field - McMaryion +23 quarterback draw and 3+3 to ASU 25 > ASU manhandled several plays on this drive = FRES 31-20, 5:19 ... Wilkins picked on third and 10 and got hit low by blitzing corner as threw - players from both teams taking a knee while Manny is down - he got up and limped off (3:31) ... Fresno easily runs out the clock against an ASU defense that had no interest in making a tackle at this point.
THE BOTTOM LINE: The Sun Devils up and down season ends at 7-6 with yet another loss filled with questionable coaching decisions, starting with Herm Edwards settling for a field goal on 4th and goal from the two with less than one minute remaining in the first half (there is ZERO reason not to go for it in a bowl game). Then, in the second half, offensive coordinator Rob Likens seldom used Eno Benjamin, who was the best player on the field during the first half ... By the way, the Pac 12 bashing is underway. ABC/ESPN multiple times during the broadcast mentioned the Pac 12 winning just one of nine bowl games a year ago and is now 0-1 this season ... Fresno State (12-2) established a school record for most wins.
LAS VEGAS SUPER BOOK: Fresno State 5 1/2 ASU (54)
PREDICTION: Fresno State 27, ASU 20
FROM THE SCOREBOARD
*SUNS 107, WOLVES 99: Devon Booker, back after missing six games with a hamstring injury, delivered an impressive 28 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as the Suns dominated after trailing by two points at intermission ... STATISTICALLY SPEAKING ... The Suns outscored the Wolves 22-17 in the fourth quarter ... THE BOTTOM LINE - The Suns needed 30 games before posting their first two-game winning streak ... LAS VEGAS SUPER BOOK – Wolves 8½ Suns (214) … PREDICTION – Wolves 110, Suns 100
*ASU 76, GEORGIA 74: After an awful defensive first half, the Sun Devils rallied with Lou Dort driving for the game-winning shot with 10 seconds remaining after Bobby Hurley designed a play for his stud freshman who at that point, was one of nine from the field ... STATISTICALLY SPEAKING - Remy Martin finished with 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists ... THE BOTTOM LINE - ASU (8-1) outscored Georgia (6-4) 43-27 in the second half ... LAS VEGAS SUPER BOOK – ASU 3 Georgia (150) … PREDICTION – ASU 72, Georgia 65 ... ONE FINAL THING - Georgia is a multi-million dollar athletic department, but their basketball uniforms resemble something that a city league basketball team buys (the cheapest shirt with some dumb insignia) at the local mall
*BAYLOR 58, ARIZONA 49: The UA's 52-game non-conference winning streak going back to 2011 ended because of a combination of pathetic rebuilding and awful offense ... STATISTICALLY SPEAKING - The UA was minus 32 in rebounding (51-19), including 19-5 on the offensive glass. At the offensive end, the UA shot 36 percent from the field, 33 percent from behind the arc and attempted just six free throws, making two (33 percent) ... THE BOTTOM LINE - The UA's embarrassing performance concluded one of the worst days in Pac 12 Conference history (basketball and football combined) ... LAS VEGAS SUPER BOOK – UA 6 1/2 Baylor (142 1/2) … PREDICTION – UA 78, Baylor 68
*AROUND COLLEGE HOOPS: In addition to the UA loss, it was another embarrassing Saturday for the Pac 12 topped by UCLA blowing a double-digit lead and losing 74-72 at home to Belmont, Among the other losses, Washington fell 73-61 to Virginia Tech, USC never really had a chance in an 81-70 loss to Oklahoma ... and Utah was run off the floor 88-61 at Kentucky ... On the injury front, Oregon freshman Bol Bol is out indefinitely because of a foot injury.
*AROUND THE NFL: The 10-4 Texans won again, but it remains difficult to take them seriously after they needed 10 points over the final 2:15 to win 29-22 on the road against the 4-10 Jets ... The Browns 6-8-1 have won four of five and are still alive in the playoff race after a 17-16 win over the 6-8 Broncos are history and head coach Vance Joseph will soon be history after more horrendous game decisions resulted in another close loss.
*AROUND COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Topping the news, Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts graduated on Saturday meaning he officially qualifies as a graduate transfer and can transfer to any school before next season ... On the field, Georgia Southern 23-21 last-second field goal win over Eastern Michigan dropped the Mid American Conference to 1-11 last two seasons and 6-23 over the past six seasons in bowl games.
IN PREDICTION WEDNESDAY SPORTS ZONE
(THIS PLAN IS TENTATIVE AND SOMEWHAT SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
*AT THE TOP OF THE SHOW, THE INTRODUCTION OF THE PIPELINE
*AT 10:15, THE LOCAL ROUNDUP: Steve Wilks Meets the Press and Suns, ASU football and UA football and basketball updates
*AT 10:30, MORE LOCAL ROUNDUP: including playoff expansion talk and Alabama-Oklahoma and Clemson-Notre Dame predictions with Kevin McGuire of College Football Talk
*AND IN THE FINAL SEGMENT OF HOUR NUMBER ONE - THE NATIONAL ROUNDUP
*AT THE TOP OF THE 11:00 HOUR, UPDATED RESULTS OF THE POLL QUESTIONS AND A REPEAT OF TODAY'S PIPELINE
*AT 11:15, OUR WEEKLY PAC 12 NETWORKS UPDATE:
*AT 11:30, INTERACTIVE TIME, PART ONE
*AT 11:45, THE LATEST LINE, SOME TELEVISION VIEWING SUGGESTIONS AND SOME INJURY UPDATES
*AT THE TOP OF THE NOON HOUR, ITS LAST CALL AND THE BOTTOM LINE
*AT 12:15, THE FINAL INTERACTIVE ROUND WITH PHONE CALLS AND TWEETS
*AT 12:30, ALABAMA-OKLAHOMA AND CLEMSON-NOTRE DAME PREVIEWS
*AT 12:45. THANK YOU TIME AND TODAY IN ROCK HISTORY
TWO SEGMENTS WITH INTERACTIVE ACTION – PHONE CALLS (602-260-10-60) AND/OR TWEETS (@SPORTS ZONE 1060 OR TWITTER.COM/SPORTS ZONE 1060) AT 11:30 AND 12:15