I have never in my life seen an NFL quarterback play as poorly as Jake Delhomme did on Saturday night vs. the Cardinals. Bottom line.
I saw Eli throw several picks last season in a game verse the Vikings, and I remember Farve passing the ball five times to Rams in his 2001 NFC Championship game, but even those games couldn’t touch the sort of performance that Delhomme had on Saturday night.
Why was this performance the worst I’ve ever seen? Because single handily, Delhomme deflated the spirits of his team. It’s one thing to play a terrible game, but it’s another thing when your quarterback kills momentum, every time you gain a small amount of it. His passing in the red zone was specifically terrifying to watch. Anytime his team pushed the ball into Cardinals territory, sure enough Delhomme would find a way to throw a pass that had Panthers fans muttering themselves to bed all Saturday night. It was amazing to think this was the same quarterback who just four or so years ago, played as valiant of a game as I remember a losing quarterback play in the Super Bowl verse the Patriots.
In addition to Delhomme’s poor performance, the Panthers on Saturday night never came remotely close to establishing any one of the necessary bullet points they must have seen all week during preparation for this game. They weren’t prepared for Larry Fitzgerald at all, they weren’t prepared for the dose of running they saw, they never found a way to get the ball to Steve Smith, nor did they do the same for their other playmaker, running back, DeAngelo Williams.
And here I’m along with 95% of the so called ‘experts’ of football, thinking their was no way the Cardinals could pull off that sort of win. A team who never even came close to beating a team on the east coast all season long, against a team who hadn’t lost at home all season long. How could it happen? Well, when the opposing quarterback turns the ball over six times- it doesn’t take much more else than to convert a few scores with great field position. Add the amazing ability of Larry Fitzgerald at wide receiver, and it’s a lock.
So now the Cardinals, a team who was being spoken about as one of the worst teams to ever host a playoffs, two weeks ago- will now be hosting a NFC Championship game. And make no doubt about it, the Eagles are much happier playing the Cardinals than the Panthers. Eagles’ quarterback Donovan McNabb will not be throwing 5 interceptions this coming weekend, and the Cardinals will need to play their best football if they want to be in Tampa on February 1st.
None the less, the Cardinals are one win away from the Super Bowl.
Sports is an amazing thing, ain’t it?