Before the Cardinals' plane was even able to touch down in New England, many, including some of their fans, had already ruled out the possibility of them defeating the Patriots. Vegas had set the lines at 14 points, especially with the absence of John Skelton from the Cardinals lineup.
Still, Arizona didn't pay any attention to the doubters. They went to Foxboro, beat Tom Brady and the Patriots and, honestly, they didn't think much of it. Darnell Dockett, one of the leaders for the Cardinals defense, was on XTRA 910 with Bickley and MJ to discuss the win and how, despite what people think, this was no surprise for the Cards to win that game.
I'll be honest. I was one of the many people that believed the Cardinals were going to lose that game. The Patriots were10-0 in season openers under the direction of Brady and given how close Arizona came to losing to the Seahawks, it seemed like a longshot that they would be able to beat a very good team on the road.
But the Cardinals did the unthinkable. Giving most of the credit to the defense, the Cards managed to get pressure on Tom Brady without having to blitz, allowing them to drop many of their players into coverage. That was the plan all along and Dockett says that it can be attributed to "hard work".
"Our defensive line coaches are hard on us. ... Just not quitting and everything you're doing, going full speed. They prepare us very well during the week. Sometimes we think they're going to kill us, but we get a good reward on Sunday," Dockett said (via Sports Radio Interviews).
The defense isn't the only unit that deserves credit, though. Arizona was able to put up some good offensive drives under the direction of backup quarterback, Kevin Kolb. Although he did nothing spectacular, he managed the game well, threw no interceptions and outscored Brady. Dockett is pretty proud of him for that and seems to think they are finally seeing the real Kevin Kolb.
"He's showing all the things that our organization saw in him when they made the trade to get him. He's playing with a chip on his shoulder and I love it. There's nothing better than seeing a guy that's passing adversity. ... I honestly believe he's not doing it for a lot of people, he's doing it for the people that's in the locker room and the organization. I've talked to him a few times and he just says, ‘I'm going to give it everything I've got.' And that's all you can expect from a guy."
Kolb moving the ball and the defense pressuring Brady were two of my biggest keys to the game. Arizona managed to accomplish those tasks and that is why they won. For Darnell Dockett, that is no surprise. Let's see if they can keep it up against the Eagles this Sunday.