The Arizona Cardinals had no business being in the game and down just three points after the first half and while they improved in the second, when it mattered most the Washington Redskins made the plays and the Cards didn't. The big story for this game will be the continued atrocious defense and then the failure to move the ball at key points in crunch time.
Arizona went into the fourth quarter up 14-10 and after another good red zone stand that held Washington to a field goal, clung to a one-point lead. At that point the Cardinals offense which had found some rhythm in the second half delivered a big strike to extend the lead.
The Redskins put together a drive that went 73 yards in 13 plays and ended in a touchdown in what would prove to be the most crucial play of the game. With a fourth and three at the 18-yard line, the Redskins not only went for it, they went big. Rex Grossman completed an 18-yard touchdown pass to Santan Moss against what seemed to be a blown assignment from safety Adrian Wilson. The Redskins went for two but couldn't convert.
That put the game at 21-19 Cards with 5:17 to go.
A decent drive at this point and the Cardinals win the game. Instead, they went three and out using just 57 seconds before having to punt the ball away. Levi Brown committed a false start infraction and Kolb went 0-2 and Wells ran for just two yards. There's plenty of blame to go around.
From there, the Cardinals defense that gave up 458 yards for the game once again couldn't hold. Washington moved the ball 48 yards to put them in range of a 34-yard field goal by Graham Gano.
Arizona had one last chance with 1:39 on the clock but Chansi Stuckey fumbled the ball after a 12-yard reception.
Aside from the defense that was far too willing to give up yards, the Cardinals didn't help themselves with two turnovers and 10 penalties for 97 yards. Kolb was sacked three times for 20 yards in the wrong direction while the defense only got to Grossman once and didn't get enough pressure to make the blitz schemes effective.
On the positive side, the Redskins were just 2-7 in the red zone and the Cardinals got two interceptions and a blocked field goal. In the second half they ran the ball well at times with Beanie Wells finishing with 93 yards on 14 carries after having just six yards in the first half. Tim Hightower rushed for 96 yards on 20 attempts but rookie Roy Helu added another 74 yards.
Kevin Kolb looked good at times and finished with 251 yards (17-30) but he also forced a ball into coverage for a red zone interception and couldn't move the ball at the key moments in the game. Grossman went 25-43 for 291 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
For more on the game, visit Revenge of the Birds.