The Cardinals have lost three straight games. The offense has looked really bad in doing so, and it seems that fans have given up to the fact that the season is over.
In fact, setting aside the Thursday night debacle in St. Louis, the Cards could easily be 6-1, and it is just a handful of plays.
In the game against the Buffalo Bills, Jay Feely missed a field goal (it was tipped) at the end of regulation. He hits that kick, and they are 5-2. Even in overtime they had another winning opportunity. LaRod Stephens-Howling dropped a screen pass that, had he caught, likely would have been a touchdown, ending the game.
Then against Minnesota, there were three plays that would have made the difference. John Skelton led the Cardinals into field goal range in the first quarter -- easy range -- and fumbled the ball when he was sacked, after he held the ball for what seemed like an eternity. Minnesota recovered, three points lost. That would have made the score 21-17 at least.
Jay Feely missed a 47-yard field goal at the end of the first half. He makes that, it is 21-20.
But the kicker is the third quarter interception by Skelton. He made a terrible decision and the ball was picked off and returned for a touchdown. That is a touchdown that was not allowed by the Arizona defense. If he just trips and falls or takes a sack, that touchdown is not scored. 20-14 Cardinals get the win.
Now, long field goals are missed sometimes. If you simply change the two turnovers, the Cardinals win 17-14, and we are all talking about how gutsy a win it was and how awesome the defense is and the offense is doing just enough to win, and the team is 6-1.
The Cards are truly three plays away from 6-1. That's crazy. That is just a testament to how good the defense is.
This is why the Cardinals will turn it around. They aren't getting blown out. It is simple and small things that are making the difference, and last season the team learned how to overcome them and execute better.
Could this get out of hand in a hurry? Yes, but the defense is playing at such a high level that one or two plays here or there by the offense and this team could be considered a major contender.
No worries. This is going to get better and we are going to talk about how great a year it was.