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A look at the Cardinals and the rest of he NFL on "the morning after"
Well, the Arizona Cardinals are no longer losers for the week. They snapped their nine-game losing streak with a 38-10 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday. They did it with almost no need for an offense, too. Here is what was good and not so good from their win, plus some notes on what happened around the rest of the league.
The team hasn't rolled over on their season
It looked like it a week ago on a 58-0 loss, but this week against the Lions, the team was not okay with just losing. They weren't done. They fell behind 7-0 and fought back. Then when they had a lead, they actually poured it on a bit. That was good to see.
The defense returned to form
The Cardinals picked off three passes, scoring two touchdowns. The defensive line was dominant, especially Calais Campbell. Campbell had eight tackles and a sack, and four of those tackles were for losses. He batted down a pass and was a disruptive force. The defensive secondary played well and while Calvin Johnson had 10 catches for 121 yards, he really had no impact on the game and he hadone big play that came on a missed tackle.
Special teams played well
The special teams unit bounced back and had a heck of a game. Jay Feely hit a 51-yard field goal. Dave Zastudil had a team record six punts downed inside the 20. They recovered a fumble. Patrick Peterson looked good again in the return game.
Adrian Wilson's milestone
With his sack late in the game, he became only the sixth player in NFL history to have both 25 sacks and 25 interceptions in a career. He cried after the game, telling how special it is. He has been through a lot this year between the losing and demotion. Everyone was giving him love for it.
Patrick Peterson picked off another pass
Peterson now has seven on the season. He has picked off passes in four straight games. He played very good coverage overall on Calvin Johnson. He is quickly making a case for the Pro Bowl -- only this time was a cornerback and not a return specialist.
Believe it or not, in a 38-10 win there are still bad things.
The offense was still terrible
Now, the offense did capitalize on their scoring opportunities, their first scoring drive was one play for three yards. Then it was two plays for five yards. Then the other was eight plays for 30 yards. Their scoring drives (discounting the garbage time TD by Beanie Wells) totaled 38 yards. They were 2/12 on third down and only had 196 yards total. That isn't going to cut it really.
Linebacker Quentin Groves came out of the game with a foot injury and was wearing a boot after the game. The team already has O'Brien Schofield on injured reserve. Losing Groves would be a blow to the pass rush.
Still not much for Fitz
He led the team in receptions, but Larry Fitzgerald had a total for four for 22 yards. That isn't taking advantage of him. Calvin Johnson was targeted 17 times. Fitz was targeted five.
The team's draft status was hurt
The players don't care and the coaches don't care, but a loss would have put them in the first five picks in the draft. Now they are not even in the top 10. Clearly, football is about winning, but as badly as things have gone, a top pick could be used to make a difference.
Around the NFL
- What a wild game in New England. San Fran builds a big lead, only to lose it and then win it. As much as we hate to say it, playinig Colin Kaepernick looks more and more like the right thing to do.
- Wait. The Redskins have TWO rookie quarterbacks that can win games? Crazy
- Who exactly are the New York Giants? They show up for big games, but got shut out in Atlanta.
- Adrian Peterson? He is a thrill to watch. It could be that we have the single season rushing and receiving record broken in the same season.