The last time most of anyone on the Arizona Cardinals squad woke up with a smile on their face was on Oct. 1 following a 24-21 overtime to win to push their record to a surprising 4-0.
Since then, it has been a Monday morning loss after Monday morning loss as the Cardinals lost nine straight before finally righting the ship with a 38-10 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said this Monday morning was much better than the previous nine he has woken up to.
"I hate losing and it was a tough stretch. To get a win, it was something that makes it a lot better Monday."
The Cardinals also handed rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley his first win in three tries. Lindley was only 14-for-21 for 104 yards and no touchdowns, but the defense hounded Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford into submission. This was the same defense that was previously blown out by the Seattle Seahawks, something Whisenhunt said was a fluke.
"I think it speaks volumes about the team going forward, that you have young guys and veteran guys that, in the midst of something that was pretty tough, stick together the way they did and play the way they did yesterday," Whisenhunt said. "Guys really wanted to be out there and play together."
Lindley is the third quarterback to see a start for the Cardinals as the team tried to figure out a way to jump-start its struggling offense. The defense has held up to their end of the bargain, and it appears that Whisenhunt will lean on Lindley to finish out the year.
"I feel a lot better," Lindley said. "The game is slowing down. The biggest thing is just knowing how to get the game all the way through and how to ride it out. I think I learned a lot going through New York and what happened there, making the mistakes I did."
The Cardinals have two games remaining, one at home against the Chicago Bears and then close out the season on the road against the San Francisco 49ers.