Sunday, September 27, 2009
Wrap-up: Colts 31, Cardinals 10
By Mike Sando
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
So much for the NFC West making a positive statement outside the division.
The Cardinals made it 0-4 for the division in Week 3 with a sloppy performance featuring two turnovers in the red zone. Perhaps the bye week will give the Cardinals a chance to revisit some of the basics that have given them problems:
- Protecting the football. Two red-zone turnovers gave the Colts' Peyton Manning the opening he needed to take over the game. The Cardinals cannot blame rookie running back Beanie Wells for these turnovers. Kurt Warner forced the ball into coverage on first-and-goal from the 1, which is inexcusable for a veteran.
- Rediscovering Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals have struggled to find the matchups that helped Fitzgerald dominate during the playoffs.
- Shoring up the offensive line. Arizona has too often struggled to protect Warner.
- Limiting big plays. The Colts had 72- and 53-yard touchdown passes. Even the 49ers completed a 50-yard pass against Arizona. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was supposed to take the next step this season. It has not happened.
- Establishing Wells. Only two carries against the Colts? Not enough.
The rest of the division's struggles Sunday bailed out the Cardinals to an extent. But with an 0-2 record at home and 0-1 in the division, Arizona has ground to make up. Warner appears to be hurting, so the bye comes at a good time for him.