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Monday, October 12, 2009
Around the NFC West: Cardinals' identity

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals' decision to pass the ball nine straight times to open the second half reflects their identity even though the Texans' tactics contributed to the approach. Somers: "Two weeks ago, the Cardinals blamed their poor rushing statistics on trailing the Colts, 21-3, at halftime. So if they aren't going to run when they're ahead 21 points, when it's going to happen?"

Also from Somers: The Cardinals took their fans for another ride.

More from Somers: "It's clear the Cardinals not only don't miss Antonio Smith, they are better with Calais Campbell starting at right end. He seems to make a big play every game."

Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals thought teams would regret it, eventually, if they kept picking on cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The winning 49-yard interception return for a touchdown provided validation. Larry Fitzgerald: "To do it with a broken finger also is just legendary. I told him that on the sideline."

Also from McManaman and Somers: The receivers held up their end Sunday, minus that fumble by Anquan Boldin.

Bob Young of the Arizona Republic revisits Rodgers-Cromartie's game-turning play against Texans quarterback Matt Schaub. Young: "Schaub had a string of 11 consecutive completions going when the Texans set up in a third-down-and-seven situation at their own 42, and he was looking to the right sideline for receiver Kevin Walter just beyond the first-down marker."

Also from Young: An inconsistent Cardinals defense did just enough.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the Cardinals anticipate a big week of preparation getting ready for Seattle. Defensive end Darnell Dockett: "It's gonna be a helluva week this week at practice because this is personal between us and Seattle. We know for a fact we’ll get their best shot and I’ll probably send Matt Hasselbeck a Twitter message later this week, so stay tuned."

Also from Urban: Rodgers-Cromartie's interception return might have saved the season for Arizona.

More from Urban: Arizona's offense was up and down.

Scott Bordow of the East Valley Tribune says the Cardinals' special teams shined against Houston.

Also from Bordow: Arizona won ugly, but the Cardinals will take it.

More from Bordow: Rodgers-Cromartie's slump might be over.