Monday, October 1, 2012
Around the NFC West: Cards find a way
By Mike Sando
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals handed Tom Brady the quarterback's second defeat in a span of 37 regular-season home starts. They rendered Michael Vick helpless. They have held each of their first four opponents to 21 points or fewer. And on Sunday, they broke a 47-game losing streak when trailing by 13-plus points at halftime.
A bad team might accomplish any one of those feats. Only a good one would accomplish all four while posting a 4-0 record.
The Cardinals are a good team, but as guard Daryn Colledge told Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, they're not the prettiest girl at the dance.
"We're like a 'four' or a 'five'," Colledge told Somers, "but we dance like an 'eight.'"
That quote captured the Cardinals against Miami.
Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic says there was at least a chance the performance could carry long-term meaning for quarterback Kevin Kolb in particular. Bickley: "A review of Sunday’s tape will show a few glaring mistakes and an interception that cost his team dearly. In his postgame news conference, Ken Whisenhunt refused to gush, pointing out the flaws in his performance. The head coach clearly understands how fleeting success can be in the NFL. But that game-tying pass to Andre Roberts on fourth down was an artful, transcendent moment. It was the kind of pressure pass -- blistering, accurate and free of fear -- that only comes from big-time quarterbacks."
Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals' defensive players knew they got away with a ragged performance. Bordow: "The Dolphins also caught the Cardinals by surprise with their hurry-up offense. Arizona came into the game believing Miami would use its running game -- it was averaging 175.7 yards on the ground -- to take pressure off Ryan Tannehill. Instead, Miami went to the no-huddle and Tannehill threw a season-high 41 times."
Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic takes a closer look at Roberts, a player Whisenhunt lauded entering the season. Noted: Roberts was frequently open last season without getting the football, Whisenhunt said during the offseason. Roberts got the ball plenty Sunday, a welcome development for the Cardinals. Arizona is stacked at the position and can afford to bring along Michael Floyd at a measured pace.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says winning overshadowed many shortcomings for Arizona. Patrick Peterson's struggles in the return game were particularly confounding. Peterson: "I was pressing a little bit today, the ball was dropping a little faster. I was trying to hurry up and get the ball in my hands and try and take off. I wasn’t patient today. I definitely wasn’t myself in the punt returns, but that won’t happen again. I told the return team, that’s my fault. We’ve got 12 more games to get to the end zone and make it right."
Also from Urban: Good things happened for Arizona when the team turned to its passing game in the third quarter. Urban: "Kolb hit Larry Fitzgerald for 12 yards. Then he found tight end Rob Housler for 15 and Roberts for 25 to put the Cardinals at the Dolphins’ 7. Two more passes to Fitzgerald and Cardinals had their first touchdown."
Josh Weinfuss of azcardinals.com: has Cardinals notes, including one on Bobby Massie's rough day against Cameron Wake. Massie: "He’s probably the best defensive lineman I’ve gone against in my entire football career. My hat’s off to him. He’s a good player. I just go to come back and practice and make sure it doesn’t happen again."