Sunday, November 8, 2009
Rapid Reaction: Cardinals 41, Bears 21
By Mike Sando
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
CHICAGO -- The Cardinals took the Bears' best shot -- a first-quarter sucker punch from defensive tackle Tommie Harris to guard Deuce Lutui's head -- and did not blink.
They again distinguished themselves from the NFC West pack by beating a decent team on the road.
Arizona improbably improved its road record to 4-0. The focus will now shift to the Cardinals' inability to win home games. Arizona, always up for a challenge, will probably refocus its fury upon visiting Seattle in Week 10.
The Cardinals then visit the Rams in Week 11, followed by a trip to Tennessee.
Beating the Bears put Arizona in strong position to match its record through 10 games last season (7-3) and possibly get to 8-3. If the Cardinals can get to that mark, the rest of the division will have a very difficult time catching them. Nothing is automatic with Arizona, of course, so the team should proceed into this three-game soft stretch with caution. Facing a division opponent in Week 10 should help the Cardinals keep their focus.
Establishing a strong ground game against the Bears gives the Cardinals a needed confidence boost in that phase of the game. The Cardinals will become dynamic offensively if they can build on their most impressive rushing performance since the playoffs last season. Kurt Warner matched a career high with five touchdown passes Sunday largely because the team established credibility on the ground early in the game.
That must continue for Arizona to realize its potential.