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Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Cardinals roller coaster on the way up

By Zach Lind
Special to ESPN.com

My last blog entry was all about how being an Arizona Cardinals fan is like riding on a never-ending roller coaster. Fortunately for me, the past few weeks of the season have proven my hypothesis to be truer now than ever before.

Max Hall
Undrafted rookie quarterback Max Hall was a pleasant surprise in the Cardinals' upset of the Saints.

If I were to write a blog entry last week after the Cards were absolutely crushed by the San Diego Chargers, I'd tell you all about how our defense has been hopeless through the first four games, having given up the most points in the NFL with the exception of the Buffalo Bills.

Or I'd talk about how Derek Anderson's quest to step up as the franchise quarterback was over by halftime after a pathetic performance with a litany of badly thrown balls and two picks to boot. At the end of the second quarter Anderson was replaced by undrafted rookie Max Hall, who didn't look all that much better.

Or maybe I would have brought up the fact there was a growing chorus in Phoenix to fire our defensive coordinator, Billy Davis. To top it all off, our schedule wasn't getting any easier with the next game being at home against the reigning Super Bowl champions, the New Orleans Saints. The s--- was hitting the fan.

Going into this game with the Saints my outlook was that it would be nice to get Hall another game under his belt going into the bye week while we regrouped to face the Seattle Seahawks in a game we actually had a chance of winning. Winning against the Saints never even entered my mind as a possibility.

Fast forward to Monday morning and the Cardinals defense turned in a brilliant performance. Not only did they stop the Saints' potent offense, they created turnovers and scored a few touchdowns in a 30-20 victory Sunday.

Hall had a solid first start and showed that he's a tough QB with some promise. Magically, all the glaring issues that seemed so evident last week seem to vanish into thin air with this unexpected win.

So now we go into next week's bye with a huge confidence boost and first place in the NFC West. It's so amazing what a difference a week can make. But as any longtime Cards fan knows all too well, the roller coaster can just as easily go down as it can go up. We just have to hang on for the ride.

Zach Lind of Jimmy Eat World (Facebook | MySpace | Twitter) will be writing periodic blog entries for ESPN.com's Music in The Life. Jimmy Eat World -- which includes lead vocalist and guitarist Jim Adkins, guitarist Tom Linton and bassist Rick Burch -- is currently touring in support of its new album, "Invented" (iTunes | Amazon).