Someone should tell Mike Martz to run the football. Seriously. I'm not a coach by any means, but I think establishing a running game is essential for any offense. At least, I don't think passing the ball 85% of the time is healthy for any offense, especially when that same offense finishes with a negative 2.25 yard per carry average.
Perhaps that's what kept the Detroit Lions' offense from hitting its climax yesterday. Of course, credit should also go to Arizona's defense which kept Jon Kitna from getting comfortable in the pocket. He was sacked 4 times and he threw a pair of interceptions to Karlos Dansby, without a doubt the defense's MVP of this game, adding to his stat line 4 tackles and a forced fumble.
Offensively, the Cardinals got things going this week. After watching Kurt Warner in disappointment the past several weeks, it was nice to see him back in form against the Lions. His 3 touchdowns were crucial while Tim Rattay managed perfection on his only throw of the game: a 2 yard touchdown pass.
Of course, there were disappointments too. The team had 9 penalties that cost them 70 yards. And Edgerrin James didn't establish himself on the ground (again) and finished with 60 yards on 18 carries (3.3 yards per carry). It's his 6th consecutive sub-3.0 average game of the season and only once has he cracked the 100 yard barrier.
But looking at the game holistically, it was definitely a solid win. Detroit's explosive offense was contained while Arizona's thrived. And at 4-5 the Cardinals aren't out of the hunt yet, especially if Seattle falls to the 49ers tonight.