GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23: Running back LaRod Stephens-Howling #36 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during their game at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)
I know what many of you are thinking reading this, "there are five positives from that game?" Like many of you I felt angry at the end of the game. I was embarrassed to be in my teams stadium surrounded by Steeler fans. I wanted to wring Beanie Wells neck when he left the game after yet another injury. I had my impeccable record of always winning when I attended the game snapped in an ugly fashion. Yet despite it all, I remain a Cardinals fan. After the game I wanted to quit the team and just act like the season never took place. Like it was cancelled by lockout and this was just bad dream I would wake up from in 2012.
So what to do in times like this? Look for the positives and remind myself that while it's tough to be a Cardinals fan, I remain loyal because I believe the franchise is genuine in it's desire to put a winning product on the field. So without further ado, I bring you glimmers of hope... for the future.
1) Larod Stephens-Howling: The "Hyphen" strikes back. Down 17-7 and the momentum quickly building for the Steelers, one big play gave Cardinals fans hope, even it it was just for a moment. On a flare pass from Kolb, Hyphen dodged a few defenders and out ran the rest on huge 73 yard reception that put the Cardinals within striking distance of the Steelers. LSH was also productive in the kick return game averaging 21 yards.
2) Sam Acho: Acho received more playing time this game than he has any other game this season. He recorded his first sack, 2 tackles, a TFL and also a QB hit. While those stats aren't anything to write home about, they are a large improvement over Joey Porter, whom with more playing time only registered two stats on this entire day - just two tackles. With Porter being practically useless and Acho at least applying some pressure, it seems logical that he will replace Porter sooner than later.
3) Clark Haggans: Surprised? You shouldn't be after he registered our only other sack on the day (just two total) while also collecting 5 tackles, 2 for a loss, 1 QB hit and 1 pass defended. Haggans had a relatively good game against his former team and has actually had a solid season. While he isn't a pass rushing menace, he has been applying pressure on opposing team's QB's consistently this season.
4) Rob Housler: Housler didn't produce huge stats this game, but for a second game in a row he has been open down the seam for a TD. Housler has also caught some big 3rd down passes thus far this season and has the look of a potential weapon at TE. As he grows as a player and develops more rapport with Kolb he could become a TE that is a nightmare to match up with. At 6'5, 250 with 4.4 speed Housler could become a deadly weapon.
5) Change. After this game, changes will be made. The Steelers were in prime position to be beaten. Injury ridden, playing a team at home desperate for a win and coming off a bye week. The Cardinals were unable to capitalize and yet again were unable to play defense. After a fifth straight loss one can only hope that changes are made. Starting with the FO and coaching staff.