When a team is up by 10 points with about five minutes to go, especially at home, you are expected to win the game. That goes without saying. But it also makes it worse that the Cardinals were already riding the back of Beanie Wells, who had a spectacular day. Continuing to do so would only seem to be the easy way to go to chew up yards and clock simultaneously.
That didn't happen and the defense fell apart. Add in there a questionable call that could have changed the game, and you have the recipe for another heart-stomping loss.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin was quick to give the Cardinals credit, "I'll say this, for a long time it was an absolutely struggle, as you saw. Give them credit. They are a good team."
However, Larry Fitzgerald disagrees a bit. "You see the good teams around the league, when the game is close, they are able to find a way to finish," he said. "There is no one else to blame but ourselves."
It was a game in which you would think that the Cardinals would have won. Larry Fitzgerald had over 100 yards receiving, Beanie Wells scored three touchdowns and ran for 138 yards. The defense held Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw to a combined 57 yards rushing at 2.3 yards per carry.
But Eli Manning continued to look like his older brother and the Cardinals passing defense was once again suspect. He was 27/40 for 321 yards and two scores.
But there were plenty of other things that went wrong. There was the fumble that was not, which, if you go by the rule book the right call was made. That did sort of take the wind out of the sails for the defense. You hate to see it, but it seems to be somewhat of a common thing for defenses to do. They think they make a stop or get a turnover and when it is overturned, they promptly give up a big play.
Calais Campbell, whose name apparently is pronounced "Cuh-LAY" according to Daryl Johnston on the TV broadcast, indicated the non-fumbled hurt. "That's a little thing called momentum," he said. "You were a little bit distracted because you felt like it's our ball and we would have won the game. We were still kind of caught up in the emotion, and they line up and throw a deep ball."
Ken Whisenhunt was much more diplomatic, as he normally is. "There were a lot of calls in that game," he said. "You can't look at just one."
You can also look at Kevin Kolb, who was inconsistent in the pocket during the game. He is making some plays by leaving the pocket and other times is messing up. I tweeted out during the game how I think he is looking a lot like Jake Plummer. If he can be put in the right direction, this will be good.
After the game, no one asked him about the moving around, but he certainly was saying what you would expect a guy to say as starting quarterback. He mentioned how he knows how hard it is to get wins in the league. He cited it is his first full season (as a starter) and he talked about wanting to make quicker reads and getting the ball away quicker. He said that the team really had no other choice but to move forward and "try to take some positives" out of it.
As painful as it is to watch as a fan, the way they are losing can also be seen a s a positive. Instead of the blowouts that can happen, they are in position to win every game. Team with the talent to win, and I believe the team does have it, eventually get over the hump. They have a winless opponent in the Minnesota Vikings next week. They have the bye and then they host the Pittsburgh Steelers, who do not look like the team they were just a year ago. They still have five divisional games. The season is far from over.
But unless they can get over that hump soon, it could quickly turn into a very disappointing one.