My enthusiasm for the Cardinals season has completely deflated. Most of us were excited for football to start when it did -- let alone Cardinals-football-- but now that the season is under way and the Cardinals have revealed their true colors, a gloomy cloud has formed over Arizona. It was originally thought that Kevin Kolbwould solve the offensive puzzle, and Ray Horton would finally push the defense to live up to their potential. Both of those changes have yet to take place.
Kolb's late-game interception yesterday didn't sit well with his critics, and until he wins a game with his arm, they're their to stay. Let's not forget that at this time last season, Derek Anderson was making his case for worst quarterback in the league. I think it's a bit premature to say Kolb is not the Cardinals answer at quarterback. While I do agree he has much work to do, I'll wait to make my judgement until the season is over. Oh, and for those that feel his lone touchdown pass was pure Larry Fitzgerald-skill -- Kurt Warner anyone?
2011 - Kevin Kolb 812 yards, 5 Tds, 3 Ints
2010 - Derek Anderson 580 yards, 3 Tds, 3 Ints
I've had a chance to scour through the comments and get the general sense that Ken Whisenhunt has been dubbed the culprit for the team's 1-2 start. Play calling hasn't been there -- I'll give you that. The offense gets too complicated for their own good. I for one, prefer a basic offensive attack. They need to target Larry Fitzgerald more, feed the ball to Beanie Wells, and run the hurry up offense. I think the hurry up is the best bet to counter the offensive tackle struggles.
As for Whisenhunt himself, I'm not sure what to make of the situation. I know just two seasons ago we all worshipped this man like he was a god. After all, any coach that could get them same ole Cardinalsto a Super Bowl was bound for legit praise. But as they say, the honeymoon is over, and in his fifth season many fans feel Whisenhunt has worn out his welcome in Arizona -- but is that really fair? .
Kurt Warner left the Cardinals in a piss-poor situation at quarterback when he retired and Bill Davis ran the defense into the ground last year. This season is far from over and we can't determine how bad these two losses really are. Just like a draft can't be truly graded until 2-3 years later, wins and losses can't be until the Super Bowl champion is crowned. For all we know, the Redskins could win the NFC East, and while the Seahawks have done little in their same 1-2 start, they also came back to win the West last season after a slow start.
Don't get me wrong -- I loved Kurt Warner and he'll go down as one of my all-time favorites -- but he was not the lone reason for the Cardinals success for two years. He had two seasons before Whisenhunt arrived and couldn't beat out Matt Leinart while possessing an unfortunate ability to fumble the ball at the worst time. It wasn't until the Cardinals hired Whiz that Warner turned the corner and became the Cardinal we'll all remember him as. Even then, he'd have his infamous fumble or a five interception performance. I could also make the case that Larry Fitzgerald played out of his mind during the 2008 playoffs and that he is the sole reason for Warner's postseason success(see what I did there?). At the end of the day this is a team sport and both the players and coaches are responsible for the outcome -- good or bad. If I had more time, I'd tell you that I do feel Whiz needs to improve certain aspects of his coaching and his play calling. Right now however, I felt the need to come to his defense. Many of you are starting to sound like the angry mob with pitchforks and torches marching to Whisenhunt's home ready to overthrow the coach.
As for the Todd Haley cries -- is there really a garuntee that Haley was the reason for the Cardinals success? Or was it the aforementioned Warner/Fitzgerald connection? We can never be certain but I will say that the "offensive mastermind" has his Chiefs off to a 0-3 start, averaging a whopping 9 points per game. I don't know... I guess I'm not ready to welcome Haley back with open arms at this point.
As I look ahead, the only optimism I can muster out at this point is the return to University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals certainly need a home crowd to feed off of after two very disappointing losses. The Giants will be a difficult test, but the Cardinals are due for their "surprising win of the year" that we've grown accustomed to.