Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
It sure as heck wasn't as pretty as last week's win over the Eagles, but somehow this Cardinals team found a way to win. Coming back from a 13 point deficit at half for only the tenth time in franchise history is certainly impressive, and there are definitely some positives to take from this game, as well as areas to improve upon.
At least the Cardinals were nice enough to give us a week off before subjecting the entire fanbase to more heart attack inducing football. The Cardiac Cards were in full force yesterday, trying their very hardest to throw away a victory, but managed to come back in the most "Cardiac Cardinal-esque" fashion, a fourth down touchdown pass with 22 seconds left in the fourth quarter to tie, and a field goal in overtime. Despite the sloppy play from our Arizona Cardinals, there were some positives to take from this victory.
1. Find a way to win
The Cardinals went from putting away a win after a Patrick Peterson fumble return to the Philadelphia 3 yard line, to giving up the lead in a matter of mere moments, that could have haunted fans for a while. After Kolb was intercepted (on what maybe should have been called DPI on Sean Smith pushing Larry Fitzgerald), the Cardinals proceeded to blow the coverage on Hartline the very next play for long Hartline touchdown. Quite deflating to say the least. But somehow, Daryl Washington managed to cause a fumble, and then somehow on fourth down, with the game on the line Kolb found Andre Roberts for a game tying 15 yard touchdown. Despite incredibly slopping and sleepy play, the Cardinals found a way to keep it close and pull out a win
2. Zasty was Nasty
Speaking of sloppy play, on numerous occasions the Cardinals found themselves deep in their own territory and forced to punt, expecting to play defense with Miami already passed the 50 yard line, but because of the leg of Dave Zastudil (and some fortuitous bounces) the Dolphins never got extremely good field position. Zasty was called upon fairly often, booting 9 punts for an average of 47.3 yards and a long of 63. Another element of our strong special teams came through today in the form of Zasty`s nasty leg.
3. Scho and Acho
A rewatch will certainly be in order, but from my first impression, Schofield and Acho had pretty good games. Both men got sacks on the young Ryan Tannehill and both played very well against the run. Ray Horton coaches a very aggressive defense, evident by his repeated blitz calls despite generating very little pressure late in the game, but despite the aggressive play calling, Schofield, and especially, Acho held their containments very well and stopped any cutback attempts by the Dolphins on Sunday. On a couple of plays, because of the discipline of these two OLBs, they were able to tackle the Dolphins for large losses on toss plays and cutbacks.
4. Corn on the Kolb
Did Kevin Kolb play like Kurt Warner? No. Did Mike Miller and Ken Whisenhunt call the offense as if Warner was their quarterback? Absolutely. All things considered, Kolb played pretty darn good. He threw for over 300 yards and added three touchdowns, against 2 interceptions, and fought back from a 13 point deficit and perpetual pressure from the two outside Miami pass rushers to tie the game and give us a chance to win in overtime. 8 sacks, and only a few can really be attributed to Kolb making poor decisions. He was able to put points on the board through the air when we really needed them and was instrumental in the comeback victory.
5. Depth of our receiving corps
I recently had a debate over which NFC West team had the best receiving corps, and obviously I argued for the Cardinals. Well on Sunday, the Cards WRs gave me some evidence to support my claim as they (Fitzgerald, Roberts, Doucet, and Floyd) collectively caught 22 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns. Against a supposedly week secondary, the Cardinals top four flexed their muscles in the pass game. Second year tight end/wide receiver hybrid Rob Housler also got involved, catching 2 passes for 48 yards, including a big 33 yard catch and run on the first lead taking drive by the Cardinals. Everybody got involved in the aerial attack on Sunday, and it helped out the spread suited Kolb comeback from an early deficit.