However, as bad as that game was, there were still some promising aspects that the team can bring to Tampa Bay.
1) The Opening Drive
It's always a good idea to start the game on a solid note, and the Cardinals did just that. In the first drive of the game, Carson Palmer and his run support led the team 81 yards down the field, and capped it off with 3 yard rush by Alfonso Smith to put the Cardinals up 6-0. Unfortunately, this would be the only scoring by the Cardinals offense for the rest of the game.
The rookie RB from Clemson is quickly making a name for himself on the team. He had a 6.3 YPC for the game, and also brought in 3 receptions for 36 yards, which turned out to be one of the better performances of the day. He's definitely going to be a source of excitement as the season progresses.
Yes, he was burnt by Jimmy Graham on multiple plays, but you can credit this to a terrible match-up that the Cardinals coaching staff should have noticed. Graham is 6'7''; Mathieu is 5'9''. Enough said. Looking past that, Mathieu recorded 10 tackles, but his biggest feat of the day was his interception of a Drew Brees pass intended for Lance Moore in the 3rd quarter. Mathieu is making his case early on for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
4) The first three quarters of Defense
The final score doesn't do the defense enough justice. Up until the 4th quarter, the Cardinals defense kept the game within at least 10 points. While they did fall apart in the final quarter, a lot of this can be attributed to injuries and the fact that the Saints offense was on the field for 11 more minutes than the Cardinals. Now, I'm not saying that the defense didn't have its flaws, because there were definitely some low points. However, they kept it within reach for the majority of the game.
This is me reaching for straws here. In a game with so few positives, you have to look at the glass as half full sometimes. While the Seahawks did completely blow out the Jaguars, the Rams lost to the Cowboys, while the 49ers suffered a surprising defeat to Andrew Luck's Colts. This means that three of the NFC West's teams are tied at 1-2. In the words of Yogi Berra, "It's not over till it's over!".