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Making the Grade: Midseason Report for Arizona

We're just about through the first half of the 2007 season now and I think we can look back and review what's gone right and what, well, hasn't.

Kurt Warner has looked superb for the most part, when healthy. It seems to me they rushed his recovery and that resulted in some less-than-satisfactory play. Then again, when plan B is named Tim Rattay, desperate measures are sometimes required.

Seriously, though, Warner has looked good in all but one game this season and his rating sits above 95. The Cardinals might be 4-3, had he played more of the Ravens-Cardinals game week 3. At the time the team began using its dual-quarterback scheme, an idea which abruptly ended when Matt Leinart's season came to a close.

But Warner hasn't been the only bright spot on offense; Edgerrin James has looked a lot better this season than last, though he's only really a glimmer. He's hit a skid and hasn't finished with 90+ yards since week 2. Even his average hasn't cleared the 4.0 barrier in 5 of the team's 7 games, though Ken Whisenhunt has made good on his promise to run the ball more often. James has carried 20+ times in all but one game this season and 25 or more times on three occasions.

Altogether, the offense has been just above average this season.

Defensively, meanwhile, the team had its rough patches. But only three times this season has a team scored more than 20 points, and one of those games was a victory. That said, the lowest total allowed all season was 14 (week 4 against Pittsburgh) and the average allowed is 22.4 (rank: 20).

Karlos Dansby has had a great season to date, though he missed the Washington game with injury. His status for this weekend is 50-50, but his return is paramount for the defense.

Grades...

Offense: B- (Just above average, but still room for improvement. Edgerrin James, especially, needs to average more than 4 yards per carry to get a defense's attention.)
Defense: C+ (It's been average to this point, but it needs improving if the team hopes to make a run at the postseason.)
Coaching: B+ (The team's biggest bright spot: they're playing hard. Just not smart all the time.)
Special Teams: C+ (The Cardinals lost two games by 3 points or less in which Neil Racker has missed a field goal, including a game winner that went wide left against the Redskins)
Overall: C+ (The team is better than usual, but still not good enough to garner attention or serious respect.)