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Cards nearly make comeback, lose 26-23

In a game hyped to be a blowout, the Cardinals did just what I expected. Well, almost. Actually, the game probably would have been a blowout had Matt Leinart not left the game after a 9/20 for 53 yard passing performance. Kurt Warner's veteran presence brought the Cardinals back from the grave, trailing 20-6 through the middle of the fourth quarter.

Warner's play was reminiscent of his glory days and his 258 yard passing performance that late in the game is just ridiculous. It showed the potential of this offense and had Baltimore not sealed the game with a last second field goal, I have no doubt the Cardinals would have won in overtime.

The biggest surprise to me was the lack of attention given to Edgerrin James. He managed 57 yards on 10 carries, thanks mostly to a 27 yard scamper. But after watching Whisenhunt give him 25 carries per game the past couple weeks, I couldn't help but be surprised by the team's grand total of 14 running plays vs. 42 passing plays. Of course, trailing most of the day, it's understandable to focus on passing the football to play catch-up. And since Baltimore controlled the ball most of the game -- 37+ minutes to just over 22 minutes -- it makes sense the Ravens had 70 plays to the Cardinals 56. But the 3-1, pass-run ratio still has me a little surprised.

All things considered, there isn't a whole lot of good to be taken from this game. We flashed potential on offense, but it was absent for the better part of the day. And while the defense came together in the second half, it was helped in part by Baltimore's offensive philosophy to keep control of the football and not take chances at that point.

Arizona covered the spread, but lost the game. That will need to change very soon if Whisenhunt wants to make the playoffs or contend for the division.

On that note, the best part of the day (so far) is that the 49ers lost to Pittsburgh while St. Louis lost another game with no offensive performance. Seattle is currently tied 7-7 with Cincy (Q1) at the time of this publishing.