The Arizona Cardinals lost to the San Francisco 49ers quite handily on Sunday by a score of 23-7. They turned the ball over five times, including three interceptions by John Skelton. It was definitely a hard game to watch. The Niners dominated pretty much in every facet of the game.
Even still, we are dutiful and try to seek out the positives, the silver linings out of every game -- even the ugliest. Read on to see what I was able to get from the game.
As always, leave your comments to share the positives you found or your reactions to the positives in the article.
1. Stew Bradley shows promise
The man the Cardinals signed to a five-year, $25 million contract has not quite found his place this season on the team. He struggled learning the 3-4 and he is playing behind Paris Lenon, a defensive captain. On Sunday, he showed a little bit of why the Cardinals wanted him on board. The stat sheet says he had two tackles. I saw two huge special teams tackles and at one other on defense, as well as a pass deflection while in coverage. It makes me think that the signing was every bit about the future as it was for this year, considering that the team is very pleased with the play of Lenon.
2. Larry Fitzgerald reaches milestone
Fitz only had three catches, but with his first one, he passed 9000 career receiving yards, making him the third youngest in NFL history to reach that plateau. Milestones are always a positive, especially when it is a player that will have a bust in Canton one day.
3. There was a Chester Taylor sighting
He dropped a couple of passes he should have hauled in, but his one carry was a 34-yarder, and it looked good. He also looked pretty solid in pass protection. In one instance, he completely mauled the Niner pass rusher. Connected to this positive is the fact that the Cardinals had decent success running the ball against San Francisco's number one rushing defense. They only ran for 79 yards, but averaged over seven yards a carry. Beanie wells averaged just over four yards on eight carries.
4. The defense and special teams play was more than you could ask for in the first half
Despite the offensive ineptitude, the defense did it's job. San Francisco did not get into the end zone in the first half and thrice they left the field without having given up any points. Two were blocked field goals by Calais Campbell and Patrick Peterson, and the other being just a miss by David Akers. Had the offense shown any promise at all, the game would have had much more promise for those watching.
5. The QB "controversy" should be over
The Cardinals held the ball on offense for less than 16 minutes. John Skelton played terribly. He was 6-19 for 99 yards and three interceptions. He may have led the team to wins in the two previous weeks, but he looked every bit the second-year, fifth-round project pick. It was unfortunate that he played so poorly, but the one bright side shoudl be that fans can rally behind Kolb to get healthy, play and finish the year strongly.
Jay Feely didn't miss any field goals
OK. This is a stretch. But unlike a week ago, he didn't miss a single kick. He didn't attempt any field goals, but, hey, it is something.