It had been getting difficult to write these posts after 6 consecutive loses. After watching an awesome stand by the Cardinals defense, stopping the Rams twice on 3rd and 1 and 4th and 1, I had hope that we would finally win and I would have something nice to say. Of course we went 3 and out and the Rams put themselves back into field goal position. I was about to turn off the TV assuming we had lost our 7th straight game, when out of no where a hand appears and blocks the kick.
Again, the defense made a play. The defense I saw wasn't the same defense from the first 7 games of the season. Standing on my feet, I yelled at the TV, "Peterson return this damn punt because I can't take any more drama!" One epic return, 99 yards later and I was dancing around my living room like a fool. Who would have thought a second win would illicit such celebration from me.
Finally, I can write about positives from a win!
1) Obvious, is obvious: Patrick Peterson is going to be great. One could say he is 2 great players in 1. His punt returns this season have been special. Breaking tackles, maintaining balance and turning on the jets like a nitro-boosted car. While initially Peterson struggled against Brandon Lloyd and also had a few PI calls against him, he picked off Bradford and made other plays throughout the day. Without Peterson we'd probably be win-less right now.
2) The Defense: I had been saying it for weeks now, the defense needs to make plays and dang did they make some plays yesterday. Peterson and his pick, Daryl Washington with his TFL's, PD's and everything in between, Sam Acho and O'Brien Schofield making plays and pressuring the QB, Calais Campbell having another great all around game including another blocked field goal and Adrian Wilson and Darnell Dockett coming up huge on consecutive plays to stop the the Juggernaught that is Steven Jackson. While we have to temper ourselves because the Cards did allow 150 yards rushing to a rusty Bradford led Rams, hopefully this defense has turned the corner. Philadelphia will be a true test and difficult challenge.
3) Special Teams: Short and sweet, they came up big when they needed to. Dave Zastudil boomed some punts, Peterson had his return, Calais his block.
4) No turnovers: It's been a while since we have had a game without a turnover. In a close game like this it was a huge factor in our win.
5) The offensive line and John Skelton: I don't know if our line just had a gem of a game or if Skelton just makes our line look better or if our game plan for the line was superbly executed or even all of the above. The fact is the line held in pass blocking relatively well and gave the Titan that is John Skelton time to throw the ball. While they struggled in running the ball, overall they had a good game.
5a) Skelton played very well for limited practice time. Again he showed incredible poise and made huge plays. Though he also made some real bone-headed plays in our own red zone. Skelton also led the team down the field and threw a TD strike to Larry Fitzgerald at a critical moment in the game. It is incredible watching the ball just jump off Skeltons hand, the kid has a rocket and poise beyond his years. As expected he struggled with accuracy but generally looked good for a second year player from a tiny school. QB controversy in the making? I'm not sure yet, I do know this I'm glad he is on our bench regardless of the QB situation. If this doesn't light a fire under Kolb's butt to perform, nothing will...