Honestly, I could go for way more than five negatives on this post. Before this game, that might have been difficult, but with the Dolphins, it somehow turned really ugly for Arizona. The Cardinals won the game, but they had more than their fair share of blunders along the way. Here are five of those mishaps from Sunday's game.
Well, this one was actually surprising to me. After shutting down or limiting the likes of Brandon Lloyd, Sidney Rice, Gronk and DeSean Jackson, the Cardinals allowed Davone Bess and Brian Hartline to walk all over them. Hartline, in particular, had his best day as a pro against Arizona catching 12 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown. William Gay was picked on throughout the day and looked downright horrendous. Even Patrick Peterson gave up some big plays, along with Jamell Fleming and Greg Toler. These guys will need to improve if they want to start containing subpar receiving teams.
2. Punt Returns
Never in the history of Patrick Peterson as a punt returner has this section been a negative. But when you fumble away two punts (both of which he recovered), fumble an additional time while running it back and then call a fair catch on the three yard line, you've had a rough day. All of those things happened to Peterson, but expect him to bounce back next week.
3. Quick Whistles
Was it just me, or did the referees seem to blow the whistle a bit faster than they needed to on some plays? I get that they need to protect the players, but at least let the play, well, play out. In the first quarter, they blew the whistle on a Reggie Bush run, stating that forward progress had been stopped. If they would have let the play go on a bit longer, the Cardinals would have recovered a fumble. Then, in the second quarter, they blew the whistle signifying a sack when Kevin Kolb had clearly escaped the takedown. I want the replacement referees back (kidding).
4. Kevin Kolb's Interceptions
Both of the picks on Sunday were Kolb's first of the year and his first interceptions since October of last season. Also, both of them were quite ugly. Sean Smith had two picks on the day after Kolb tried to force the ball to Larry Fitzgerald. First it was near the sideline at about midfield and then in the end zone. Kolb even noted himself that the second one was his worst throw ever. Yeah, let's clean that up a bit, Kevin. It almost lost the Cardinals the game.
5. Offensive Line
To me, this was the biggest downfall for the Cardinals against the Dolphins. Miami has a very good defensive line, but Arizona made them look like a mixture of Pro Bowl players. They couldn't get a push in the run game and Kolb was running for his life all day. Bobby Massie, although a rookie, was eaten alive by Cameron Wake, allowing four sacks from his side.
Even at the ugliest of moments, at least the Cardinals can say they got the win. Let's hope for better play next week.