After an opening week win over the Carolina Panthers, thanks to a fourth quarter punt return for a touchdown by Patrick Peterson, the Arizona Cardinals traveled to the nation's capitol to play the Washington Redskins. They lost the game 22-21 and, were it not for a final drive fumble by receiver Chansi Stuckey, it appeared that Kevin Kolb would lead the team to a comeback win.
The defense getting torched was the case of this ballgame.
The Redskins amassed 455 yards of offense, including 172 yards on the ground. Former Cardinals running back Tim Hightower carried the ball for 96 yards. Rex Grossman threw for 291 yards and two touchdowns.
In Washington's first drive, it looked like they were going to roll into the endzone. They moved the ball down to the six-yard line, including a 19-yard pass to Donte Stallworth and a 23-yard pass to Freddie Davis. There were holes in the cover all over the place. However, after what would have been a fourth down in the red zone, there was a personal foul call on Kerry Rhodes on a play in which Tim Hightower and Paris Lenon got into a tussle that extended the drive (the flag was for inadvertently bumping into an official). Adrian Wilson picked off a pass to end the threat.
Arizona's first drive ended in a punt, although Kevin Kolb could have been intercepted.
Washington had another pass picked off, this time by Richard Marshall. After that, it only took two plays for Arizona to score. Kolb hit Jeff King for a 21-yard TD play.
Washington answered with a field goal in the ensuing drive.
After a scoreless drive by the Cardinals, Washington got into the endzone. Their running game mowed through Arizona's defense, who was playing without Daryl Washington. Tim Hightower rushed fro 27 yards and Roy Helu for 44 yards. Freddie Davis scored on a pass from Grossman.
In the second half, Kolb and the offense started clicking. An interception ended one drive, but after forcing a punt, Kolb completed five passes and Beanie Wells scored in their next drive to go up 14-10.
In the fourth quarter, Washington kicked a field goal, and then the Cards needed just two plays to answer. Kevin Kolb got clobbered while he threw it, but he hit Larry Fitzgerald for a 73-yard touchdown.
With just under 11 minutes left, they had an eight-point lead.
The defense promptly let the Redskins march down the field in 13 plays for a TD pass to Santana Moss. They tried to tie the game with a two-point conversion that failed.
The offense went three-and-out and Washington drove 48 yards in eight plays to take the lead on a Graham Gano kick.
With under two minutes left, Kolb had a chance to win over fans with a comeback drive. He never go the chance. The first play was a completed pass to Chansi Stuckey, who promptly fumbled the ball and the game away.
- Larry Fitzgerald: seven catches, 133 yards and a TD
- Beanie Wells, 93 yards rushing and a TD
- Tim Hightower and Roy Helu, 170 yards rushing combined
- Freddie Davis, six catches, 86 yards and a TD
What went wrong:
Obviously, the fumble was the key play. But the story was the defense. It couldn't make stops. Only because of the pick by Wilson at the goalline were the Cards even in a position to be able to win.
Playcalling came into question in the fourth quarter. In their second to last drive, many believed the Cards should have run the ball to run the clock a bit. People thought that with how Beanie had been running the ball, they would have run out the clock. But two incomplete passes ruined that. However, in hindsight, assuming washington still scores, had they just run the ball and punted, there would have been no time for a final drive.
What we learned:
We saw Beanie Wells run with authority, all though he tweaked something during the game. Kolb showed glimpses of promise. He targeted Fitz and they hooked up for a big play.
The offensive line allowed many unblocked rushers free and the defense could not stop Washington when they needed to.
Going into that final drive, there was the feeling that they were going to win. The fumble ruined it. After that, it was a Kolb shortcoming. It ended up being the beginning of a tailspin, as the Cards would lose another five games in a row.
Keep up with Cardinals news and opinions when you are not on the site. Follow Revenge of the Birds on Twitter at @revengeofbirds and "like" us on Facebook. You can follow me individually at @senorjessroot.