If your first reaction wasn’t reaching for a Bayer Aspirin to chew after the Cardinals beat the Giants, you are one cool customer. This week’s victory was impossibly even uglier than last week’s victory over the Chargers. It had horrendous penalties called on both sides of the ball, bad special team’s plays over with one FANTASTIC special teams play, lucky drops and lucky fumbles.
Here are some of the gut reactions to what we saw on Sunday:
- The Cardinals run defense is still one of the best in the NFL. The Giants ran the ball 27 times for 81 yards, an average of a weak 3.0 yards per carry. Rashad Jennings had 18 carries for 64 yards and really only saw daylight once on a 13 yard scamper.
- Andre Ellington is the real deal. Without him the Cardinals are 0-2. That’s not even hyperbole. On the day Ellington carried the ball 15 times for 91 yards and a staggering 6.1 yards per carry. He also caught a ball for ten yards. The Duke continually made people missed and slipped through tiny hole like a mouse. A mouse with the power of a super hero.
- WR’s and TE’s made plays. Stanton was hit or miss on the day. He took too much time in the pocket and missed some open guy’s for sure big plays but when he was on target the boys getting targeted made big plays. Larry Fitzgerald was targeted more (starred down often) and made some sure handed catches. John Carlson had two big catches, as well as Troy Niklas coming up with a pivotal catch. Michael Floyd was the only guy who could have had a bigger day but only saw some bad passes in double coverage and a bad throw while he was open in the end zone.
- Offensive line played relatively well. Some of you might think I’m crazy considering that Stanton was sacked four times but from what I saw the pocket was there three of the four sacks and Stanton held the ball too long too often. On the day the line the Cardinals ran the ball 28 times for 124 yards, equaling a healthy 4.4 yards per carry.
- Calais Campbell was a monster. He was double teamed most of the game as one of the Cardinals only legitimate pass rushers but despite this he racked up ten tackles, three for a loss, a garbage time sack and several pressures.
- Antonio Cromartie – How often did you hear his name today? Not often and that’s generally a good thing for a DB. He was excellent in coverage and even accrued a tackle for a loss.
- The Cardinals were completely unable to get to the passer all day long and it allowed Manning to carve up the Cardinals. Eli Manning was 26 for 39 with two TDs and two INTs. Manning passed for 277 yards, though watching the game it felt like he passed for over 350. For three quarters of the game he only had a few incompletions, if not for some lucky (and timely) drops this article would written to a different tune.
- The pass rush barely existed. Two sacks, two QB hits and a handful of pressures against the Giants patchwork line is scary. Abraham’s absence was felt and the complete lack of pass rush kept the Giants in the game. Something needs to happen as if this continues it’s going to make it hard to win games.
- Patrick Peterson was not worth the millions of dollars he got paid to play this game today. On the season he may be able to redeem himself but today he basically gave up two TD’s, one on a fantastic throw and catch to Rueben Randle (it can be argued he was out of position, and I think he was) and one by getting beat on a Victor Cruz double move and having to commit PI to stop the TD. That gave the Giants the ball on the 1 and it took them two plays to punch it in. Two games, two TDs.
- Chandler "Catman" Catanzaro was perfect on the day again. Anyone miss Jay Feely?
- The Cardinals generated (lucked into) four turnovers, two fumbles and two INTs.
- Special teams started the day at the goat of the day, but ended the day as the hero’s with a Ted Ginn touchdown return (after a terrible return before) and a forced fumbled on a Giants kick return.
- 60 of the 75 tackles on defense were solo. Shows how many guys are left on an islands throughout the game.
- Cardinals got killed against against a TE again. Unheard of Larry Donnell had 7 receptions for 81 yards.
- I was wrong about Jonathon Dwyer. I thought he would have a good season but now I see the guy has terrible field vision. I mean, just way. Right Hadrarius?
- Two games and zero interceptions thrown by Cardinals QBs? Yes, please!
Anything I miss? Add on!