A win is a win in the NFL. It may not come in a pretty package with a bow on top, but the wins all count, no matter how they're acquired. With Carson Palmer being out, Bruce Arians called up Drew Stanton's number, and Stanton helped lead the Cardinals to their second 2-0 start in three years. Let's take a look at the positives and negatives from week two.
Run Game: Palmer was ruled out, so Bruce Arians relied on his run game to pick up some of the slack. Andre Ellington and Jonathan Dwyer did no disappoint. Ellington broke off 15 carries for 91 yards. His left foot was clearly bothering him on some plays, but he fought past the pain and lead him team in rushing. Dwyer scored the teams only offensive touchdown on the first drive of the game. He showed us more that he's an excellent change of pace back from Ellington. The run blocking was excellent as well, opening up huge holes and allowing both Dwyer and Ellington to get to the second level on numerous occasions.
Pass Block: I was actually critical of this throughout and right after the game. But as numerous people pointed out, I realized Stanton was at fault for three of the four sacks. He held on far too long, or just tried to escape too late. In all it was really good. Few pressures, but just that one actual sack.
Special Teams: I really don't want to give them a positive, but Chandler Catanzaro was yet again perfect, knocking in all four of his field goals (49,37,32,33) while kicking all seven of his kickoffs into the endzone, with all but one being returned. Ted Ginn may be losing his job returning kicks, but looks to have survived punt returns, after breaking off a fantastic 71 yard touchdown. The punt coverage was good, as Drew Butler punted four times, one fair catch, one block, and two punts being returned for no yards. Special teams coordinator Amos Jones will have to assess the quality of the blockers on punts.
Defense: Who would have thought this would be a topic this week? From top to bottom the defense looked off. The secondary was taken to the cleaners as they were littered with pass interference calls left and right. The defensive front got little to no push on too many plays, allowing Manning to sit in the pocket and throw at will. The run defense was the lone bright spot for the front seven.
Officiating: The NFL capped off the most controversial week in league history, with a ton of horribly officiated games. Either the refs missed an obvious catch, fumble, or foot out of bounds, or they were penalizing every hit and touch. The officiating for almost every game was good in week one, but thus far this week, the refs have been ugly. The Cardinals game was no exception. The refs were calling even the most ticky tack plays, or just downright missing a blatant hold here and there. The poor officiating did not do much for the leagues reputation.
Arians Creativity: That's two straight games, in which Bruce Arians has gone for an unnecessary two point conversion. Last week he went for two of them, and had the defense not stepped up, the Chargers would have needed a field goal to win. This week he went for it, instead of going for the extra point, and only being behind by one. I understand the need for a two point conversion, but early in the fourth quarter is not the case.
What say you? Add anyone, remove anyone? Let us know in the comments!