The Arizona Cardinals are 3-0. They have gotten three good wins. They have come back in every single win. They have yet to allow a fourth quarter point on the season.
Here is what was good and not so good about the game on Sunday.
The shutdown second half
I don't know exactly why this is, but since the start of last season, the Cardinals defense starts out slowly and then dominates in the second half. Colin Kaepernick was killing Arizona in the first half.
He had 14/18 passing in the first half and nine rushes for 45. In the second half he rushed four times for nine yards. San Fran was 5/7 on third down in the first half. They were 1/6 in the second half.
Smart special teams play
Ted Ginn didn't try to return any deep kickoffs. He was safe on punt returns. Kickoff coverage was good. The Cardinals only punted once. They blocked a field goal. It was a good day for the transition team.
No sacks, no interceptions
This just doesn't happen. Drew Stanton did not throw an interception. But after being sacked four times against the Giants, Stanton was not sacked even once. Even in 2013, these were problems. There were sacks and interceptions a lot last year and more in 2012.
Arizona had seven plays for at least 20 yards. San Francisco had three. Drew Stanton said it was the big play that sparked things for the team.
Tough times handling mobility
It wasn't as bad in the second half, but Arizona looked bad against the scramble. It highlighted the absence of Karlos Dansby and Daryl Washington, who had great speed. They were able to keep him contained.
On Sunday, the Cardinals just couldn't get him down. They had probably a half-dozen plays where he should have been sacks.
Last season, this killed the Cardinals. Fitz' red zone fumble this time made things interesting, but it didn't lead to a SF score. But the fact that he fumbled again is concerning.
Red zone blues
Arizona just hasn't been able to score touchdowns in the red zone. That should improve with Carson Palmer back, but it is still a concern
Concerns with Ted Larsen
From a fan perspective, Larsen has not been good. He was manhandled all game. Will Jonathan Cooper overtake him with the bye week?
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