The Cardinals are on some winning streak. After walking into the Seahawks home and walking out with a win, yesterday they we put right back onto prime time television at home with the Cincinnati Bengals and won, but it wasn't without difficultly.
The Cardinals ended the game with 7 penalties for 40 yards while the Bengals finished with 10 penalties for 108 yards. While there is always an expectation for away teams to have more penalties, like false starts. Regardless, the Bengals statistically out played the Cardinals. They had more first downs, plays and time of possession.
Say what you will about the old men of the Cardinals it is the young men who won the game last night. After being raved over in the off season, J.J. Nelson was able to come out and essentially win the game for the Cardinals on Sunday night. Nelson was the deep threat the Cards needed to spread out the Bengals defense and every touchdown came from a player who hasn't been in the league longer than two years.
Last night the Cardinals defense was great and kept Andy Dalton off-kilter with four sacks. Dwight Freeney has been a great pickup and even in limited playing time has added another dimension to the rush. Meanwhile, Gunter has really shown his worth in cutting through the line with Golden and Okafor playing well on the edge.
First half offense
While the team bounced back in the second half, similar to the past few weeks, the Cardinals continually have come out of the gate recently slowly. It's not that the Cards are being outplayed, Palmer was forcing passes and led to two turnovers. Previously, the Cardinals had to become resilient and they did that, but no one can be certain they can get behind against the Vikings and Packers.
Eight catches for 128 yards is a great stat line for a player, but a poor one if you're playing against him. It's not that the defense wasn't good. The problem is that the Cardinals struggled to stop the pass plays that were coming out of the backfield or over the middle of the field.