Fresh off a come from behind win in week one, the Arizona Cardinals flew back east to take on Eli Manning and the New York Giants. Once again, the Cardinals emerged victorious, although it required another fourth quarter comeback, with the final score being 25-14. Drew Stanton started for the Cardinals, and while he showed why Coach Arians brought him in to compete last year, Stanton wasn't able to connect with any member of the receiving corps for a score. For the Giants, Eli Manning managed to throw a pair of touchdown passes, but he also tossed a pair of picks, both to players no longer with the Cardinals (at least in terms of playing capability), Sam Acho and Larry Foote.
Andre Ellington had a great game, posting over one hundred yards from scrimmage and averaging 6.1 yards per carry. Jonathan Dwyer punched the ball in for a ground score, adding to the running game punch. Drew Stanton finished 14/29 for 167 yards, which doesn't wow, but he also led the team to three long scoring drives, making points and eating time.
What went right: The Cardinals managed to shake the East Coast travel monster. Special teams came through, with Chandler Catanzaro going a perfect four for four on field goals, with a long of 49, adding to the two field goals from first game, it put him on the track to an excellent rookie kicker season. Ted Ginn Jr. stepped up to save the game with a punt return in the fourth quarter to put the Cardinals back on top.The defense caused turnovers, whether it was picking Eli Manning twice or causing a pair of fumbles. They also contained the Giants rushing attack, only allowing 81 yards on the ground.
What went wrong: Even with the win, there were areas of concern from the Arizona Cardinals performance. I touched on the first concern, a lack of a passing touchdown between Stanton and the receiving corps, which when it boasts payers like Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd is cause for pause. Conversely, the Cardinals secondary gave up 277 yards in he air to the Giants. Add to that a lack of sacks from edge rushers and that's another set of red flags from the defensive unit.
What we learned: In the end, we learned many things from this game, however, some were so slowed played they weren't obvious at first. Chandler Catanzaro was a steal of a player. That the Cardinals would allow opponents to move the ball via the air, but be stingy on the points given up. That pass rushers don't fall from the sky and that the Cardinals needed to address that weakness. That Drew Stanton could come in and lead the team to victory.
And ultimately, we learned that the cue-ball bros have their finger on the pulse of winning.