Glendale, Az- After a morning of well deserved tributes for the late Steve Sabol, the Arizona Cardinals paid him a tribute of their own by putting on a clinic of classic, hard-nosed football this afternoon en route to a 27-6 win. Any football fan outside of Philly had to appreciate how relentless and powerful Arizona’s defense looked today, they were the best unit on the field from start to finish. The Cardinals were becoming the sexy pick for many experts (I use that term loosely) heading into this weekend against a 2-0 Eagles team after an impressive win at New England, but few outside of the Cards locker room were expecting a shellacking this thorough.
I couldn’t help but feel bad for Michael Vick after seeing Daryl Washington and Zona’s defense constantly put him on his back throughout the game. The poor guy looked like a rag doll out there and it was a surprise he finished the game in one piece, but if opportunity knocks then one must answer, and there were plenty of opportunities for the Cardinal’s front seven today. Perrenial Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson sat out due to multiple injuries so Kerry Rhodes decided to play hard enough for both them. Rhodes made a great tackle to stop DeSean Jackson from advancing to the end-zone after a catch downfield following that up with a huge hit on Vick to force a fumble that lead to a 93 yard TD return by James Sanders, putting them up 24-0 and capping off one the best halves of football I’ve ever seen this team play.
As much as I’d like to keep rambling on about how awesome this defense is, and I really would, the offense made some significant progress today. Hopefully Kevin Kolb can treat every opponent as if it were the team that traded him, but that’s a tough task to ask of someone. He came to play today though, throwing 17/22 for 222 yards and 2 TDs. His confidence is visibly growing each game and he continues to take care of the ball better, making himself a stronger candidate to be the starter for every game.
Ryan WIlliams also looked very impressive today after a shaky start to the season and fans should be proud of both him and Kolb for going to work every day with their minds focused on improving despite doubters like myself. Nobody ever doubted Larry Fitzgerald, or his love of defecating on the Eagle’s secondary every time he plays them. After a career worst start to the season (albeit 2 games), Fitzgerald caught 9 catches for 114 yards and a touchdown while also becoming the youngest player to ever to reach 700 receptions in NFL history.
After seeing what the 49ers were able to do with a dominant defense in this division last year the hopes of what this team can do down the road are understandably higher now than the beginning of the season. We all knew this defense was going to be good, but they’re playing at such a level right now even Ray Nitschke would be impressed. Don’t be shocked when Def. Coordinator Ray Horton gets a head coaching job next year if his guys keep this up, and if Wisenhunt decides to keep Kolb as the starter maybe this offense can keep complimenting Daryl Washington, Patrick Peterson, and all of those others studs on D.
It’s funny how much louder Cardinals fans are right now than they usually are this time of year, but the pride is welcome. 3-0 starts only come by about once every thirty-five years in the valley.
About the Author
Written by Thomas Mitchell
Born & raised in Arizona, part of the MJ generation. Lifelong sports fanatic