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Cardinals Outlast Dolphins, Stay Unbeaten
Posted By Thomas Mitchell On Oct 1 2012 @ 2:33 pm In Arizona Cardinals,NFL | No Comments
Glendale, Az- The trap was set Sunday afternoon, the Miami Dolphins pounced, and the Cardinals survived. The Card’s best start since moving to the desert looked to be in jeopardy the entire game, but Arizona’s experience and physicality ultimately won out, barely beating out the Dolphins 24-21 in overtime.
The offense continued to shoot itself in the foot throughout the game yesterday, and the line was who we thought they were in the beginning of the year, routinely getting beat play after play. They allowed 8 sacks after it was over, 4.5 to Cameron Wake alone. The lack off protection visibly effected Kevin Kolb’s performance. Kolb did a well enough job scrambling out of the pocket to make a few plays, but he made several big mistakes of his own, including a foolish interception yards out of Miami’s end zone and another right before halftime. Kolb needing protection to play well isn’t news to anyone, but he can’t return to rash decisions if he’s under pressure because that happens on the regular with this team. Wisenhunt was able to counter those flaws yesterday though with a few great play calls in the 2nd half that led to some big plays for Andre Roberts and Larry Fitzgerald played the role of ole’ reliable, continually getting crucial 1st downs.
The running game looked like a joke yesterday, getting 28 yards TOTAL. I admit I have a little personal bias towards my disgust with Arizona’s running production, I started Ryan Williams yesterday instead of Reggie Bush in my fantasy team because, well, you know why. Thanks for the 1 point Ryan, but the line definitely could’ve blocked better for you so at least you’re not “not pointing fingers” like Chris Johnson. Regardless, Arizona’s physicality in the trenches on offense needs to match the physicality of the defense, in all positions.
The defense laid a few beautiful hits yesterday and had decent pressure on Ryan Tannehill, but him and WR Brian Hartline burnt Arizona’s secondary all day long. Hartline had 12 catches for 253 yards and 1TD including an 80 yard bomb. Patrick Peterson probably wants to shake off yesterday, Hartline schooled him a few times and Peterson fumbled (and recovered) 3 times returning punts. Even with several breakdowns, the defense still made enough plays to win the game including 2 big interceptions and a forced fumbled to give Kevin Kolb the ball with 3 minutes left down 7.
Kolb worked some more magic with Andre Roberts as they connected on an epic 15 yard touchdown catch on 4th and 10 with 22 seconds left to tie the game, 21-21. Arizona received the ball in overtime, but went limp on offense. The defense made their final pick on Tannehill at midfield and Kolb and the offense were able to advance the ball enough for a Jay Feeley 46-yarder to win it. An ugly game with a beautiful ending for Card’s fans, and Arizona sits atop the NFC West alone in this young season.
The Cardinals travel to St. Louis next week in an important divisional matchup, and 5-0 is expected not hoped for. Every win means more respect and expectations, two things this fan base has always been thirsty for. A few more wins and a bandwagon might even start!
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