Glendale, Az- In an epic battle of mediocrity, the Cardinals offense failed to step up once again. Yesterday was another ugly game in which Arizona’s defense gave up less than 20 points, but the offense failed to score enough to secure a victory. The Buffalo Bills came into University of Phoenix Stadium and got their mojo back on defense, at least for one game. Defensive end Mario Williams got his 2 sacks in and his teammates tallied 3 more as they helped propel the Bills to a 19-16 win in overtime over the Cardinals, bringing the bird gang’s record down to 4-2, tied atop the NFC West with Seattle and San Francisco.
Arizona has been living on edge at home lately, with 5 of their last 8 in Glendale going to overtime, and it finally caught up to them yesterday. Jay Feely had the stadium roaring after he booted a 61 yard field goal to tie the game with two minutes left, just to miss a much easier 38-yarder that would’ve won it at the end of regulation in a sad, ironic twist of fate. Many of those who doubted Arizona’s undefeated start are starting to pat themselves on the back after the Cards have lost two straight games, and there’s not much to say that can stop them right now.
The offensive line’s inability to successfully do their job finally got Kevin Kolb hurt yesterday, and he is currently undergoing an MRI to determine the severity of the injury causing soreness in his ribs. John Skelton came in to try and finish the game off, but he went 2-10 and threw a devastating pick in overtime. Kevin Kolb’s athleticism and his shiftiness in the pocket, something he was criticized for earlier this year, was actually helping the many flaws of the offensive line. With a bigger, more immobile quarterback who likes to stand in pressure and throw quickly like Skelton, not only will the line be even further exposed but the offense is going to have change to fit Skelton’s strengths as well. Skelton’s won with this team before, but he’s never lit up the scoreboard, and points are what this offense is sorely lacking this season.
Despite a few hiccups that any team goes through, Arizona’s defense put fourth another solid effort yesterday. Patrick Peterson has made a huge play every game whether it be an interception or fumble return, he continues to show his immense talent. Daryl Washington’s exceptional play is becoming so common I hope fans don’t take him for granted, but he is starting to put himself up there with names like Willis, Lewis, and Urlacher with what he does week to week. The defense has not been the problem in this two week drought, sure they could do a few things better but if the offense can do a competent job scoring Ray Horton’s unit already has the clamps on for the most of the game.
One silver lining from yesterday’s defeat was the fact the Cardinals were able to rush 182 yards. They came into the game dead least in the league in rushing (and probably some other offensive categories), but little-known William Powell showed the coaching staff what he could do against 1st stringers, running for 70 yards on 13 carries. Powell showed he was the type of running back who churns his legs enough that negative yardage rarely happens when he carries and that he can move the chains, giving Arizona’s passing attack a much needed partner in crime. Even with an emergence of a running game Arizona was only able to score one touchdown yesterday (one more than last week) so they still have many things to work on throughout the year.
More will be known throughout the week on Kolb’s status for next Sunday against Minnesota. It’s assumed that if Kolb is healthy enough to play that he will start, but since Skelton won the job coming out of camp I don’t think Wisenhunt will be especially bold on whether or not Kolb plays. Whoever starts, hopefully he provides a spark in this offense.
About the Author
Written by Thomas Mitchell
Born & raised in Arizona, part of the MJ generation. Lifelong sports fanatic