Finding a way to win
Posted by Brad Wilbricht
Tuesday, September 18 - 11:00 AM
For the second straight week, the Cardinals found a way to win. It hasn’t exactly been pretty on either occasion, but a 2-0 record speaks for itself, particularly for a team that many had written off prior to the season.
Despite being outgained 387-245 in total yardage, Arizona hung on for a two-point win against the Patriots. New England also held a 25-16 advantage in first downs, a slight advantage in time of possession and won the turnover battle. But all that matters is the final score of 20-18, giving the Cardinals a 2-0 record for the first time since 2008.
It’s hard to put a finger on what has keyed the Cardinals during their first two victories of the season. Nothing jumps off the page in regards to statistics or individual performances. The team has managed to win with both John Skelton and Kevin Kolb starting under center. They’ve managed to win with literally no running game and All-Pro wideout Larry Fitzgerald has done next to nothing on the receiving end.
The Cardinals’ defense has been good when needed. Again, the unit isn’t lighting up the stat sheet but does rank tied for fourth in the NFL with seven sacks on the year. Arizona has struggled to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks in recent years but it’s been a large part of the team’s success so far this season.
While no one in the desert will argue with a 2-0 start, the Cardinals have left a lot to be desired out on the field. The offense isn’t clicking yet – either on the ground or through the air – and things should only get better defensively. Arizona has a 9-2 record over its last 11 games and has ample areas for improvement as the 2012 campaign progresses.
So, how good can the Cardinals be? Well, we’ll start to find an answer to that question as the Eagles head to University of Phoenix Stadium in a battle of two of the NFL's remaining six undefeated teams.
Should Arizona prevail for a third consecutive week, it may be time to reassess where the Cardinals are headed this year as they'll certainly be on track for bigger and better things than what was originally expected.
Questions or comments? Contact Brad Wilbricht at firstname.lastname@example.org
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