Well, that’s just about how I envisioned this game going. I thought each team would manage a few more points, however the Arizona Cardinals faced several factors that kept them from going 3-0 for the first time since 1974.
First and formost, Washington looks like a pretty good team. They had trouble in their first game against the New York Giants, however they are the defending champs. Quarterback Jason Campbell was able to move the ball down the field in the first and fourth quarters. Washington controlled the ball for almost 11 of the 15 first quarter minutes.
Some other factors:
- Running Back Edgerrin James committed the Cardinals first turnover by fumbling inside Cardinals territory, which led to a 7-0 1st quarter Washington lead.
- The Cardinals continue to get a lack of respect from the officials. Two poor calls against the Cardinals took at least 10 points off the board. In the first quarter on 4th and 1, Arizona was called for delay of game. Clock replays show quarterback Kurt Warner getting the ball off with one second left on the clock. The play ended up being a brilliant call – a play action pass to tight end Ben Patrick. He was wide open and most likely would have ended up in the end zone. The second call we got hosed on was in the 4th quarter when the Cardinals were driving to tie the score. Receiver Steve Breaston was clearly interfered with on a long pass from Warner. Instead of the call, the ball was tipped in the air for an interception and returned back into Cardinals territory. That led to a Campbell to Santana Moss touchdown that eventually was the winning score.
- Poor game management by coach Ken Whisenhunt. With 2:32 remaining, Whisenhunt decided to rely on his defense instead of his offense. On 4th down he decided to punt the ball back to the Skins instead of going for it. His thinking was with two timeouts and the two minute warning, the Cardinals could get a stop and get the ball back. However, the defense was tired and hadn’t been off the field very long. I would have gone for it, but that’s why they pay Wisenhunt the big bucks right? Well, wrong decision. I’d take back a few of those bucks. Since that won’t happen though, it is what it is and we move on.
Now that I’ve put most of my living room back together and managed to spare my LCD TV for another week, all we can do is look forward to the game next Sunday against the New York Jets. Hopefully the Cardinals learned a few things today about themselves. They can’t just walk in to another stadium and expect everything to fall their way. They will have to earn it and overcome the adversities. Even with the calls against them today, a great team is able to overcome them. Today they didn’t. Let’s hope next week has a different ending.