The Arizona Cardinals continued their dominance on the road Sunday, scoring on their first five possessions en route to a 41-21 victory in Chicago.
It was a game where the passing defense once again gave up the most yards of the day, however the rushing defense was back in place, only allowing Bears running back Matt Forte to run for 32 yards.
For a little while in the first quarter it looked like it would just go back and forth with both teams taking the ball right down the field in their first drives. However, the Cards managed to run over a depleted Bears defense thanks to the early ejection of Bears lineman Tommie Harris and other injuries, including the Bears’ Charles Tillman.
In fact things got so good in the second half, the Cards inserted Matt Leinart in the fourth quarter. That was until he threw an interception and the Bears made things a little too close for comfort, getting back to a 34-21 game. Warner re-entered the game and threw his fifth touchdown of the day, to receiver Steve Breaston and the Cards went on to win the game 41-21. A good day to be a Cardinals fan indeed.
Kurt Warner. He threw 5 touchdowns for the second time in his career. The last time was in October 1999, marking the longest period of time between 5 TD games in NFL history. I didn’t find that stat. NBC did. Amazing where they find this stuff.
The running game. For the first time this season, the Cardinals resembled a real running NFL team. Running back Tim Hightower has 15 rushes for 77 yards and back Beanie Wells had 13 rushes for 72 yards. The Cards found holes and I really love the toughness and focus both backs had today. They also both seemed to have resolve on every run, protecting the ball and trying for every extra yard. It was a nice sight to see!
The secondary has its moments, however they continued to get burned by long passes. They were burned for more than 20 yards a number of times today. I guess you can’t complain too much though when you win 41-21.
Maintaining leads. This was the third time this season the Cards held a lead of at least 20 points only to allow their opponent back into the game. Against Jacksonville, the Cards had a 31-10 lead, before the Jags closed to within 7 points at 31-24 and one play within tying the game. The excuse there was Warner was pulled too soon. Today Warner was not pulled until the 4th quarter. Against Houston, they were up 21-0 before allowing the Texans to tie the game. Today, they were up by 27, 34-7, before the Bears closed to within 13 at 34-21. It’s a trend that has you close enough to consider turning the channel for a few minutes until the ship is righted. It shouldn’t come down to that though.
Nothing on the Cards side today, but what was the Bears Tommie Harris thinking? One of the Bears best defenders sucker punched Cards lineman Deuce Latui only one minute into the game. If you saw the punch, it was ridiculous. He put his team in a bad position. A very selfish act.
So there you have it. The Cards now come home to play the Seattle Seahawks, a team they demolished in Seattle 27-3 a few weeks ago. The Cards need to right the ship at home. They are 1-3 at home and need to re-establish their home dominance.