Domination. Look it up in the dictionary and next to it is a picture of last night’s game. The Arizona Cardinals convincing 30-17 victory last night over the Minnesota Vikings showed myself, Cards fans, and the rest of the NFL something last night on national television that the Cards have been building on all season, confidence and maturity.
Maturity is the major keyword there. In the past, even as recent as this season, the Cardinals have, at times, lacked a maturity to handle success. After expectations were high going into the season after last season’s run to the Super Bowl, the Cardinals fell flat early and often.
Example #1: After struggling at home against the San Francisco 49ers and then going on the road and coming within a couple of plays of blowing a huge lead in Jacksonville, the Cardinals were coming home in week three to play the Indianapolis Colts for their first regular season game on Sunday Night Football on NBC. As you know, it didn’t go well. Not well at all. Easily one of the two worst games of the season for the Cards, as they lost 31-10 in front of the nation.
Example #2: The Cards, coming off a high and one of biggest regular season victories in New York on Sunday Night Football and previously a huge victory in Seattle, they came home the next week and fell flat, literally flat, against the Carolina Panthers, in a home game nonetheless. They were never really in the game. They were tied once, never held the lead and the Panthers ran all over them like a steamroller.
Here’s where the maturity starts to build.
Example #1: The Cards followed up that miserable game with a terrific game against the Chicago Bears. They took the early lead and never looked back. Easily one of Kurt Warner’s best games of the year. The Cards still allowed Bears quarterback Jay Cutler to throw all over the field, however they didn’t allow him to get a rhythm going and kept him in check for the most part. The Cards went to 4-0 on the road at the time. Then they followed that up with a tougher than expected game at home against Seattle, and then St. Louis, which was the game Kurt Warner’s day ended in the second quarter.
Example #2: In an even tougher situation, with Warner missing the game in Tennessee due to a concussion, Matt Leinart having the start in his place, the situation couldn’t have seemed more dire, especially given the resurgence of the Titans and quarterback Vince Young. They played tough and came from 10 down in the third quarter to eventually take a 17-13 lead in the fourth quarter. The Cards defense allowed the Titans to drive 99 yards in less than two minutes, capped by a Young touchdown pass as time expired, handing the Cards a tough loss. The Cards could have laid down and given up hope with the Vikings, the one loss Vikings, coming to town and on top of the world. As you saw last night, the defense was dominating. They only allowed 19 yards on 13 carries to Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, sacked quarterback Brett Favre three times and forced two interceptions.
Maturity, the new synonym for Cardinals domination.
Tags: Adrian Peterson Arizona Cardinals Brett Favre Carolina Panthers Chicago Bears Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars Jay Cutler Kurt Warner Matt Leinart Minnesota Vikings New York Giants San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks St Louis Rams Sunday Night Football Tennessee Titans Vince Young