At halftime, I talked about making adjustments after not necessarily a bad first half, but a first half with missed opportunities. I mentioned how the Arizona Cardinals have had a hard time in the past making the proper adjustments at halftime. Today it turned out to be the exception rather than the rule as the Cards defeated the Dallas Cowboys 19-13 in overtime on a 52-yard pass and catch from Kevin Kolb to LaRod Stephens-Howling. For those wanting to rip on Kolb, let’s agree he didn’t play very well in the first half. No doubt. However, let’s put the waive Kolb discussions away for awhile. That second half was about as good he has played all season.
It didn’t start out great. Kolb took a couple of bad sacks, however his offensive line didn’t do him any favors either. Kolb’s problem was he was holding on the ball too long. He still needs to learn how to throw the ball away under pressure. You saw a little of that in the second half today. Kolb’s numbers weren’t fantastic, but for a guy returning from missing the last four weeks, against a good team and to not turn the ball over, says volumes about the performance and character of Kolb.
The second half the offense started to move the ball. Today might have been receiver Andre Roberts coming out party. He caught six passes for 111 yards. If the Cards continue to get that performance on a consistent basis, you have a number two receiver. Beanie Wells started to re-establish himself as a force. He ran much harder in the second half.
As much as we can credit the Cards for their second half performance, you have to wonder about the Cowboys? The Cowboys played like a team with no urgency. Quarterback Tony Romo definitely threw the ball ok. He had receivers drop passes, not know passes were coming, and his clock management at the end of regulation was mind-boggling. With two timeouts on the board, the Cowboys didn’t seem all in that much of a hurry to get downfield and set up for a game-winning field goal. Without using a timeout, Romo eventually spiked the ball to stop the clock for a last second field-goal attempt.
Then it got crazy.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett called a timeout to ice his kicker Dan Bailey. Bailey, who had already missed a field goal attempt in the first quarter to break his streak of 26 straight successful tries, made his first attempt but it didn’t count thanks to the timeout. He hooked the second attempt and really seemed to take a lazy approach to the second attempt. Make no matter, it led to the overtime heroics.
The Cards won the overtime toss and Kolb led the Cards down the field on the first possession, which of course ended in the 52-yard touchdown. Just simply an amazing turn of the events at the end of the game. Now, the Cards have won four of five and have an overall record of 5-7. Amazingly enough the Cards are still in the Wild Card hunt. They are two games back with four to play. Not mathematically eliminated yet. If not for anything else, the Cards still have a shot at .500, which five weeks ago didn’t seem possible at all.