For the first time since 1974, the Arizona Cardinals are 3-0 thanks a 27-6 total domination of the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium. Most of the damage was done in the first half but the Cards maintained defensive pressure to hold the Eagles without a touchdown. It was an impressive game all around for the Cards.
The Cards offense scored 20 points on Sunday. Cards quarterback Kevin Kolb went 17-24 for 222 yards and two touchdowns. He had no interceptions. Let me repeat, no interceptions. Once again, he managed the game and the Cards did not turn the ball over. He also got Cards receiver Larry Fitzgerald involved finally. Fitz caught nine passes for 114 yards and a 37-yard touchdown.
As for the running game, it took awhile to get going, but in the fourth quarter when it counted the most, Cards running back Ryan Williams took over and led the Cards on their only scoring drive of the second half. He rushed 13 times for 83 yards. He took more snaps than Cards running back Beanie Wells did in the second half. Wells left the game with a toe injury. We’ll see how that turns out. No word yet on the seriousness of the injury.
The Cards defense though was the main story again. They got to Eagles quarterback Michael Vick for five sacks. They also created three turnovers, all fumbles, including a game changing fumble as the Eagles were driving for a touchdown lat in the first half. Instead of settling for a field goal, the Eagles tried to punch it in the end zone and safety Kerry Rhodes came around the end and jarred the ball loose from Vick. Safety James Sanders picked the ball up and ran 93 yards for a touchdown, creating a 14-point swing. The game was basically over at 24-0 at that point. It wasn’t completely over because, remember the Baltimore game last year? This is a different team with a different attitude.
Speaking of that new attitude, even when things seem to be turning, the mental toughness has stayed in tact. You saw it today. The Eagles three times had good long drives, only to come out with two field goals in the process. The offense is picking it up and making plays too. Steadily we are seeing an improving offense. It is not the best in the league by any stretch and nor will it probably be at any point, but they are good enough to not give the ball or game away and that is what matters most.