I’ve been hearing it all morning. The 3-0 Arizona Cardinals are still not gaining some of the respect the deserve, even from their own so-called “fans”. After yesterday’s demolition of the Philadelphia Eagles, I think people have finally started to believe in the defense at least. However people are still saying, “well the Seahawks dropped the ball in the end zone”, “the Patriots missed the field goal to win the game”. Yes, both are true statements. However, fact is they won. They won. Period.
In years past we’ve all played the same game on the other side of things. “Well, if they had just gotten that first down, the would’ve won”. “If they made that field goal”, if if if. They didn’t give us the wins when we lost the “what if” games, so why should we diminish what the Cards have accomplished so far in the “what if” wins this season. They aren’t taking those away either. So, for that simple fact, I don’t buy into the “what if’s”.
This team is legitimate. Let’s look at the three games so far.
Game 1 vs. Seahawks: You don’t play the what if because the defense held the Hawks to 16 points and 10 of them came on short fields thanks to poo punt and kickoff coverage. So, sure, you could say, well the Hawks dropped two passes in the end zone, however on the flip side you could say, well if the Cards had better coverage on the kick teams, well it would never have played into the conversation. “What if’s” here aren’t arguable.
Game 2 vs. Patriots: The Cards defense sacked Pats quarterback Tom Brady four times. The Cards intercepted him once and held the Pats to field goals instead of touchdowns until the fourth quarter touchdown. They stopped the two-point conversion. Again, yes, the Pats could have won it on the final field goal, but these things aren’t a gimmie three points from any distance. You once again could say “what if”. Well Pats would never have been in that position if Cards running back Ryan Williams hadn’t fumbled. No fumble, possibly no shot at a Pats field goal attempt. You can play it on both sides. Once again, the “what if” game flips on you. Fact is, Pats kicker Stephen Gastkowski missed his field goal. Wasn’t close. It’s still an NFL play where players have to execute. One could argue the Cards were in his head with their great special teams. So, moving on..
Game 3 vs. Eagles: There should be no “what if’s” from this weekend’s game but we know there still will be. “What if” they don’t sack Michael Vick and knock the ball out of his hands and return it 93 yards for a touchdown at the end of the first half? Yeah “what if” this and that. Sometimes it’s fun to think of what if and this year it makes you shudder to think what if. I’m not buying any of it though. These Cards are legitimate. The defense for sure and the offense has steadily improved each week. They take care of the ball. No turnovers against the Eagles. That’s no fluke. There is no “what if”. The Cards are 3-0 and deservedly so.