At the beginning of the season there were three concerns that virtually all fans and sportswriters mentioned about the Arizona Cardinals: 1) The quarterbacks (Kevin Kolb and John Skelton) and their tendency to make poor decisions, 2) the patchwork offensive line and their inability to protect the quarterback, and 3) the pass defense, and their tendency to give up big pass plays.
All three surfaced during the game against the Miami Dolphins.
- Kevin Kolb made a huge error with an ill-timed throw in the red zone that was intercepted in the end zone.
- The offensive line offered Kolb very little protection throughout the game, allowing the Dolphins to sack Kolb eight times.
- And the secondary was torched by Ryan Tannehill, with Brian Hartline having a career day against the Cardinals pass defense.
Fortunately, the Cardinals once again made some key plays when they counted: a Daryl Washington sack and fumble recovery, which gave the Cardinals an opportunity to tie the game in regulation, and a Kerry Rhodes interception in overtime (forced by a Paris Lenon hit on Tannehill), which set up the game winning field goal. And to his credit, Kolb did make some big time throws — none bigger than the touchdown pass to Andre Roberts with a few seconds remaining in regulation.
So yes, the Cardinals are figuring out ways to win. Great teams make plays when they count, and the Cardinals are doing just that. But they will need to improve on these three areas — along with their running game –if they are going to compete against the better teams in the league.