It would be easy to sit here and say that the Arizona Cardinals have completely regressed into the team we all thought they would be back in preseason. In many cases, that would be a correct assessment. However, it is not a complete assessment of a 4-2 Cards team that dropped what was considered the closest thing to a gimme 19-16 to the Buffalo Bills in overtime.
So, where do we start. Well, let’s point out the positives first since they were present infrequently on Sunday. First of all, the running game. What looked like would be another long day running the ball actually didn’t turn out too bad for the situation the Cards were in. Running back William Powell carried 13 times for 70 yards. Quarterback Kevin Kolb rushed five times for 66. If you want to throw in the fake punt run by Rashad Johnson, he got 24 yards on that carry. So overall, looks like a nice day.
It was an awful day for the Cards quarterbacks. Kolb, who left the game due to a rib injury in the fourth quarter, only went 14-26 for 128 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He got sacked five more times on Sunday. His replacement, John Skelton, was downright horrible. He went 2-10 for 45 yards and a horrible interception in the overtime period. Kolb’s interception earlier in the game was just as bad, but Skelton’s came at the worst time. It set up the Bills for a winning field goal try.
One guy who could have turned out on the positive side of things on Sunday was kicker Jay Feely. He set a franchise record by kicking a game-tying 61-yard field goal with 1:09 left in regulation. However because of the Cards defense, he got one more shot to win it from 35 yards. He missed it. It hit the upright and clanked off. The rest was history.
It is undoubtedly a very disappointing end to the “easiest” stretch of the Cards schedule. With losses to St. Louis Rams and Buffalo the last two weeks, amazingly they still find themselves in a three-way tie for the NFC West lead. The San Francisco 49′ers got hammered at home by the New York Giants and the Seattle Seahawks upset the New England Patriots.
Up next is a trip to face the Minnesota Vikings. The Cards never play well there. The one time they did a few years ago, the blew a big lead and lost. They were hammered up there last season. Then the week after is a return home to face the Niners on Monday Night Football. Get ready for the “gauntlet” part of the schedule.