Defense Can’t Stop High-Powered Giants Offense, Lose 37-29
By Scott Allen
Well, that was an interesting game.
I’m not quite sure what to make of this game overall. According to Fox NFL broadcasters Kenny Albert and Darryl “Moose” Johnston, the Arizona Cardinals showed people some things, they still didn’t earn the respect they needed. I agree with them to a point.
I think the Cards definitely have already started to earn respect. However, today they learned the mistakes that were made that allowed them to defeat weaker teams in St. Louis, San Francisco, and Seattle, are the same mistakes that most definitely can not be made against the NFL’s best in the New York Giants.
The Cardinals defense couldn’t have stopped a nose bleed on Sunday. Unfortunately they made too many mistakes on Sunday in order to pull off the upset. Several mistakes on Sunday did in the Cardinals on their quest for the upset.
Matt Ware. I haven’t mentioned him much this season and now I know why. His personal foul penalty for a facemask set the Cardinals back on a punt. Then his offsides on a kickoff allowed the Giants’ Domenik Hixon a second chance to run the ball back. Cardinals special teams were abysmal on Sunday. The Giants scored at will in the first half mostly because of Hixon’s return yardage. Then a missed extra point that unfortunately I called before it happened. It seems like something negative always happens after a positive thing gets momentum to switch back to the Cardinals side.
Turnovers. The Cardinals didn’t turn the ball over at will, however two of them were enough to turn the tide. The Cardinals offensive line didn’t block much. I’ve seen better blocking from second rate anti-virus spyware programs. Kurt Warner’s fumble, which was cause by Levi Brown blocking a Giants defender right into Warner’s arm. Then later Warner threw his 8th interception of the year.
No running game. Now, this normally wouldn’t be a reason for losing because let’s face it, the Cards have no running game and everyone knows it. However, the draw play that the Cardinals for some reason continue to run for no yardage or negative yardage must be stricken from the playbook. Even my 17 month old son knows what’s coming and knows how to stop that play. I mean, c’mon guys!
Play calling. It would be expected for someone to call Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt’s thinking at the end of the first half genius. He had Steve Breaston call for a fair catch after using their timeouts to force the Giants to punt the ball back to them. By calling a fair catch, the Cardinals were able to have Neil Rackers try a free kick from 68 yards. 68 yards. In case you didn’t read me right – 68 yards!! Why go through all that effort to stop the clock and get the ball back without trying a Hail Mary. There was no way this ball was going 68 yards off the ground. It was a stretch to say it would go that far off a tee. Why not take a shot at the end zone. Three points in that situation does nothing for you anyways. A Hail Mary had a better shot in that situation.
Eli Manning and the Giants showed why they are number one in the NFL. They have balance. On a day where they were missing their top running back Brandon Jacobs and their top receiver Plaxico Burress, they still had enough balance in their game to get the job done and rather easily. They only trailed 3-0 and 9-7 and 12-10 and those deficits all were short lived.
The Cardinals had a chance to win the West on Sunday. They will have another shot only four days from now in Philadelphia against the Eagles after Seattle and San Francisco both lost on Sunday. That’s what makes this loss not so hard to take. I’ve been telling people all along they just needed to win one of these two games this week. After watching Philadelphia get throttled by Baltimore 36-7 today and watching quarterback Donovan Mcnabb get benched at halftime, I am confident in the Cardinals success back east on Thanksgiving night.
The defense needs to shore up and the offense needs to find a little more balance and not turn the ball over and all should be good. If the Cardinals avoid the mistakes they made today, then it truly will be a happy Thanksgiving feast in the City of Brotherly Loved on Thursday night. Let’s just hope it doesn’t end in a tie, or maybe it should cause Donovan Mcnabb would never see it coming.
Let’s watch the Cards forget about this one quickly and move on to Philly and an NFC West divisional title. There is no time to sulk. Get it done boys!