Beanie Wells, like his teammates, was frustrated. The running back sat at his locker after Sunday’s one-point loss to the Redskins, having seen one slip away. He had watched friend and former teammate Tim Hightower light up the Cards in the first half, and then Wells – who had just six yards rushing on only three first-half carries – roared back in the second half. He ended up with 93 yards on 14 carries and nearly overtook Hightower (96 yards on 20 carries) despite the latter’s head start.
His second-half coming out was “just about opportunity and execution,” Wells said, and I’m sure he wasn’t thrilled it took a half to get there. More importantly, his comment serves well the Cardinals’ entire game Sunday. They had opportunity. They didn’t execute.
The defense is going to have a chance to rally big next week playing in Seattle. Clearly the Seahawks are offensively challenged. Of course, the Cards don’t have the luxury of making any assumptions right now.
– The game played out like bookends. Although the fourth quarter had a different vibe than the first, the end result was the Cards ran six offensive plays in the first quarter, and six in the fourth. The blame falls on both sides – the defense has to find a way to get off the field, the offense a way to stay on – and it’s difficult to win under those circumstances.
– The Redskins, by the way, had 25 plays in the first quarter and 31 in the fourth.
– The way Kevin Kolb took the hit from London Fletcher and still delivered that ball, I mean, that’s the reason his ex-Philly teammates kept swearing by the guy and saying he’d play well in Arizona and why his new teammates love him already.
– Kolb also did the most important thing with Larry Fitzgerald – he just gave Fitz a chance. I know Fitz was wide open, but Kolb was worried he had overthrown him. Nope. Fitz made it work.
– You don’t want to overstate the importance of an injury, but given the way linebacker Daryl Washington played in the opener and given his speed, I find it hard to believe the Redskins would have run the ball so well had Washington been able to play.
– That’s three field-goal blocks for Calais Campbell in his career. Having a 6-foot-8 weapon in the middle there is crucial. Campbell needs to make more of an impact on defense, however.
– Just for a brief moment, I thought Patrick Peterson – maybe, just maybe – was going to break that final punt return.
– You noticed Peterson and A.J. Jefferson a lot less Sunday than last week, Of course, the Redskins were running it more (and with more success) than Carolina did.
– Wells had a good day after he started getting the ball more. It sure seemed like he had most of his success, interestingly, on the quick draw off shotgun snaps.
– Two TDs in two weeks for tight end Jeff King. He’s already one short of his career-best season.
– Former Card RB Tim Hightower got away with baiting the Cards into an early penalty, giving a shot to linebacker Paris Lenon well after the play, setting off a scrum that ended with safety Kerry Rhodes getting nabbed for an unsportsmanlike penalty. Hightower said he knew how to push the buttons of his former teammates. You have to stay out of that stuff if you are a Card (although I’m not sure why Hightower wasn’t flagged in the first place.)
There isn’t a ton to analyze at this point. The Cardinals will have to find a way to slow opponents. Because certainly, when you have a chance to win a road game, you don’t want to see it fade like Sunday’s did.
Tags: A.J. Jefferson, Beanie Wells, Daryl Washington, Jeff King, Kevin Kolb, Larry Fitzgerald, Paris Lenon, Patrick Peterson, Redskins
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