There are few things as satisfying in the NFL than a win that was taken care of from the opening series, but that’s what the Cards did Sunday. That was as dominating of a defensive performance that I can ever remember seeing out of the Cards; I mean, you take out that 42-yard fake punt and what did Seattle get? The rushing defense has been good all along. Maybe that’s the key, everyone just staying home and in their gaps and everything is fine. I do know that, with Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw coming up next week, that will be a telling test.
— We all know the Seahawks are injury-ravaged. Again. Defensive stars Patrick Kerney (groin) and Lofa Tatupu (torn pectoral) left the game and Tatupu is done for the season. That’s a killer, and that doesn’t include all the offensive linemen out. But Darnell Dockett, for one, couldn’t care a whit. “I don’t care nothing but excuses about how they’re hurting and all that,” the defensive end said. “When we shaking hands with a few of their guys, they’re like ‘We had this hurt and this guy.’ So (expletive) what. You gotta play the game at the end of the day. We’re not going to tell our guys to not play hard because you’re missing such and such and such. Naw, man.”
— If you have the game on TiVo or something and you didn’t watch Larry Fitzgerald’s catch on the third offensive play of the game — he slipped to his stomach and got his hands and arms up enough to make an all-hands catch — replay it for yourself and embrace the artistry. My note next to it as I kept play-by-play: OHMYGOD.
— The running game wasn’t perfect, and as the Seahawks realized the Cards would run late with a lead it became much harder to find holes, but that’s the balance the Cards want and need. Not 50/50 — it was still 43 passes, 26 runs — but the threat was there. And early, both Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells found some room.
— Beanie had another fumble. Somehow, it wasn’t recorded on the official play-by-play, but he definitely dropped it during that first long drive and was fortunate to jump on it. He just can’t let that happen.
— Speaking of stat questions, I’d expect the sack stats to change. Right now Clark Haggans was given full credit for the sack/fumble of Matt Hasselbeck. Watching the play, Calais Campbell did the bulk of the work and I think the ball was coming out as Haggans got there. I think Campbell should have his first two-sack game.
— There is always concern with an injury, but the Cards have to hope Anquan Boldin’s ankle sprain isn’t serious. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said it wasn’t and that the whole reason the Cards took Boldin out was to protect him for the Giants’ game this week. But they will need Boldin in New York.
— With the noise, the Cards seemed to take a lot more snaps under center than usual. That’s also a nod to running the ball more. I know Kurt Warner likes shotgun a lot, but it obviously worked fine Sunday.
— Rookie Rashad Johnson was inactive Sunday as a healthy scratch. That shows how far he still needs to go on the learning curve, especially with Matt Ware back and able to perform well on both special teams and defense.
— Whisenhunt called kicker Neil Rackers a “weapon” and that has been clear for a long time. His “mortar” kick that Greg Toler recovered (below) changed the game.
That’s it. As a P.S., I think if someone is looking for a team to think of that went to New England and didn’t show in the snow, it’s no longer the Cardinals. Thanks, Titans.
Tags: Anquan Boldin, Beanie Wells, Calais Campbell, Clark Haggans, Darnell Dockett, Greg Toler, Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Neil Rackers, Rashad Johnson, Seahawks, Tim Hightower
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