The Cardinals know they would have won Sunday if, in one example, they would have finished better in the red zone early. Not to pick at a scab, but a quick recap — the first three possessions ended at the Giants’ 9-yard line, the 17 and then the 9 again. Sandwiched between two field goals (and a 6-0 instead of a 14-0 lead) was a lost fumble, costing the Cards at least three points.
The Cardinals did finish much stronger however. They made three more red-zone trips the rest of the game, with Beanie Wells jamming in TD runs each time, from the 1, 1 and 2. When it comes to the red zone, it’s more about the Cards getting there more often than it will be about scoring touchdowns I’d think; the six red-zone trips against New York were one more than the Cardinals had in their first three games combined.
Against Seattle, the Cards got there once and got a TD on Larry Fitzgerald’s amazing catch. Against Washington, one trip ended with a Wells’ two-yard TD run. It wasn’t good against Carolina in the opener, admittedly, when the Cards followed up a touchdown drive on their first possession of the season with two more red-zone trips that ended in a lost fumble and missed field goal.
“We could have pulled away by two or three scores at that point,” quarterback Kevin Kolb said, lamenting the missed chances against the Giants. “I don’t know what to tell you. We’ve just got to get better.”
Some of it is the Cards’ overall third-down woes; the offense has converted just 29.8 percent of their third-down opportunities. With Wells turning into such a battering ram/weapon, however, the conversion rate on both third downs and in the red zone figures to go up. As defenses have to worry more about him, Fitzgerald should also get more room down there.
Tags: Beanie Wells, Kevin Kolb
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