Sunday goes to show you can never take anything for granted in the NFL, especially if you haven’t won on the road in your last eight tries.
Sure there were bright spots like the play of Calais Campbell (10 tackles, 2.5 sacks) and the rest of the Cardinals defense who held Seattle to 261 yards, but the same can’t be said for Kevin Kolb and an inconsistent offense who, for the second straight week, failed to land the knockout punch in someone else’s backyard.
On paper this was certainly a game the Bird Gang expected to win. The Seahawks were dreadful their first two games being outscored 57-17 in blowout losses to the 49ers and Steelers.
Playing without injured Beanie Wells, the Cards managed 74 rushing yards between castoffs Alfonso Smith and Chester Taylor, but stalled inside Seattle territory numerous times because they couldn’t convert 3rd-and-short…check that, very short situations. Combined with two long missed Jay Feely field goals, you can understand why Ken Whisenhunt was likely sleepless leaving Seattle.
Offensively, it wasn’t a thing of beauty for either team, but credit Tarvaris
Jackson, Sydney Rice, and Marshawn Lynch for doing just enough to lift the Seahawks out of the NFC West cellar.
On the other side, for the first time, we saw frustration from Kolb who failed to complete a second-half pass to Larry Fitzgerald and forced throws all afternoon. Even the 12-yard touchdown to Fitz in the second quarter (into double coverage) was a ball that shouldn’t have been thrown. He threw two picks Sunday and has now turned the ball over four times in opponents’ territory already this season.
“I just have to be smarter with the ball, know the situation,” Kolb said.
“You have to sock it away and learn from it. It’s hard to swallow. Trust me, it’s hard to swallow.”
Trust me Kevin, Cardinal fans heard the quarterback carrousel quotes like that plenty last season and I don’t need to remind anyone how that movie ended.
The bad news is the Red Birds are 1-2.
The good news is the season is still young.
The best news is the Cards play in the worst division in football.
This was the type of game playoff teams win.
After what I saw Sunday, the jury is still out if Whisenhunt’s team is one of those.