This was the team we thought we were going to see all season.
A scrappy, oportunistic defense.
A young, smart quarterback who trusted his receivers to make plays.
A Hall Of Fame running back getting the majority of his yards after contact.
This was the team we expected, then hoped for, then forgot about.
No, a two game winning streak is not the stuff of legend, but it is the first
time since Denny Green took over the team that the Cardinals have done it.
Edgerrin James continued to be a good luck charm when he gains 100+ yards (he's
45-6 now when he hits the century mark), and Matt Leinart threw only one
interception and completed 62% of his passes.
This team, which we expected to be explosive on offense, started the game off
with a 56 yard touchdown pass to the very good receiver nobody talks about,
Bryant Johnson. This team, which we hoped would grow a spine at some
point, came up big when they forced a fumble in the third quarter, right when
the announcers were saying the momentum was all Seattle's and the Cardinals
It really was the defense that did it, forcing four fumbles and limiting
Shawn Alexander to 76 yards on 22 carries. Karlos Dansby, who has been
called everything from an underachiever to a failure to a whiner had 10 tackles.
The front four created pressure, sacking Matt Hasselback three times and while
Antrel Rolle still has to figure out a way to tackle a running back without
grabbing his facemask, he played well, forcing a huge fumble that turned a first
down into a second and eight.
And the much maligned special teams stepped up as well. Though Neil Rackers missed another field goal he hit the big one in the fourth quarter that
forced the Seahawks to go for the end zone late. Troy Walters, who's punt
return style had until today been to catch the ball and immediately fall down,
came up with a big 37 yard return, and Green finally remembered that franchise
running backs appreciate being given the opportunity to score touchdowns as
well, allowing Edge to stay in the game instead of inserting Marcel Shipp to
finish off the long drive.
It was fun to watch, and gave a hint of what next year might be like.
Could the Cards make it three in a row? With Jay Cutler and Denver coming
to town its possible, as Leinart will undoubtedly be looking to prove he
deserved to be taken one spot ahead of Cutler.