Anquan Boldin (Jed Jacobsohn/Getty)
Taking it one game at a time, the Arizona Cardinals are setting weekly goals and getting the job done. It was all smiles for head coach Ken Whisenhunt at Monday’s press conference. The smiles are contagious as the Cardinals make a 2-0 start. Here’s the strategy behind the wins. And how the Cardinals plan on keeping their opposition guessing in the future.
The Cardinals 31-10 win at home in Week 2 was important for many reasons. Arizona won the game it was suppose to, won at home and kept their unbeaten streak alive.
“Our first week we wanted to win on the road and in the division,” Ken Whisenhunt said. “That was important to us and we accomplished that. This week we wanted to win at home, in front of our fans, who did a great job with the noise level, and beat a team we felt we should have beaten.”
It was no secret after a week one lose to the New York Jets, that the Miami Dolphins wanted to do a better job stopping the run. Knowing this, Whisenhunt prepared for an eight man front accordingly. The Cardinals went over the Dolphin defense on Sunday finishing the day with 361 yards. Anquan Boldin hauled in three scores and 140 yards. Not to be out done Larry Fitzgerald did his best Boldin impression gaining yards after the catch. He finished with six catches and 153 yards.
“It always helps when you have great runs after the catch,” Whisenhunt said. “Which we see from Anquan all the time, it’s nice to see Larry doing those things. He made a conscious effort going into this season that it was one of the areas he wanted to work on and it has shown up. It’s exciting to see that. If you add that to his game it makes him a dangerous receiver.”
The Cardinals offense finished with 26 passes and 31 rushing attempts. Whisenhunt hopes it was enough balance to keep opposing defenses guessing in the future.
“What I hope that the league sees is that after two weeks, we’re versatile,” Whisenhunt said. “We can do a little bit of both. The thing that I liked yesterday is we had a multitude of offensive packages. It helps keep defenses off balance and force them to play more vanilla coverages.”
Looking ahead the Cardinals will head east for the next two weeks to play the Washington Redskins and New York Jets. Different from last year, Whisenhunt has the team staying on the east coast during the road trip. Saving 6,000 miles and ten hour of flying, Whisenhunt hopes the extra down time will translate into a winning routine.
“The way we traveled last year was a bit of an experiment,” Whisenhunt said. “We went with the three day trip, we went with the two day trip, I think now were settled on what works best for us.”
More familiar with the travel schedule, Whisenhunt is still worried players will have trouble adjusting.
“Last year we had games on the east coast and let’s face it, we sucked. We didn’t play well. Staying should give us the best chance to win.”