RB Edgerrin James (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty)
The Cardinals suffered their first defeat of the season, falling short to the Washington Redskins 24-17. Arizona’s defense was unable to hold court in the second half while Kurt Warner and company failed to move the ball on their final three possessions of the game. Brad Wilbricht breaks down Sunday’s action from FedEx Field.
Led by RB Clinton Portis, Washington ran the ball 31 times for 136 yards. The Cardinals limited Portis to 68 yards on 21 carries, but he managed to find the end zone on the Redskins' first possession of the game. Backup RB Ladell Betts spelled Portis effectively throughout the game and Campbell chipped in with timely scrambles as the pocket collapsed.
For the second straight week, Campbell was extremely efficient leading the Redskins offense. He completed 22-of-30 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. Early in the fourth quarter, Campbell hooked up with WR Santana Moss on a 17-yard touchdown strike that proved to be the game-winning score. Moss and TE Chris Cooley were tremendous as both finished with seven catches a piece. Backup TE Todd Yoder was the recipient of Campbell’s other touchdown, hauling in a 2-yard pass during second half action.
On a positive note, the Cardinals had their best rushing performance of the season. RB Edgerrin James averaged over five yards per carry, racking up 93 yards on 18 carries. James only miscue was an early fumble that resulted in a Washington field goal. Although he was held out of the end zone for the first time this season, rookie RB Tim Hightower carried five times for 23 yards. Hightower also displayed his receiving skills, catching three passes for 38 yards.
QB Kurt Warner was under constant duress by the Redskins defense all day long. While he was sacked only twice, Warner was hurried and knocked down on several other occasions. He ended up completing 16-of-30 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. Warner was picked off for this first time this year when CB Carlos Rogers made a diving catch and returned it 42 yards deep into Cardinals territory. In addition to the interception, Rogers also recovered James’ fumble in the first quarter.
QB Kurt Warner
Although WR Anquan Boldin caught only three passes for 35 yards, he reeled in a 4-yard touchdown in the first half. Boldin has now reached pay dirt four times in the last two weeks. While Boldin was held in check, WR Larry Fitzgerald maintained his brilliant play. He reeled in seven catches for 109 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown grab. Fitzgerald surpassed 100 yards receiving for the second consecutive game.
Linebackers Karlos Dansby and Gerald Hayes continue to lead the Arizona defense. Dansby finished with nine tackles and one sack while Hayes led the team with 13 stops. The Cardinals pass rush resulted in two sacks but the Redskins offensive line gave Campbell plenty of time in the pocket as the game progressed. Arizona’s secondary performed adequately, but failed to come up with a big play to jump start the defense.
The Cardinals will stay put on the East Coast this week before heading north to face the New York Jets. Their next home date is set for Oct. 5 against the Buffalo Bills.
Brad Wilbricht can be contacted at email@example.com