Kevin Boss (Stephen Dunn/Getty)
The Cardinals are the masters of their domain at the University of Phoenix Stadium. But on Sunday, a giant opponent came in and took the crown, winning 37-29. The New York Giants came, saw and conquered in the same place they won the Super Bowl less than a year ago. The Cardinals’ loss snapped their four-game winning streak at home. Here is what didn’t work in Glendale.
The Cardinals had high hopes for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants. A win would have proved to the team and to the country how far they’ve come. But Sunday wasn’t fun and games for either team. The Giants and the Cardinals equally provided efficient numbers on both sides of the ball. But at the end of the day, it's all about the "W". Here is what went wrong:
--Kurt Warner gave up two turnovers on Sunday. His protection collapsed when Justin Tuck made a beeline to the veteran signal caller. Warner was also picked off. The interception marked Warner’s eighth of the season. For as much as he throws, that number meets reasonable expectations. He sits about mid-league in interception standings.
--It’s no surprise that the Cardinals struggled on the ground against the Giants. Despite two rushing touchdowns by Tim Hightower, Arizona gained just 23 yards by rushing. The Giants pack a mighty run defense punch, but the Cardinals are going to have to figure out how to work in the run.
--Sorry to say for Edgerrin James, he was a disappointment. Sure he hasn’t seen close to the number of carries he is use to- and he takes it personal and wants out of the desert- but it’s difficult to imagine the Cardinals handing him the ball more when he loses a yard on his only carry of the game. In the past three contests, James has four carries good for an inadequate 4 yards.
--Arizona dropped the ball on special teams. Throughout the contest, the Cardinals gave the Giants a short field to work on. But the fourth quarter was beyond weak. The Giants started in Arizona terrain in three of their last possessions.
Unfortunately some of the blame is on defensive back Matt Ware’s shoulders. The Cardinals played a disciplined game, but he resulted in all of Arizona’s penalties, all of which were on special teams. His trio resulted in 29 yards given up to the Giants.
The Cardinals attempted a pair of onside kicks that didn’t work. Arizona tried its first when it was down a touchdown with the game within reach. The placement of the ball couldn’t have been more precise, but Ralph Brown appeared to think the play out too much and wasn’t able to pick off the bounce. The Giants recovered the ball and started in Arizona territory.
Arizona gave it the old college try once again, but the Giants recovered the ball easily to end the ball game.
--Not to forget, the slightly annoying 68-yard attempt by Neil Rackers. He received all day to set up and caught the unwavering attention of the stadium and those at home, but all the build up was a big disappointment.
Click here for what did work.