Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Nice article on Cards win from ProFootballTalk
Boy, this is a surprise. Positive words on the Cards.
Week Seven Morning Aftermath: Cardinals 24, Giants 17
Posted by Mike Florio on October 26, 2009 9:08 AM ET
Last January, the Arizona Cardinals seized upon an "everyone thinks we suck" vibe, and carried it all the way to the Super Bowl.
The label, frankly, was deserved. A perfect 6-0 against other NFC West teams, the Cardinals were batting .300 (good in baseball, very bad in football) against the rest of the league.
In five of seven 2009 losses, the Cardinals gave up, on average, more than 44 points.
The low point came in in late September, with a 56-35 loss at the Meadowlands, against the Jets.
The Cardinals avoided having to return to New Jersey in the playoffs, thanks to an upset by the Eagles over the Giants. But the Cardinals couldn't avoid it this year, thanks to the league's regular-season scheduling formula.
The unlikely Super Bowl appearance transformed the "everyone thinks we suck" vibe into an "everyone thinks we're better than we really are" attitude -- and so the Cardinals staggered through the first three weeks of the season, hitting their too-early bye week at 1-2, capped by a crushing home loss to the Colts.
But since emerging from the off week, the Cardinals look like they did in January, apparently fueled by a return of the "everyone thinks we suck" vibe.
They vaulted back into contention in the NFC West in Week Six with a 27-3 thrashing of the Seahawks, in Seattle. But that outcome wasn't nearly as surprising as Sunday night's return to the Meadowlands, where the Cards sent the Giants to their second straight loss, following five straight wins to open the year.
In seizing a one-game lead in their division, Arizona did nothing spectacular on offense. Instead, their good-enough-to-keep-us-close-thanks-to-our-great-passing-game defense came up huge, picking off Eli Manning three times, sacking him three times, and forcing two fumbles, one of which was recovered by the Cardinals.
In fact, the Giants should have scored fewer than 17 points, given the volleyball bounce on a tipped pass that landed with almost perfect timing into the arms of Hakeem Nicks, who barely broke stride to come up with the ball. Apart from that fluke play, the Giants scored only ten points.
Already, the whispers are growing regarding the question of whether the Giants are a fluke -- a five-win franchise that fattened its record against the likes of the Redskins, Bucs, Chiefs, and Raiders.
It's a legitimate concern, and we'll find out soon whether the Giants can turn it around. Next week, they go to Philadelphia.
After the bye, the road doesn't get much easier, with a visit from Atlanta, a Thanksgiving-night trip to Denver, games against every team in their division, and a trip to Minnesota.
So it could be that the Giants are crumbling. We'll know a lot more in six days, when they play the team that knocked them out of the playoffs in 2008.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals are perched at 4-2 and their schedule has plenty of soft spots: Carolina, Seattle, St. Louis, Tennessee, Detroit, St. Louis again. That looks like at least 10 wins, one more than they managed for the entire regular season in 2008.
And who knows? Maybe the Cardinals will get one more win in the postseason, too.