Cards Win Big, Warner Breaks Passing Record; the Emotional Roller Coaster Continues
The Arizona Cardinals are off to a skitzophrenic start after yesterday's impressive road win over the Jacksonville Jaguars and last week's embarrassing loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Make up your minds, fellas. Either be the Super Bowl-caliber team we saw last year or the lovable losers we saw last week and have unfortunately come to expect. Not knowing who we're gonna see week-to-week could potentially make Valley psychiatrists very rich.
The Cardinals yesterday? They were a championship team, sort of.
Over the course of the 31-17 victory, the Jags defense didn't stand a chance. Kurt Warner and his offense were effective. Boring but effective.
The secret: Keep it simple.
Warner's passes were short, for the most part, but they moved the chains and allowed the Cards to score three of their four touchdowns with ease in the redemptive beat-down.
The second of the team's four TDs came on a blocked field goal attempt and a touchdown return after the ball found its way into the hands of Cardinals safety Antrel Rolle.
Rolle, who dropped a punt earlier in the game, ran the ball back 83 yards in the second quarter, putting the Cards up 17-3.
The next score was a five-yard touchdown pass to Jason Wright, which was testament to the team's effective short passes and up-the-gut running game.
But the story of the night was Kurt Warner.
Warner completed 24 of 26 passes, for an NFL record 92.3 completion percentage.
Unfortunately, in the third quarter, with the Cards up 31-3 and shortly after almost half of the stadium went home, Warner left the game with a sore shoulder and the Cardinals' nightmare scenario became reality: Enter Matt Leinart.
Leinart came into the game up 31-3 and left with a narower 31-17 victory.
The game would have gotten ugly for the Cards if not for the butterfingers of Jaguars receiver Nate Hughes.
Hughes dropped two touchdown passes late in the game. Either would have unimaginably put the Jags one touchdown from victory.
In his one-quarter-and-change appearance, Leinart and the Cards put up no points, as he completed three of six passes for a pathetic 22 yards.
Thankfully, Warner doesn't seem to understand the concept of time and the toll it takes on the human body. He's tough, stays in the pocket and isn't afraid to take a hit. Which is what got him that sore shoulder.
Let's hope it heals quickly and he's back in action next Sunday for Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts at University of Phoenix stadium. A Leinart start would be too much to bear.