Patriots vs. Cardinals: Arizona's Biggest Winners and Losers from NFL Week 2

Cooper AllenAnalyst IISeptember 16, 2012

Patriots vs. Cardinals: Arizona's Biggest Winners and Losers from NFL Week 2

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    For the first time since 2008, the Arizona Cardinals have started the season 2-0. After knocking off a division rival in Week 1, the team proceeded to take down the reigning AFC champions.

    You would think that everything would have to go right for a team like Arizona to knock off New England. That wasn’t the case, though.

    There were many positives and a few negatives that the Cards can take from this game. Several players stood out this afternoon, while others almost cost Arizona the game.

    Here are the winners and losers from the Cardinals victory over the Patriots.

Winner: Daryl Washington

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    Prior to the game against Seattle, the Arizona Cardinals signed Daryl Washington to a six-year contract extension, and he has earned every penny of the deal so far this season.

    For the second week in a row, Washington has led the Arizona defense in tackles. After recording 10 against Seattle, the 25-year-old picked up 13 in Week 2.

    He is quickly emerging as one of the best young linebackers in all of football and is one of the main reasons why the Cardinals are 2-0.  

    The middle linebacker also defended a pass and didn’t look too bad in coverage, either. Arizona knows that they can rely on Washington to take this defense over, and if he can continue to do so, they will win a lot of ball games.

Loser: D'Anthony Batiste

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    After years of calling for his head, who would have thought that we would want Levi Brown to be back as the starting left tackle?

    D’Anthony Batiste has been the starter for Arizona over the past two weeks, and it is evident that Brown’s injury really has an impact on the offensive line.

    Batiste has been dominated by opposing pass-rushers, and it has almost cost the Cardinals two wins.

    Chandler Jones forced Kevin Kolb out of the pocket on multiple occasions, and the offense shut down against Seattle as soon as Batiste did.

    He has played well at times but needs to be more consistent for Arizona to be a winning football team.

Winner: Andre Roberts

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    You are probably asking yourself, “How can a guy who had one catch for two yards be a winner?” Normally, I would be asking the same thing.

    That said, Andre Roberts lands in the winners section this week because, for the second week in a row, he has hooked up with Kevin Kolb for a touchdown.

    Here is a stat for you: In each of his first two seasons, Roberts recorded just two touchdowns—a number that he has already hit in 2012.

    If he can continue to show chemistry with Kolb, then he will earn himself a lot of playing time going forward.

Loser: Ryan Williams

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    One player who had a really rough game—and has had a rough season for that matter—is running back Ryan Williams.

    In two games, the 22-year-old has rushed the ball 18 times for just 21 yards (1.2 yards per carry) and has not reached the end zone. He has caught four passes out of the backfield, but that really does not make up for his lack of success in the run game.

    To add on to that, Williams has also fumbled in both games. These turnovers nearly cost the Cardinals dearly.

    I understand that the offensive line isn’t helping at all, but c’mon, man, hang on to the ball.

Winner: Quentin Groves

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    After this matchup, Rod Graves is looking like an absolute genius. Two-and-a-half months after the beginning of free agency, the Cardinals signed Quentin Groves to a one-year contract. So far this season, it has proved to be an extremely underrated signing.

    The 28-year-old has been great coming off of the bench and hasn’t missed a beat on special teams.

    In the win against New England, Groves recorded his first regular season sack as a Cardinal and also blocked a punt that led to an Arizona touchdown.

    Despite not doing much in his first four years, Quentin Groves is a game-changer, and he has earned himself a lot more playing time with his performance in Week 2.