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If one thing has plagued the Cardinals more than anything this year, it has been their attitude.
Throughout their history, the Cardinals have been known as the scrappy underdogs, with a never—say—die attitude, admirers, even if not always games.
Coming back from a double–digit deficit is nothing new for the Cardinals. Rallying is what they do.
That is, until this year.
In 2010, as soon as the opposition score you get the feeling that the game is out of reach. The team stop playing, and right then and there, the game gets out of reach.
And even when they are winning, they seem all too eager to abandon play calling that is working in favour of something that is not.
But, as the final drive of the Chiefs game showed, it doesn't have to be that way.
Now you can argue, and I probably would, that giving up a single touchdown after the game is already won was the right thing for the Chiefs to do. You could argue that the best thing to do was allow Arizona to complete short passes in bounds, and force the Cardinals to burn their remaining time—outs and run the clock.
You could argue that because the Chiefs were allowing them to complete passes, the drive, and resulting touchdown don't count.
And you'd probably be right, but the point remains that the Cardinals still turned that into a touchdown and extra point. Small conciliation, for sure, but points none the less.
It happened, in no small part, because the Cardinals continued playing until the final seconds ticked off the clock. As long as the Cards keep playing, and do not allow the opponents scoring to distract them from their own goals, then they can win any game and beat any team.
As long as Arizona keep doing whatever is working and force their opponents to prove that they can stop it before moving on to the next plan they give themselves every chance to control the pace of the game.
They must maintain focus, and not allow mental errors to creep in just because they are behind.
This of course appears to fly in the face of everything I said about being allowed to make mistakes, and have fun, but I don't see it.
Being allowed to make mistakes and wanting to are two very different things. Being allowed to make mistakes simply frees you to be less conservative, and try big, exciting things, remaining focused allows those things to pay off.
If the Cardinals can do these things, especially against weak NFC West rivals, the game is theirs for the taking.