Broncos vs. Cardinals: 5 Positives For The Cards
These last eight weeks have been nothing but misery for the Arizona Cardinals and their fans.
With its 43-13 thrashing of the Broncos, the Cardinals not only broke the losing streak—they did it with their biggest margin of victory in years.
And since the last several weeks have been drenched in pessimism and negatives, I thought I'd point out five things the Cardinals did right in this big win.
1. Jay Feely
Is it possible for a player to win the offensive and special teams player of the week?
If so, it may go to Feely this week, who was responsible for the Cardinals first 22 points, with five field goals and a TD run.
Of course, I can't take credit for the idea—Larry Fitzgerald came up with the award idea.
I also wanted to point out that he later made a tackle on a kickoff... and almost got into a fight.
Now that's a kicker.
2. Tim Hightower and The Run Game
The other big star from the shellacking of the Broncos was Tim Hightower.
The Cardinals ran for over 200 yards for the first time in I don't know how long, but it was mostly Hightower, who had 148 yards and two TDs, most of which came in the fourth quarter.
The only negative that came out of this was Beanie Wells.
Now that Hightower has quite frankly outplayed Wells this season, where does that leave Wells next season?
While I'm not sure, Coach Whisenhunt can't be happy about Hightower's fumble in the fourth quarter.
Still, over 200 yards on the ground?
I love it.
3. The Offensive Line
The O-line kept John Skelton clean all day.
That's huge for a rookie QB, although Skelton did scramble a couple of times (he's fairly mobile for a guy his size... reminds me of Ben Roesthlisberger).
Not only that, but the line opened up some holes for Tim Hightower late in the game (although the Broncos had some poor tackling to help Tim along).
All in all, probably the best game for the O-line all year.
4. The Secondary
Speaking of best games of the year, this was by far the best game the secondary has played since that playoff game against Carolina.
Cardinals fans had to come into this game worried about how badly Kyle Orton would carve them up, considering he was averaging around 300 yards a game this year.
The Cardinals didn't just slow him down.
They shut him down.
Orton threw three interceptions, and a couple of them were just terrible. The Cardinals really didn't have to do anything to get them.
That's how bad they confused Orton.
Kerry Rhodes had himself another great game Sunday, with an interception and a fumble recovery, and his safety mate Adrian Wilson finally looked like a Pro Bowler Sunday, making several big tackles and putting pressure on Orton a couple of times.
5. The Opportunistic Defense
As a whole, the defense did an excellent job forcing the Broncos to commit stupid mistakes.
Although there was one turnover that was just plain lucky (Eddie Royal's fumble on the reverse), the other five luck can't explain away.