Getting out to a fast start against the Seahawks was a must for the Arizona Cardinals. Notoriously a bad road team, they needed to take the air out the stadium for one of the louder, more raucous crowds in the league.
They not only got out to that fast start, they never looked back this week. The Cardinals lead 14-0 before the Seahawks even touched the ball.
The best play from scrimmage for the Seahawks was a fake punt pass, thrown to John Carlson for a 42 yard gain that set up the loan Seattle points for the day.
To say that the Seahawks were undermanned would be a gross understatement of the facts. This is the NFL though, and those that lineup to play on Sunday, should be able to perform better than what the Seahawks did on offense.
The most important part of the game though, came in the fourth quarter, when with six minutes left in the game, Ken Whisenhunt threw the ball three straight times.
Coach Whisenhunt was asked about it after the game “There were some schemes I wanted to look at,” Whisenhunt said. “One of them is I wanted to run Larry (Fitzgerald) on a speed screen out there just to get a feel for that play.”
Game planning for your next opponent while there is still six minutes left in the game is ballsy, but it shows that this Cardinals team understands the importance of the game coming up next Sunday night in New York.
“Oh, that game is huge,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s really going to be an opportunity to see where we’re at.”
Added Darnell Dockett: “We better start focusing on New York. I honestly feel they are a much better team — no disrespect to Seattle.”
I doubt that anyone is listening in Seattle right now Darnell.
Sunday Night, October 25th has become not only a litmus test for the Cardinals, but a statement of where they are headed going forward the rest of the season.
New York was humbled and basically embarrassed in Sunday’s loss to the Saints, and let’s not think for one moment they won’t be out for blood come Sunday night.
It will be another Football Night in America and another chance for the Cardinals to show that they not only belong on Sunday nights, but belong on the same field as the premier teams in the NFC.
While a loss will not fold the tents up and end the season, as we saw last year from the numerous drubbings the Cardinals took at the hands of the NFL “Elite”, it will put the Cardinals right back on the back burner in the NFC.
So is this a statement game? Of course.
Is this a must win? Not at all.
But going forward, if the Cardinals want to show they really belong, they need to have a significant win, and show they are still a threat in the NFC.