The Cardinals won their second game of the year with a subpar performance. Arizona has benefited from a relatively easy schedule so far but that will change in the coming weeks with games against the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt continues to praise his team for the progress it's making but a better product must be seen on the field soon.
Whisenhunt quotes: "We won the game which is good. Any win that you can get in this league is a good thing. But I think we still have the mind frame – at least what I got from our team yesterday in the locker room – is that we got to continue to work the way we did last week."
"We made significant improvement in a number of areas from the Atlanta game to this game. And by no means are we there but this is an opportunity to build off of that."
"I like the fact that we're a tough team that bounced back from a bad game in the second week. I think the fact that we haven't played anywhere near our best and after three games we're sitting here at 2-1 to me is a sign, a good sign."
"If we can continue to improve at some point – hopefully it will be this week –at some point I believe we're going to be a very good football team."
While Arizona has incurred a handful of blowout losses since Whisenhunt arrived in the desert, the team has shown the ability to right the ship quickly. Following a loss, the Cardinals have now won eight straight contests, avoiding back-to-back losses (includes postseason).
Arizona has also proved to be a force at home under Whisenhunt improving to 20-8 during his
tenure as head coach (includes post season).
QB Derek Anderson struggled for the second consecutive week but the thought of replacing him hasn't crossed Whisenhunt's mind. Anderson is now completing just 52 percent of his passes on the year and has a QB rating of only 67.6.
One reason for Anderson's inefficiencies has been the lack of experience at the wide receiver position. In addition, Anderson is still fine-tuning his timing with Pro Bowl wideout Larry Fitzgerald, who missed most of the preseason with a sprained knee.
Whisenhunt quotes on Anderson's play: "Obviously I think Derek needs to improve. I think that's something he would tell you. But the thing I like about Derek is that he seems to make plays, especially later in the game that are big plays for us."
"What we've got to do is just get more consistent play out of Derek and that's something that I think's a process that we have to go through. And that is finding the things he feels comfortable with and integrating those with things we've done here for a number of years that he's missed out on."
Beanie Wells made his regular-season debut against the Raiders and his presence was immediately felt with a 24-yard run on his first carry of the year. Wells finished the game with 75 yards rushing on 14 carries, four more attempts than Tim Hightower received.
Throughout his career, Wells has proven to get better as the game progresses and his workload should gradually increase in the coming weeks. In 11 career games in which he's received at least 10 carries, Wells is averaging just under 5 yards per carry (4.9).
Whisenhunt on Wells' impact: "Definitely our team knows when Beanie's in there but I think also the other team knows when Beanie's in there. It's a little bit of a different feel and our guys were charged up with it. It was exciting to see Beanie run the ball. I was very pleased to see Beanie out there on the field yesterday and to have the success running the football in his first game."
In a battle of perennial All-Pros, CB Nnamdi Asomugha got the best of WR Larry Fitzgerald for most of the afternoon. Fitzgerald was held to just two catches for 26 yards. However, Fitzgerald got the last laugh as his 8-yard touchdown grab late in the third quarter proved to be the game-winning score.
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