Recap Review Week 10
Cowboys win 27-10.
Predicted score: Cowboys 17-0
Since the list of inaccuracies is so long after this recap gone awry, we might as well start there. First, the obvious: the predicted starting-QB match-up pitted John Navarre and Drew Bledsoe (at least Warner was predicted to be out, albeit not for the predicted reason). Instead, rookie Matt Leinart went head-to-head with Tony Romo, who again showed his mettle in just his third start of the season. And unlike what the recap says, the Cards won't be welcoming Kurt Warner back anytime soon, either.
Another glaring error was the predicted Arizona defensive effort. The expectation that this unit would at least slow the Dallas offense was never met as Romo and company rolled throughout the game. This coming despite a slow, sloppy start for the inexperienced quarterback who floated several ducks in the early going, including an ill-advised fake spike that Antrel Rolle should have picked and taken 99 yards for a TD, but instead dropped the sure INT. There was little if any pressure applied to the Cowboys QB throughout the contest and that showed as Romo became both more comfortable and effective as the game wore on.
Also, the Cardinals quarterback play was better than was thought (20 of 38 for 216 yards, 2 INT; predicted: 11 of 29 for 101 yards and 4 INT), but not nearly enough to be competitive. This was a poor performance that was forced by relentless pressure, despite the defense only registering one sack all game. The true nemesis of Leinart, however, was the solid play of the Dallas secondary, with the exception of two big plays - one to Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin each.
In the he-got-it-right department, the pickings are slim. Although the Cardinals did manage to score points, they still lost by 17, as was predicted. Generally speaking, this was a mismatch that was never in question, which was expected. Arizona was only competitive in this one until the opening kickoff. After that point, it was very evident who was controlling this contest, and it wasn't the Redbirds.
Of course, if given the opportunity to hedge bets, the recaps would be undergoing major revisions to reflect the QB decision. Arizona fans may want to buckle up as this game may be indicative of what they'll face for the remainder of the season. These are the results you can expect from an average team that is being led by a rookie quarterback.
No, the Lions aren't surprising anyone this year and they sure aren't 5-4, but they do have the ability to score points and could make this season even more depressing by stealing one from the Cards on the road. At least we know that there will be no undue pressure on the Redbirds in regards to the playoffs, as they have been all but mathematically eliminated from contention. If there are going to be any good feelings about this season at all, Leinart will need to pick up a couple victories as starter. This is a game that the rookie QB needs to win, if for nothing more than a building block of confidence.