Recap Review Week 10
Cardinals win 17-10
Predicted score: Cardinals 46-31
Although it's obvious that our fictional recap overstated the scoring abilities of the offensive unit for Arizona, it failed even more miserably at describing the stopping power of the defensive unit. The Redbird D came up huge Sunday, dropping Kitna 4 times for sacks, with Bertrand Berry picking up half those, as well as an interception by Aaron Francisco. Contrary to what was predicted, it was the defense that earned this victory for the Cardinals, allowing a measly 68 yards on the ground and only 281 yards total offense.
The inaccuracies found in the recap are numerous to say the least. For starters, there was no controversy or mystery surrounding the QB situation, other than the question of whether Matt Leinart would actually pick up a victory in his rookie season. Roy Williams was not nearly as effective as was thought, only managing 5 catches for 67 yards and no touchdowns; Shaun Rogers didn't participate in this contest; Edgerrin James not only didn't get injured, but had an excellent game, picking up 96 yards on 22 carries; and not only did Kevin Jones not reach the 100-yard plateau, he wasn't even the featured back, only handling rushing duties on 4 plays for 8 yards.
This was about as watered down as the Mike Martz attack gets and as much credit as we might want to pour on the Arizona defense, it must be tempered with the knowledge that this is a Lions offense that only managed to pick up 251 total yards against a very porous 49ers defense the week before. It's not as if the Redbirds were facing a prolific offensive unit capable of putting up juggernaut-like numbers. This was an average to below-average offense and they played like it. Fortunately, the Cardinals defense played like what they are: an above-average unit.
After scouring the recap for at least one accurate statement (other than a predicted victory), the best I could come up with was that the injury bug did bite again. Instead of it being Edgerrin, though, it turned out to be Bertrand Berry who tore two muscles in his triceps an MRI revealed Monday and will miss the rest of the season. This will be a big loss for this unit, especially when coupled with Calvin Pace's non-football-related forearm injury. This could spell trouble for the Cards, as the last thing they need now is a thin defensive line anchoring the squad. The depth of this defense will be severely tested, that's for sure.
Another highlight for the author is found in this section as well, as Minnesota is coming off of a heart-wrenching 24-20 road loss to Miami (predicted 21-13). Unfortunately, that's the last nugget of truth found in the recap. Brad Johnson is as healthy as ever, but that shouldn't scare Arizona, as he hasn't exactly lighting up the scoreboard as of late. Let's be honest, the Cardinals have already started their 2007 training camp. The moment they benched Kurt Warner in favor of Leinart, the focus of this team changed from winning now to winning later. The only thing Redbird fans can hope for is that Leinart continues to grow and learn and that serious injuries can be held to a minimum.