Cardinals Hand Bills First Loss of the Season

Following two straight losses, the Cardinals returned home and bounced back with a 41-17 blowout win against the Buffalo Bills. Arizona dominated on both sides of the ball, sending the Bills home with their first defeat of the season. AZRedReport.com's Brad Wilbricht wraps up Sunday's action from University of Phoenix Stadium.

The Cardinals' offense started off flawless in the first half, scoring on all four possessions. QB Kurt Warner and company have now scored 76 points in the last two games, good for second most in team history. Arizona benefited from outstanding field position all afternoon, running 54 plays in Buffalo territory. Without CB Terrence McGee, the Bills defense was torched for 16 plays of 10-plus yards.

Following last week's miserable performance in New York, Warner was determined to get back on track against a depleted Buffalo secondary. Warner returned to his efficient ways, completing 33-of-42 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Most importantly, he committed zero turnovers after tossing three interceptions and losing three fumbles a week ago against the Jets.

WR Larry Fitzgerald was Warner's primary target catching seven balls on the afternoon. Although he was limited to only 52 yards receiving, he reached the end zone twice and now has four touchdowns grabs on the year.

Rookie WR Early Doucet and WR Steve Breaston helped fill the void left by the injured Anquan Boldin. Doucet has been hampered by injuries this year but caught six passes for 42 yards in his regular season debut. Breaston led the team with 77 yards receiving on seven receptions.


RB Tim Hightower
(Getty)

While the Cardinals' running game continues to lack explosiveness, it maintained its goal line presence on Sunday. Rookie RB Tim Hightower scored two touchdowns while veteran RB Edgerrin James chipped in one score. Hightower now has five touchdown runs in his first five games as a professional. In all, Arizona rushed for 123 yards on 34 carries.

On defense, the Cardinals were extremely disruptive as they recovered three fumbles and forced one interception. Furthermore, Arizona's pass rush was tremendous, finishing with five sacks on the day. On the third play of the game, Buffalo QB Trent Edwards was leveled by SS Adrian Wilson and left with a concussion. Edwards did not return as backup QB J.P. Losman was under center for the remainder of the afternoon.

Down 14-0 in the second quarter, Losman managed to hook up with WR Lee Evans on an 87-yard touchdown pass. Evans schooled rookie CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on a double move and was able to get behind the Cardinals' defense. Losman also scored on a quarterback draw from two yards out late in the first half. While Losman finished 15-of-21 for 220 yards and one touchdown, he was unable to find a rhythm throughout the game.

Following Edwards' departure, linebackers Travis LaBoy and Clark Haggans led the assault on Losman and the Bills offensive line. LaBoy finished seven tackles and two sacks while Haggans added 1.5 sacks. Bills RB Marshawn Lynch was unable to get on track, rushing for only 55 yards on 13 carries. As a team, Buffalo finished with 84 yards rushing and managed only 13 first downs.

Next up for the Cardinals is a showdown with the Dallas Cowboys. Following an impressive 3-0 start, the Cowboys have come back to the pack in the NFC. Dallas suffered their first loss of season last week against Washington and needed a late touchdown to put away the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 5 action.


Brad Wilbricht can be contacted at brad.wilbricht@gmail.com

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