The Good News & the Bad News

Arizona is on its bye, enjoying the highlight reels of its win over Dallas and its unprecedented attention. The good news is that the interest is mainly positive, even John McCain is giving shout outs. The bad news is that there is still a lot of work to be done to prove they belong in the spotlight and that they are who they say they are. Here is the good, bad and everything in between.

GOOD NEWS

The Cardinals are 4-2, only the third time they've had a winning record after six games since moving to Arizona in 1988.

They have never been 5-2, and winning at Carolina will be a major challenge.

But with a tough early-season schedule that included playing three of the first four on the road, the Cardinals are satisfied with the 4-2 record.

They've shown great offensive diversity. Kurt Warner looks like the quarterback who won two MVP awards while with the Rams.

And the defense has more depth and talent than it's had in years. The Cardinals are fairly healthy, having not lost a starter for the year since the season began.

BAD NEWS

The club still hasn't proven it can win on the road. It's great at home -- 9-2 in Ken Whisenhunt's two seasons -- but it's a different team on the road. Usually a much worse one.

Under Whisenhunt, the club is 3-8 on the road, including 1-2 this season.

The Cardinals have tried nearly everything to improve their performance including staying on the East Coast the week between consecutive games there.

Nothing has worked.

The problem usually has its roots in slow starts. In the 56-35 loss to the Jets, for example, the Cardinals were down 14-0 early after a fumble by quarterback Kurt Warner, a fumble by receiver Anquan Boldin, a grounding call against Warner and a blocked field goal.

So What's It Going to Take?

1. Mend the bruises- The Cardinals need to take their week off and get their heavy hitters as close to 100 percent as possible. Steve Breaston has played well while filling in for Anquan Boldin as a starter. Breaston has caught 15 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown in the past two games. But the Cardinals need Boldin for the challenging docket that is right around the corner.

Boldin might be able to play this Sunday against Carolina, according to Coach Ken Whisenhunt. Boldin is recovering from a facial fracture and hasn't been available to reporters.

Kurt Warner has been nursing his throwing hand. He needs to be tip-top in the coming weeks.

2. Win on the road- Not to beat a dead horse, but the Cardinals will end up in the glue factory if they can't figure out how to win without a backdrop of red.

3. Tighten up disclipine- Plethora of false starts is not how a playoff bound team plays. The Cardinals need to be put in check concerning penalties. The Cardinals are still in the top-five of penalties, league wide.

4. Be consistent- Arizona can't let the bye week be a wrench in the grand scheme of things. The Cardinals need to keep up the momentum and go out there every week and prove themselves. Embarrassing performances one week and noteworthy showings the next, won't be the car that drives them to the playoffs. Consistency is key.

5. Keep up the versatility- The Cardinals have weapons deep in their depth that opponents haven't even heard of. Arizona needs to take advantage of what they have in the tool box.


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