TGIBW: Thank Goodness It's the Bye Week

Heading into their bye week, the Cardinals have an array of issues to focus on. Can they protect Kurt Warner? Will the run game finally show up? The questions continue to rise as the reigning NFC Champs have stumbled to a 1-2 record. This week provides a chance for some rest. Will it be enough to right the ship? AzRedReport breaks down bye week expectations.

Protect Kurt Warner:

Warner has struggled for two of the three contests this season. The offensive line has to improve their protection schemes if the Cardinals are going to steal back their mojo. Not only has the lack of pass protection inhibited Warner's game; it also increases the chances for a serious injury.

Coach Whisenhunt and his staff need to brainstorm a way to shake up the offensive line and prevent the exploitation of their weaker members. The 49ers and the Colts abused the Cardinals front 5 and forced Warner into multiple errant throws and sacks.

Establish a Run Game:

The team's long time Achilles' heal has continued to frustrate fans and coaches during the newest season. Beanie Wells has provided a small spark, but his inability to hold onto the ball has made Coach Whisenhunt reluctant to use him.

Defenses have been able to stymie Tim Hightower and Wells throughout all three games. Again, the majority of the problems fall to the offensive line. Pass protection starts with the run game. If the Cardinals offensive line can create running room consistently, blocking on pass plays will become that much easier.

Defend the Nest:

Coach Whisenhunt will undoubtedly emphasize protecting their home field for the remainder of the season. Including playoffs, the Cards went an impressive 7-2 at home last season. Their next match up is a home game against the Houston Texans. If the Cardinals are going to get back into the mix in the NFC West, winning at home has to be a top priority.

Week 5 Preview:

The Cardinals return to the field against the Texans for their week 5 challenge. The Texans provide the Cardinals with an extremely winnable game and a chance to reclaim their home field swagger. The key match up will be watching Mario Williams take on the Cardinals offensive line. Dwight Freeney embarrassed Mike Gandy last week and this next game proves there is truly "no rest for the wicked". Williams provides Gandy with an opportunity to atone for his performance against the Colts.

Gandy is not the only Cardinals player looking to atone for last week's performance. Dominic Rodgers-Cromartie needs to step up and work on his decision-making skills. Last week his gambles proved to be costly, surrendering a wide-open touchdown to Reggie Wayne. The entire team must refocus and kick off their next home game with a vengeance. If the Cards shore up the offensive line, provide Warner with better protection, and regain their prowess at home, the alleged "Super Bowl Hangover" can be overcome. On the other hand, if they continue to play without passion or intelligence, it will be a long season in the desert.

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