Insider's Perspective: Cardinals vs. Bears

The Arizona Cardinals soared past the Chicago Bears defense to take home a 41-21 win. The 20-point deferential put the Cardinals back in the driver seat and back on many people's good side. Here's a look a look at what worked, what didn't work and what's next for Ken Whisenhunt's always surprising crew.

WHAT WORKED

--Kurt Warner brought his A-game and then some against the Bears. He marched the Cardinals down field, which allowed them to score on their first six possessions. Warner countered the Bears blitz with ease and avoided all but one sack. For the third game this season, the opposition failed to intercept any of his passes.

The Warner that led the Cardinals on Sunday in Chicago, is the Warner that can take the Cardinals all the way.

Larry Fitzgerald
(Getty)

--Larry Fitzgerald also showed up to win. He stepped up in Anquan Boldin's absence and nabbed a pair of touchdown passes. Fitzgerald was due for a breakout week, and he got one. While he still didn't get in the long plays that fans have come accustomed to, he really didn't have to. The Cardinals effectively moved the chains making the end zone reachable.

---The Cardinals showed off their depth in Chicago. Players like Ali Highsmith, Early Doucet, Kenny Iwebema and Anthony Becht all got reps in and made the box score.

--Mike Gandy has heard his name mentioned probably more than he likes this season. But here's some credit where credit is due. Take away his unnecessary roughness call that gave up 10 yards, and he was in position to help his quarterbacks against the Bears. When Matt Leinart was intercepted by Zack Bowman, Gandy stopped Bowman's 39-yard run by pushing him out of bounds. Once Warner was back in the game, the Bears earned their first sack. Warner fumbled and Gandy recovered it.

--The Cardinals ground game was on solid ground in Chicago. Arizona moved from dead last in the league to second to last. The San Diego Chargers, who boast record holder LaDainian Tomlinson, now take on the "honor." While these are mere baby steps for the Cardinals, their 182 rushing yards are a big moral victory.

WHAT DIDN'T


Matt Leinart
(Getty)

--Matt Leinart was given the chance to work on Sunday. His time was cut short after his first pass was intercepted. The turnover made the decision to put Warner back in an easy one for Ken Whisenhunt. It's too bad because the playing time really would have benefited Leinart.

--Whisenhunt made a game-time decision to bench Boldin, so Boldin could rest his bothersome ankle. It's not the decision that didn't work, it's the way that it was handled. Boldin and Whisenhunt's relationship appears to be repaired after the past rumblings, but now Boldin is upset that nobody was "man enough" to tell him face-to-face that he wasn't going to play. Instead, he walked back in the locker room to find all of his "stuff" gone. While this situation isn't unique to Boldin, the Cardinals needed to give him a little more notice. It's a catch-22. The Cardinals shouldn't need to tiptoe around Boldin, but they also need to understand the history with this player.

WHAT'S NEXT

The Cardinals face the Seattle Seahawks at home next Sunday. The Seahawks mark the Cardinals second divisional game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Arizona fans have yet to see an NFC West win at home since last season. The Seahawks hold a losing record, but they are also coming off a win. Seattle rallied past the Lions last week.
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