What We Learned: Cardinals vs. Lions

Coach Ken Whisenhunt knows his team didn't play its best against the Detroit Lions, but nine wins in the NFL is something to be proud of. Besides the Cardinals playing around 60 percent, what else did we learn about them in their 31-24 win over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field? Start with these five observations...

1. Boldin steps up...

The Cardinals were nervous on Sunday. The Lions scored 17-unanswered points in the third quarter, and the Cardinals couldn't move the ball. Boldin stepped up and threw all his team's third quarter mishaps out the window. He knew the Cardinals needed to go down the field and score points. He was in the "whatever it takes" mindset when he scored the Cardinals winning touchdown.

2. Warner, a fish out of water?

Kurt Warner's passing game never got in sync against the Lions. Warner is a rhythm quarterback, and he didn't find it for the second-straight game. Ken Whisenhunt is confident the Cardinals can clean up the passing game. For the Cardinals sake, let's hope Warner and the offensive line gets the memo.

3. Protection and mistakes once again major issues...

Warner looks tired. He's a 38-year-old who could use a break or two before the playoffs. Whether that's sitting him out against the St. Louis Rams and playing him for just a half against the Green Bay Packers, something needs to be done. The first step is to increase his protection and erase the mental mistakes that surround him. Warner thought his team's blocking stepped up when they needed it to in order to close out the game, but he's off his game and needs more help. On the defensive side of the ball, the quarter was just one big mistake.

4. DRC maturing nicely...

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie picked off the Lions twice on Sunday, but the second-year corner was sure to thank his teammates for his triumphs. He says his teammate's solid pressure on the the Lions quarterback allowed him to play better on the back end.

"When the opportunities present themselves, you want to be there to make (a play) and that's what I did," Rodgers-Cromartie said post-game.

5. Wells works...

The fact that the Cardinals running backs didn't put the ball on the ground is progress, according to Whisenhunt. But for Beanie Wells it was more than that. He said he received excellent blocking from his teammates. On the game, Wells rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown. He earned more carries than his running mate Tim Hightower (six attempts for 4 yards), and he looks more confident in each game.


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