Week 8: Arizona Cardinals 27, Atlanta Falcons 13- Post Game Thoughts

When the Cardinals hired Bruce Arians as the head coach, this is what they thought the offense would look like under his and Harold Goodwin’s wings.  The team racked up 348 yards in total, including an impressive 154 on the ground from Andre Ellington.  A strong running game is something that this team has been lobbying for for the longest time and they may have finally found a guy they can feed the ball to in the backfield.  Although, I will need to see Ellington keep this up before I can put my full trust in him; we’ve seen outbursts from Beanie Wells in the past couple of years for the Cards and he was never able to fully shoulder the load.  Anyways, four interceptions of Matt Ryan certainly helped the Arizona cause here as well.  Ryan was forced into throwing the ball 61 times and to have 301 yards on 31 completions, it shows that this Cardinal defense was able to keep the plays in front of them and rally to the ball, a trademark of any good defense.  The longest pass play on the day was 25 yards to Harry Douglas, so that is pretty good.  Also, for the second week in a row Tony Gonzalez was held in check; he only caught three balls for 26 yards.  Atlanta is going to need to find somebody other than Harry Douglas to step up in the absence of Roddy White and Julio Jones.  It is clear that this defense is not good enough to help this team win a game when the offense struggles.  It is hard to win in Arizona this year though as the Cardinals have been able to drop three of their four opponents in the desert (Carolina and Detroit, two teams over .500 were the other two teams to fall).  4-4 is a respectable record for Arizona and those wins over the Panthers and Lions could play a huge role in determining seeding for the playoffs.  If this team wants to be in position to make a run, they will need to play better away from home and they have some winnable games on the road coming up, so this is a team that is worth watching as we plunge into the second half of the 2013 season.

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