A Much Needed Victory | Sports Wrap

Even though the Cardinals came into yesterday’s game with the Giants losers of 3 straight and 4 of 5, there were some very good signs by kickoff time. First, they were playing a team from New York. Second, the Giants were starting hobbled quarterback Daniel Jones and third, Hasaan Reddick was in uniform. Let me explain all three points. 
 
The first one is easy. This season Arizona loves playing teams from New York and they refuse to lose to any of them.  The Jets, the Bills and now the Giants.
 
Secondly, Daniel Jones sat out last week’s game vs. Seattle with a bad hamstring and the Giants should have had him on the sidelines for this game too. He was clearly still bothered by the injury both physically and mentally. He never got comfortable in this game. In fact, New York did not run a play from the Cardinals side of field until the 7-minute mark of the third quarter. Read that sentence again. It is accurate though very hard to believe.
 
That leads me to the third and final point. The Cardinals defense took complete advantage of Jones’ tentative play and constantly had him on the ground. The Cardinals had 8 sacks in this game and 5 of them came from Reddick. The outside linebacker set a franchise record with that handful. He’ll never forget this trip to Met Life Stadium which resulted in a 26-7 win.
 
All this was a semi-perfect remedy to this ailing football team. Arizona is now back in the NFC wildcard playoff picture with a 7-6 record.
 
I say “semi” because there are still questions hanging over this team…and most of them are on the offensive side of the ball.  Yes, Arizona won this game, but Kyler Murray and the offense still need work.  They didn’t play as badly as the previous three games, but Arizona was awfully lucky that the Giants kept turning the ball over deep in their zone.
 
If the Big Red offense was clicking, this game would have been 24-0 at half instead of 13-0.  Murray didn’t throw the ball particularly well (which has been the case over the last month), but yesterday his running attack returned to heading in the right direction.  He wasn’t his “early season self,” but he rushed the ball 13 times for 47 yards and on numerous occasions kept drives alive by tucking it and taking it. Overall, the offense did enough in this game AND they didn’t turn the ball over, plus newly acquired kicker Mike Nugent was a perfect 4/4 on field goals. That along with the fact that the league’s highest penalized team pretty much kept the yellow flags in the pockets of officials all day long. Ship righted. At least for the time being. 
 
So, hats off to Hasaan Reddick and Marcus Golden and the rest of the Arizona defense.  Hats off to beating a third New York team this season. Hats off to putting Daniel Jones in misery and completely stifling the Giants offense. Hats off to Mike Nugent and hats off to good discipline. That’s a lot of taking off of hats.
 
However, a step backwards this upcoming Sunday at home against the Eagles will force those hats back on.  

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