Arizona has had an interesting start to their NFC title defense this season. The Cardinals started off their season with a loss at home against San Francisco, then they looked very good in week two on the road against Jacksonville, then they got belted by the Colts in week 3 at home to drop their record to 1-2 on the season and 0-2 at home. Heading into their bye week, the Cardinals were 1-2 and looking for some answers. This past weekend it looked like they found those answers early. The Cardinals jumped all over Houston, taking a 21-0 lead into halftime. The NFC West champs looked dominant on offense, very impressive on defense and Houston looked like they were overmatched. However, the enigmatic Cardinals did not play very well in the second half, Houston got it going offensively and Arizona needed a goal-line stand by their defense at the very end of the game to walk away with the win.
The Cardinals travel to Seattle this weekend to take on the Seahawks who are coming off a 41-0 drubbing of Jacksonville. This weekend is a battle in the NFC West and if the Cardinals want to keep pace and be able to defend their NFC title, they have got to gain some momentum and get some wins in their own division.
Adrian Wilson joined XTRA 910 in Phoenix with Bickley and MJ to talk about how big the win was this past weekend against Houston, the goal-line stand by the defense, and the game against Seattle this weekend.
On the win against Houston this past weekend:
“Yeah it is. That’s a big difference in team morale. If we would’ve lost that game going up to Seattle, being 1-3 and losing three straight home games, that wouldn’t have been a very likable situation. We’re very fortunate to get out of there with a win yesterday.”
On the goal-line stand to solidify the win vs. Houston:
“It’s kind of like we have one a year. We had one last year, we had one this year. It was just a big play for us overall. Gabe Watson, Alan Branch, Darnell Dockett, those guys got in there and did a great job. The push that they got and the penetration that they got into those guys backfield…we were able to get some penetration there and the linebackers were able to come over the top and stop the guys’ momentum. From that point on it was kind of up to the referee to determine if he was down or if the pile was still moving. It was a big play overall for the defensive line and like I said, we’re very fortunate to get out of there with a win.”
On the conversation that he had with his defensive coordinator during the bye week:
“It was a real heart to heart moment I think. As a player and as a player that guys look up to and guys respect, you want to be the guy to go out there and make a play, you want be the guy that everybody can look up to to go out there and make that big play. Over the past few weeks, I haven’t been feeling like that. I’ve just been feeling like a J.A.G. Just another guy. That’s what I was feeling like. You’ve got to get your players touches and you’ve got to get your best players in position where they can make plays. That’s what it pretty much boils down to. Getting your best players in position to make some plays.”
On the hit against Matt Hasselbeck last year and the trash-talk that ensued:
“Just let me put my point out there. We’re not tight at all. I don’t know the guy from John down the street. Let’s make that clear. I don’t know the guy, he don’t know me. It wasn’t a play where I was trying to go in there and hurt him. The play happened so bang, bang it was kind of the up heave about how hard I hit the guy. That was last year and they’re a very good team. They’ve added a lot of pieces to their offense. Their whole offensive philosophy is still kind of the same, but the tempo they play at and the amount of points they can put on the board is amazing. Just from the game you saw on Sunday against Jacksonville, they put up 41 points. Obviously we’re going to have our hands full with their passing game because I think he’s passing the ball 65 percent of the time so we’re going to have our hands full.”
On the meaning of this game in the NFC West picture:
“We’re not looking ahead though. I think we’re looking at Seattle. We’re worrying about where we are after the first quarter of games and that’s two and two. Going into the second quarter we just need to start fast and we need to start stringing some wins together. Not going win loss, win loss, win loss. We’ve got to make sure we start stringing some games together. Making sure that we get some momentum going into the end of the season.”
(This post was written by Chris Fedor of WKNR in Cleveland)