Running back Beanie Wells #26 of the Arizona Cardinals carries the football on a 31 yard rushing touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the fourth quarter of the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 16, 2012 in …
Photographer: Getty Images
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PHOENIX - Well it took 10 weeks, but the Cardinals finally got off the schneid and got back in the win column with a 38-10 victory over the lowly Detroit Lions on Sunday.
While the win doesn't mean the Cardinals are back in the playoff hunt, it did show that this team wasn't just ready to quit on its head coach and give up on this season altogether.
Granted, the Lions aren't exactly lighting the world on fire having lost their last six games, but this is a team that can put up points and has competed in every one of their previous five games. So seeing the Cardinals dominate this team the way they did is encouraging on a few levels.
First, the studs came to play. Patrick Peterson added to his highlight reel once again with another acrobatic interception, but more importantly he kept the best receiver in the NFL out of the end zone (Calvin Johnson caught ten passes but was targeted 17 times).
Calais Campbell led the team with eight tackles (seven solo, four for loss), a sack, and a batted pass, in an effort that shows exactly why (when healthy) he deserves every penny of that $55 million contract. Daryl Washington added seven tackles, and Adrian Wilson became just the sixth player in NFL history to record 25 sacks and 25 interceptions.
Second, Ryan Lindley showed improvement throughout the game in posting the highest QBR of his career. I'm still not convinced he'll eventually be a starter, but with any young player all you want to see is improvement week-to-week, and compared to his previous performances he did that.
Third, and most importantly, the players and coaches came back and fought when it would be all to easy to lay down and check out for this season. These losses have hit this team hard on an emotional level, something I feel reflects well on coach Ken Whisenhunt and his staff and their ability to keep these guys fighting and never satisfied.
This season has exposed several flaws on this roster (especially offensively), but a win like this shows a lot about its character, and that should give fans some hope heading into 2013.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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