There is something going on with this Cardinals team that is beginning to reach the point of having no explanations for anything anymore. Very much like what is going on in Denver with Tim Tebow and the Broncos. Both teams lead the NFL with 10 games finishing at 7 points or less. Only difference is the Broncos are 7-3 in those games and the Cardinals are 6-4. The other difference is the Broncos have a reason for their wordless ways of winning. That is Tim Tebow. The Cardinals recent stretch of turning a 1-6 record into a 6-7 record has no such explanation. Let’s see if I can find the Tebow belief that the Cardinals now seem to have on their team.
The Tebow belief is a term I just made up right now. My definition of it is having a certain mindset that something will happen, usually out of the ordinary but can also be very ordinary, in a game that will lead to a victory. Pretty much the opposite of the Lebron James effect of having the mindset that something will go wrong to lose the game. That is reserved for the Dallas Cowboys right now. Anyways, What is the Cardinals “Tebow Belief” right now that is leading them to all of these improbable victories? Let’s see if I can figure it out!
Patrick Peterson Belief
Patrick Peterson won two games this year by taking a punt back for a touchdown. The first game of the year and the unforgettable 99 yard return against St. Louis to start this stretch of success. He also had a touchdown that broke open the second Rams game a few weeks ago. The only negative with this theory is he had a return against Baltimore, a game the Cards blew a 24-3 lead. He also had minimal impact as a returner in the Philly, Dallas, and Frisco game. You can’t have a belief system made after you if you’re not as consistent as Tim is up in Denver.
To the average fan this belief as ALOT of hope, until you break things down a lot farther. He is 4-1 as a starter this year (im counting the game yesterday as a start since he played all but 3 snaps.) The formula for how he is getting there is a formula Derek Anderson should have taken last year to be successful. That formula has mostly been throw the ball around Larry Fitzgerald and hope for good things. Skeleton is REALLY hoping on some of his throws….and the thing is they are somehow working. Many of his throws could go either way, a catch by fitz or the defender, but since Larry Fitzgerald is a top 3 wide receiver in the game, he makes the catch to bail out the Skeletor every time. In both of his wins against St. Louis Skeleton was bad for the majority of the game. Even against San Fransisco he made many bad throws and was bailed out by two great catches to Larry and the busted the throw to Doucet for the touchdown. He definite has the luck factor going and even some of the Tebow belief factors working, but he is not the reason the Cardinals have been winning.
Defense is believing
The Arizona Cardinals defense is almost = to Tim Tebow in Denver. Take out the 1-6 start and hear me out before you call me crazy on this. In their last 6 games including their one loss to San Fransisco in the stretch, (which was due to AWFUL play by Skeleton) the defense has played with a sense of almost knowing something good will happen to get that stop they need. Lets start with the first St. Louis game, the Cardinals defense held the Rams to 9 points, other 4 coming due to safeties, and not once, not twice, but 3 times kept the Rams from winning the game. They stopped them on a 4th and short late, then BLOCKED a field goal to send it to overtime. Before the unbelievable 99 yard punt return by Peterson the defense forced a 3 and out to let that happen. Against Philly they broke Vick’s ribs and forced him to have the worst game in his career. Against the Rams again the defense stepped up and pretty much won that game with some help of 228 rushing yards by Beanie Wells. We all know the magic that happened against the Cowboys of their OWN coach icing his OWN kicker. Not to take out the fact the defense played dominant against the Cowboys high-powered offense. Their only touchdown was due great field position starting at their own 33. Then yesterday, holding the Niners repeatedly to field goals then stopping them 3 times after they took the lead by two points. They held the Niners to 2 first downs in the entire second half yesterday. If the defense played like this to start the year the Cardinals would not have lost those games to Washington, Seattle, and New York to begin the year.
During the last 6 games the defense has only given up 6 touchdowns with some of those due to turnovers by the offense. This unit, ever since that St.Louis game back on November 6th has had that same belief that is going on up in Denver and it is starting to trickle down throughout the entire organization. Does this mean they are going to the playoffs…no, but it does mean quite a lot. It means that they have a great chance to turn a 1-6 start into at least a 8-8 season. It gives GREAT hope going into next season and it gives us that X factor that anything can happen. We all know what can happen once a team has that Tebow Belief and it sets us up for what could be a crazy next couple of weeks for these Cardiac Cards where, for now, anything is possible.