Week 2 Wrap-up: Cards' Back on Track

The Arizona Cardinals rebounded in Week 2 for their first win of the year after a dismal outing in the regular season opener. The Cardinals jumped out to quick lead against the Jacksonville Jaguars en route to a 31-17 victory. Arizona outperformed the Jaguars in nearly every facet of the game, giving the Cardinal faithful hope the team can continue to build of last year's Super Bowl run.

After being held to less than 300 yards of total offense in the season opener, the Arizona Cardinals compiled 383 yards offensively in Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Arizona's running game looked much improved as Tim Hightower led the team in rushing with 72 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Additionally, rookie RB Chris Wells continues to display explosiveness on the ground carrying the ball seven times for 44 yards.

QB Kurt Warner and the Cardinals normally potent aerial attack was held in check a week ago but got back on track in Jacksonville. Warner was nearly perfect completing 24-of-26 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns. Warner benefited from the return of both Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston who led Arizona in receiving. Breaston reeled in five catches for 83 yards while Boldin tallied 69 yards on eight grabs.

Opposing defenses have been keying on WR Larry Fitzgerald early in the season but he managed to find the end zone for the second time in as many weeks. Fitzgerald totaled four catches for 34 yards and a score. Another area concern for the Cardinals is the ball security of Wells. The former Ohio State star has shown flashes of brilliance but fumbled the ball twice on Sunday afternoon. Wells must hold onto the ball or Hightower will continue to log the bulk of the carries.

David Garrard

Arizona's defense performed at a high level for the second straight week and has the potential to experience tremendous improvement from a year ago. The Cardinals forced three turnovers which included a fumble and an interception by Jacksonville signal caller David Garrard. Garrard was under constant duress throughout the game and was sacked four times. Arizona has now accumulated seven sacks during the first two weeks of the season after notching 31 all of last season.

The Jaguars' running game averaged 4.6 yards per carry but was limited to only 92 yards on the ground. RB Maurice Jones-Drew carried just 13 times for 66 yards while adding a lackluster four catches for 17 yards through the air. Garrard finished 23-of-43 for 282 yards and WR Mike Sims-Walker led the team in receiving with six grabs for 106 yards and a touchdown. Jacksonville's offense was ineffective until scoring two late touchdowns after the game was out of reach.

While kicker Neil Rackers missed one of his two field goal attempts, the Cardinals continue to gain an advantage on special teams. Safety Antrel Rolle returned a blocked field goal 82 yards for a touchdown propelling Arizona to a 17-3 lead early in the second quarter. Punter Ben Graham averaged over 46 yards per punt and pinned the Jaguars inside the 20-yard line once.

The Cardinals avoided a disastrous start for the time being with upcoming games against difficult opponents. Arizona hosts the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night football and should have a leg up given that the Colts are coming off a short week and making the trip to the desert. Following a showdown with Indianapolis, Arizona enters its bye week and remains home to face the Houston Texans in Week 5.

Questions or comments? Contact Brad Wilbricht at brad.wilbricht@gmail.com
or click here to access the AZRedReport.com message boards.

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