Photo: AZCentral Sports
GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Arizona Cardinals are entering unchartered territory. Arizona dominated the Philadelphia Eagles from start to finish with an impressive 27-6 win and improved to 3-0 for the first time since 1974, 14 years before the Cardinals moved to the Valley.
“It means we beat some teams that no one really gave us credit on doing,” Ken Whisenhunt said. “That’s the only thing it means.”
Much of the focus entering Sunday’s game was on Kevin Kolb facing the team that traded him before the start of last season. And while Kolb played well, (17-for-24, 222 yards and 2 touchdowns) it was the defense that made the most noise.
“No one respects our defense, no respects our team,” O’Brien Schofield said.
Well, that’s about to change real soon.
The Cardinals held the number one ranked offense in the NFL to only two field goals, forced three turnovers and knocked down Michael Vick on seemingly every play.
“We did a good job of getting pressure on him all day,” said Kerry Rhodes, who arguably had his best game as a Cardinal. “We played good, but we didn’t play perfect. That just fuels us every week to get better.”
Arizona sacked Vick three times and caused him to fumble twice, one resulting in a 93-yard touchdown return by safety James Sanders at the end of the first half.
“They played better than we did,” Eagles head coach Andy Reid said. “They coached better and played better. That is my responsibility. I didn’t have my football team ready to play and they did.”
Vick ended his afternoon 17-for-37 for 217 yards.
On the other side of the football, the Cardinals offense got off to an unusually quick start. Arizona jumped out to an early 17-0 lead, scoring on three of their first five drives. Jay Feely hit a 47-yard field goal following an 8-play drive. Two possessions later, Kolb found Michael Floyd in the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown. It was Floyd’s first career touchdown. Then, following a muffed punt, Kolb connected with Larry Fitzgerald on a 37-yard touchdown strike.
“Well all knew this was a very important week for Kevin,” Fitzgerald said. “As teammates, we wanted to come out here and play hard for him because we knew what it meant to him. He played terrific today.”
Fitzgerald had nine catches for 114 yards and the lone touchdown. Fitz also became the youngest player to reach 700 career receptions, passing Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten.
“Jerry Rice had 1,400 catches,” Fitzgerald said. “I’m not even halfway, so that kind of puts it into perspective for me.”
For Kolb, beating the Eagles was special, but it wasn’t the most important thing.
“I’m going to enjoy it, don’t get me wrong, but the biggest thing is being 3-0,” said Kolb. “To be 3-0 against the teams we’ve played, in the fashion that we’ve won, it’s been exciting.”
Thanks to the San Francisco 49ers loss earlier in the today, the Cardinals are now in sole possession of first place in the NFC West. Arizona is also 10-2 in is past 12 regular season games dating back to last season.
“This league can sneak up and you can lose three or four in arrow just as fast,” said Kolb. “So we’re going to stay humble and stay hungry.”
The Cardinals host the 1-2 Miami Dolphins next Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium. The last time the franchise started 4-0 was way back in 1956.