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Updated Sep 18, 2011 - 10:12 pm

Four Down Territory: Cardinals at Redskins

Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis (83) scores a touchdown in front of Arizona Cardinals defensive back Hamza Abdullah in the first half of an NFL football game in Landover, Md., Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

On the one hand, if you look at the numbers, the Cardinals were lucky they didn't get whacked the way they usually do when they jump a couple of time zones. On the other hand, if you were watching the game you know it was a game the Cardinals could have won……should have won.

A weird game as we take a trip into four down territory.

First Down: The defense

No defense (a double entendre if I ever heard one). In the first half the Redskins were so wide open I thought maybe they had cooties. Did the Cardinals go see "Contagion" the night before? Were they freaked out by any close contact? The defense improved in the second half, actually coming up with stops on third down. But when it was money time the Cardinals just couldn't get off the field. On their go-ahead drive the Redskins moved with such ease it was an inevitability that they would score.

Second Down: Tim Hightower

Got his revenge. Backed up his words. 20 carries, 96 yards, it's all good for Timmy. So why in the second half did the Cardinals see a heavy dose of Roy Helu instead? I don't know, but of the three running backs on Sunday - Hightower, Helu and Beanie Wells - Hightower was third among them in yards per carry (a fantastic 4.8). Helu had 7.4 yards per carry; Beanie 6.6.

Third Down: Kevin Kolb

Stood in that pocket and got decapitated while delivering a perfect strike to Larry Fitzgerald for a touchdown that gave the Cardinals a 21-13 lead. Yeah, the interception in the red zone was a killer; a needless risk when a field goal would have worked just fine. And yes, the chances of further decapitation behind that offensive line are about as good as those of Simon Cowell using a line about cats screeching in his new TV show. But watching this Sunday Night Football game - the one in which Mike Kafka is now quarterbacking the Eagles - it's plays like the one to Fitz that make me glad Kolb is here and not there.

Fourth Down: Beanie Wells

Followed up his solid effort last week with another one this week. I wish that whatever it was that the coaching staff saw that resulted in all those yards in the second half could have been noticed sooner. And I continue to echo the thoughts of Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic; Beanie falls down too much. He needs to stay on his feet more. But much like Kevin Kolb, if Beanie can be the guy we've seen so far, he'll be fine.


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