The Arizona Cardinals head into their Week 9 bye with a formidable 6-2 record, courtesy of a 34-20 victory over the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium Sunday.
Despite that first-half success, the architect of the NFC West’s top team isn’t totally satisfied with what he’s seen so far.
“It feels good,” Arizona general manager Steve Keim told Doug and Wolf Monday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “Would I say that I’m satisfied? No, but at the same time I’m extremely proud of the record, at 6-2, we’re in a pretty good position. We just have to build and grow on what we started.
“There’s no doubt that the second half of the season is going to pose some major challenges. But as a competitor, that’s the type of challenges you want.”
Critics of the Cardinals will point out the quality of teams that they faced in their first eight games. The six teams Arizona has beaten have a combined record of 13-34. As Keim states, the back of the slate is much tougher. The remaining opponents on the Cardinals’ schedule boast a 31-20 mark.
Sunday’s win in Cleveland was uneven at best for the Cardinals. They jumped out to a 7-0 lead and then were badly outplayed as Cleveland built a 20-7 lead. Chandler Catanzaro kicked a field goal before the end of the first half, and after some halftime adjustments, Arizona outscored the Browns 24-0 the rest of the way to win by two touchdowns.
It’s not the first time the Cardinals have been up-and-down during the course of a single game, but that doesn’t concern Keim moving forward.
“I know the type of men we have in our locker room,” Keim said. “The good news is being 6-2, we certainly have not played our best football yet. There’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll hit our stride in the second half of the season, which a lot of times in the NFL, the teams that get hot in the second half are the ones that finish strong.”
The Cardinals will resume their schedule Sunday night, Nov. 15 against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field in a nationally televised game by NBC.
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