With three weeks of the NFL season in the books, three teams remain undefeated in the Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals. I will break down what each team has done so far and predict what will happen the rest of the season. This article will feature the Cardinals, so check back later in the week for the breakdown of the Falcons and Texans.
Against the Seahawks, the Cardinals had to rebound to an injury to starting quarterback John Skelton, but backup Kevin Kolb came in and looked the guy they traded for, as he went 6-for-8 with 66 yards and a touchdown. That touchdown gave the Cardinals the 17-13 lead and win, which was backed up by the defense, who held the Seahawks on fourth-and-goal to end the game.
The following week against the Patriots, the Cardinals were expected to get slaughtered, but their defense held the Patriots to field goals all the way up until the fourth quarter. Tom Brady was held scoreless for 58 minutes and almost shut out for the first time in the regular season since 2009. A last second score by Rob Gronkowski had the Patriots within two, but a missed two-point conversion had them down 20-18. Fast forward to the last second and the Cardinals were about to lose their first game of the season, but Stephen Gostkowski missed a game-winning field goal after going 4-for-4 in the game and the undefeated season continued for the Cardinals.
Then last week against the Eagles, the Cardinals controlled the game from start to finish. Their defense held the Eagles to six points, forced two fumbles and had five sacks. Quarterback Michael Vick had no chance of getting anything going in the air or on the ground. On offense, the Cardinals had probably their best game rushing thanks to Ryan Williams, who ran for 83 yards on 13 carries. In the air, Kolb threw for 222 yards and two touchdowns en route to the 27-6 win, but the Cardinals received bad news with Beanie Wells who will be out until late November.
So through three weeks, the Cardinals offense has lost its starting quarterback and running back, but the backups have come in and taken over without skipping a beat. On defense, the Cardinals have had one of the best seasons so far and they rank 17th in rushing and ninth in passing. Against the run, the Cardinals have yet to allow a touchdown and against the pass, the Cardinals have only allowed two. The part that stands out the most to me is that they have beaten and stopped two of the best offensive franchises in the league. This Cardinals defense seems to be for real, so as long as they continue to produce, their success relies on how these backups perform on offense all season.
This week, the Cardinals will look to stay undefeated against the 1-2 Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins haven't really got a passing game going, but running back Reggie Bush is quickly establishing himself as a legit starter in this league, as long as he stays healthy. Bush is questionable this week with a knee injury, so if he can't go, this game is going to be a breeze for the Cardinals. But regardless of him playing or not, I still think the Cardinals will pull off the win.
As for the rest of the season, the Cardinals schedule looks like this, courtesy of Yahoo! Sports.com.