The Cardinals have won four of their last five games, following a 1-6 start to the season. They are also mathematically in the hunt for the playoffs, if you can believe that.
Head coach Ken Whisenhunt had his usual Monday press conference, and was asked if it helps the team to talk about what could happen if they keep on winning (i.e. playoffs).
“The important thing for us is to keep our focus like it’s been the last five or six games,” Whisenhunt said.
“Right now it’s not something we even want to talk about,” he said.
Quarterback Kevin Kolb returned to the starting lineup after being out for over a month, and he showed his rust in the first half. His horses up front didn’t help the cause either by giving up four sacks in the first half.
However, Kolb and his line cleaned it up and played much better in the second half and in overtime.
Whisenhunt said the concern with Kolb was his ability to get outside the pocket and make things happen on the run, which he was able to do.
Strange things always seem to happen when the Cardinals and Cowboys meet up in Arizona, and naturally Whisenhunt was happy about beating Dallas, especially in front of a huge contingent of their own fans.
“I think anytime you can beat a good team, you feel good about that,” Whisenhunt said. “That was something we needed to do.”
It looks like the defense has meshed together quite well during this recent hot streak, and Whisenhunt owes it to the players buying into defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s scheme.
“I think it’s more about the scheme, and playing the scheme and trusting that,” Whisenhunt said.
“That’s what team defense is all about, and it’s exciting to see our guys having a lot of confidence in the scheme and playing with each other.”
The NFC West champion 49ers invade Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday. The Cardinals didn’t fare so well at Candlestick Park a few weeks ago, losing 23-7.
Whisenhunt knows this Cardinals team is different from the one that played San Francisco in late November.
“Certainly we feel like we’ve made a lot of progress as a team,” Whisenhunt said. “We have more confidence now.”
“I think our guys will be really fired up to play San Francisco, because there is a rivalry there.”