The Cardinals finally got over the hump on Sunday with a 28-16 win against the Dallas Cowboys. Arizona finally put four good quarters together behind a stout defense and an opportunistic offense to win at State Farm Stadium 28-16. However, Cardinals Fans need to take this first win in stride as they head to San Francisco for Week 4.
On offense, quarterback Josh Dobbs played an efficient game. Dobbs would complete 17 of 21 attempts for 189 yards and one touchdown. He also avoided the interception bug and was only sacked twice for 11 yards. For the first time this season, Dobbs looked in control, had a level of confidence fans in Arizona have not seen, and looked like a starting quarterback.
The Cardinals also ran the ball well. James Conner was responsible for 98 yards in a rushing attack that was better than the Cowboys to the tune of 222 to 185. For the game, Dallas shot itself in the foot numerous times and could not convert the three times they got the ball inside the Arizona 10-yard line.
Block of the year candidate from Cardinals C Hjalte Froholdt with this GORGEOUS 'slingshot' technique on the backer to spring a huge run. pic.twitter.com/jdTm98Ctn2
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) September 25, 2023
Through the first two weeks of the 2023 season, the Cowboys looked like world-beaters. They combined for two wins scoring a combined 70 points while giving up only 10. Had you just woken up from a long summer nap and tuned in on Sunday afternoon, you would have thought it was the Cardinals who were cruising, not crashing, as the Cowboys looked in Week 3.
Cardinals Fans Need to Take First Win in Stride
Cardinals Head To San Francisco For Big NFC West Clash in Week 4
Fans in the desert need to remember this is one game of 17. The Cardinals are still 1-2 and heading to the Bay Area to play San Francisco before a big home game against the Cincinnati Bengals. For Arizona to win those games, the Cardinals will have to remain aggressive on defense and capitalize on every scoring opportunity they have.
The 49ers will likely be a huge favorite for their fourth victory of the season. They are, without fail, the best team in the NFL. Offensively, they are putting up points, scoring 30 in each of their last three games. Quarterback Brock Purdy is showing that 2022 was no fluke. The Niners signal-caller is completing 67 percent of his passes for a rating of 106.3. Defensively, San Francisco is solid at all 11 positions. They too seem to be clicking having held Pittsburgh to seven points, the Rams to 23, and only 12 to the Giants.
For those in Cardinals Red who believe the shackles of failure are now gone, tread lightly. This isn’t just a good win for Arizona, it’s also Dobbs’ first win—EVER. If not for the defense, the Cardinals would be 0-3, and going nowhere fast. However, they haven’t faced the kind of firepower that both the 49ers and the Bengals have. It will test the Arizona defense to bend and not break, and the Cardinals offense to keep up and give themselves a chance to win late.
Weeks 4 and 5 Will Serve as A Good Measuring Stick for The Cardinals
Despite beating the Dallas Cowboys and exposing them as another potential fraud in Big D, the Niners and Bengals are different. Joey Burrow looks to be getting back to form, and San Francisco is the absolute real deal. The bottom line is the Cardinals need to take this win in stride.
The trip out West will be a good measuring stick for the Cardinals. It will show if they can be consistent and build on their win, as well as highlight where head coach Jonathan Gannon is in his beginning tenure. Week 4 will continue to question his mental makeup as an HC. After his first two losses, one win only proves a broken watch is right twice a day.
Love the Cardinals defense, hope for the Arizona offense, and know that the jury remains out on Gannon.
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Main Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports