Arizona Must Beat Washington to Go to 3-0 For First Time Since 1974

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I have never seen the St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals go 3-0. Never.

The last time the Cards were 3-0, Gerald Ford had been our President for just over a month. Everyone was "Kung Fu Fighting". The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was set to be released in theatres. Watergate was on everyone's minds. The year was 1974 and the Cardinals were calling St. Louis home (I was born a year later).

The 2008 Arizona Cardinals have a chance to match that feat this Sunday in Washington. Zona faces off against an ol' NFC East foe in the Redskins (1-1).

These two met last year with the Cardinals recovering an onside kick and setting up a possibly game winning field goal. Kicker Neil Rackers missed the 55-yard attempt as time expired and the Redskins walked away with a 21-19 win.

Both teams come into this game with a shot at making some real noise in the NFC. An Arizona win could help legitimize the team as the NFC West frontrunner. For Washington, getting a win against a solid team is big since they have a difficult schedule coming up.Arizona knows it is a big game for them:

"We haven't played nobody," said running back Edgerrin James, referencing the fact that Arizona's first two opponents are a combined 7-29 since the beginning of last season. "We've got to keep doing it. A lot of teams are 2-0."

"When people are talking about prosperity at 2-0, it almost makes me laugh," quarterback Kurt Warner said. "... Hopefully we have the mindset in here that this is where we expected ourselves to be, so why are you getting excited about something you expect?"

By the way, that '74 Cardinals team went on to win its first seven games. The Cards would finish 10-4 and lose to the Vikings in the divisional playoffs. Those 1974 and 1975 Cardinals were the last teams in franchise history to win their division.

All good signs for the Cardinals as the head into a house of horrors. The Redskins have beaten the Cardinals six straight times ... and eight of nine. They also own the all-time series, 72-44-2.

But those are numbers created by other teams. In this game, Washington will have trouble trying to stop a youthful-looking Kurt Warner and his stable of great receivers. The Cards have scored at least 20 points in each of their last ten games (currently the best in the league).

One dirty little secret is the Redskins offense. The Skins -- despite stinking up the joint against the Giants in Week 1 -- are actually 11th in total offense. They are very balanced from run-to-pass and seemed to have clicked a bit against the Saints last week.

Another dirty little secret is that the Cardinals defense has played outstanding so far. Is this because they've faced the Niners and Dolphins? Or are they becoming their own power?

We shall see on Sunday!

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