The Arizona Cardinals entered today's game with the Washington Redskins at 2-0 for the first time since 1991 (when current Redskins coach Jim Bugel was their head coach). They wanted to be the first Cards team to get to 3-0 since 1974.
They also wanted to beat the Redskins for the first time in seven meetings (and second of nine matchups).
Mistakes greatly hindered that. The Cardinals lost 24-17 due to drops, turnovers and bad penalties.
Arizona committed their first turnovers this season and failed to reach 20 points for the first time in ten games (dating back to last season). Even though their penalties weren't out of hand, they can at bad moments. On a 4th-and-1, the Cards were called for a delay of game penalty as they completed a pass for a sure TD.
They also had a variety of penalties on kick and punt returns -- negating some nice runs.
You also have to give a ton of credit to the Redskins. All phases of the Redskins game were clicking today.
The defense slowed down the explosive Cardinals to just 17 points (again, the first time in ten games that Arizona was held under 20 points). Kurt Warner passed for just 197 yards. Yes, Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald caught TDs ... but they struggled throughout the game. Boldin caught just three passes for 25 yards. Fitzgerald did catch seven balls, but 62 of his 109 yards were his one TD catch.
The Redskins offense also looked sharp. Jason Campbell had great control of the game, completing 22-of-30 for 193 yards and two TDs. He continued to find a sizzling Santana Moss (sixth straight game with a TD) and re-discovered Chris Cooley.
And after a rough start to his career, punter Durant Brooks and the Redskins coverage teams did a nice job pinning Arizona deep in their end of the field.
Both teams wanted this game as they both have tough schedules ahead. Arizona will stay on the East Coast and face the New York Jets next week before hosting Buffalo and Dallas before their bye week. Washington goes on the road to NFC East foes Dallas and Philadelphia before
coming home and hosting the Rams.