|Embarrassed Cardinals brace for unbeaten Bills|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 02 October 2008 13:35|
Buffalo makes a rare transcontinental trip to the desert Sunday looking to go 5-0 for the first time in 17 years and only the fourth time in franchise history.
``I don't know how good this team can be,'' quarterback Trent Edwards said. ``I feel like we still have a lot left in the tank that we really can show on Sundays.''
The Bills face an Arizona team coming off a nightmarish first half in a 56-35 road loss to the New York Jets.
``Going into halftime in the Jets game and seeing the scoreboard say 34-0, that's one of those things you'll never forget,'' wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. ``... Everybody was embarrassed.''
The Cardinals (2-2) spent all of last week in the east rather than return to Arizona following their 24-17 loss to the Washington Redskins. Obviously, they are glad to be home, where they are 7-2 since coach Ken Whisenhunt was hired a year ago.
``Everybody wants to get that sour taste of their mouths and get back on track,'' defensive end Antonio Smith said. ``It feels a lot better just being here. One thing we said we were going to do when we started this thing is establish a home-field advantage.''
In the last three games, the Bills have come from behind in the fourth quarter to beat Jacksonville, Oakland and St. Louis.
``We can't keep doing that,'' Edwards said, `but fortunately we have won games that way. We know if we get caught in that situation, hopefully we have a little bit more experience and know we can do it.''
A third-round draft pick out of Stanford in 2007, Edwards has been cool and efficient in the Bills' fantastic fourth quarters. In the final period of the last three games, he has completed 24 of 32 passes for 336 yards. He's thrown for three touchdowns and a 2-point conversion, with no interceptions. In the process, Buffalo has outscored those three foes 45-10.
``He's a talented young man,'' Bills coach Dick Jauron said. ``He's taken those talents and really worked at it.''
Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt is sticking with veteran Kurt Warner at quarterback over Matt Leinart. Warner got off to a great start this season, but was responsible for six of Arizona's seven turnovers against the Jets: three interceptions and three lost fumbles.
came back to lead Arizona to five consecutive touchdown drives in the third and fourth quarters.
Whisenhunt said all Cardinals opponents are zeroing in on Warner.
``When Kurt's operating, I welcome people bringing pressure because he gets the ball out and makes plays,'' Whisenhunt said. ``We have to do a better job of protecting him. He has to do a better job of moving in the pocket and protecting the ball. Those are all things he's worked on this week.''
The Cardinals almost certainly will be without standout wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who is nursing a fractured sinus after a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit by Jets safety Eric Smith in the waning seconds of last week's game.
The NFL suspended Smith for one game and fined him $50,000. Second-year pro Steve Breaston, who caught nine passes for 122 yards last Sunday, would start in Boldin's place.
The Bills, on the other hand, probably won't have cornerback Terrence McGee, who injured his left knee early in last Sunday's 31-14 victory over the Rams in St. Louis. McGee's job would go to either Ashton Youboty, who usually plays in nickel situations, or rookie Leodis McKelvin.
Expect the Cardinals to try to match up two-time Pro Bowler Fitzgerald against McGee's replacement.
first two years, and he's responded very well to it. Leotis, we're working him in. He's got terrific skills and playmaking ability.''
Edwards looks forward to getting back to his native west and continuing to prove how wrong all the teams that passed on him in the draft were.
``I don't know,'' he said when asked why five quarterbacks were picked ahead of him. ``I'm not the general manager for the Raiders or the Lions or Dolphins or Browns or Eagles, either. Maybe I had injuries at the combine that some teams didn't want to take risks on. Maybe there were questions or other issues.
``I don't know. Like I said, I'm really happy where I'm at.''