|Whisenhunt off to best start in 83 years|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 11 November 2008 16:25|
The former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator is 14-11 since coming to the desert. That's the best start since Norm Barry directed the Chicago Cardinals to a 16-7-2 record in his first 25 games as coach in the mid-1920s.
The statistic is a measure of how bad the Cardinals have been over the years, but after Monday night's frantic 29-24 victory over San Francisco, Arizona has a four-game lead in the NFC West with seven to play.
The 6-3 start is the Cardinals' best since 1984, four years before the franchise moved to Arizona from St. Louis.
Next up is a trip to Seattle to face the Seahawks, a team that has dominated the division, including the Cardinals, since the NFL was realigned.
exorcise some of those demons.''
Arizona improved to 10-2 at home under Whisenhunt and have won six in a row there, four this season. It's the longest home winning streak for the franchise since the Cardinals won nine straight in 1925.
After the trip to Seattle, Arizona enters a rugged stretch that has them at home against the New York Giants, at Philadelphia on Thanksgiving night, then at New England.
Whisenhunt was doing everything he could to put a positive spin on what was an uneven performance by his team against the 49ers, who lost their sixth in a row. He was especially pleased with the team's positive attitude throughout the difficult night.
``A lot of times when you get into those situations like yesterday there's a lot of finger-pointing and a lot of blame that goes on, even on the sidelines,'' Whisenhunt said, ``and there was none of that yesterday.''
Kurt Warner kept up his standout season, throwing for 328 yards and three touchdowns. He became the second Cardinals quarterback ever to have three consecutive 300-yard passing games. But such efforts are almost the norm in Warner's NFL career.
He's topped 300 yards in 45.1 percent of his games, by far the best for anyone who has played at least 100 games. Dan Fouts is a distant second at 28.2 percent. Monday night's performance was his 46th career 300-yard passing effort in 102 games.
eam's ability to pull out a victory in a game it easily could have, and in past years probably would have, lost.
The more Warner is allowed to take over a game, the better he likes it.
``I guess I don't feel like I have to depend on anybody else in those situations,'' the 37-year-old quarterback said. ``I can say give me the ball and let me make plays. Let me win or lose the game. I love being in that position.''
Whisenhunt did not hide his displeasure with punter Dirk Johnson. After shanking a punt earlier in the game, his low-flying 40-yarder allowed the 49ers to return the kick to the Arizona 42 with 1:06 to play. That set the stage for San Francisco's near-miss at a winning score.
``At this point we're not looking at a new punter, not bringing anybody in,'' Whisenhunt said, ``but his performance has to improve, especially there at the end of the game when you have a critical situation and you need to be able to punt the ball.''