2011 Cardinals Week 10: Five observations

Five things I noticed while watching the Arizona Cardinals' most recent game, a 21-17 victory at Philadelphia:

  • Adrian Wilson can hurt you within the rules. The hit Wilson put on Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin with about five minutes left in the first quarter should find its way onto the videos league officials show players each offseason. Maclin was reaching for a pass when Wilson lowered his left shoulder and struck his target in the right shoulder. Maclin will not play this week. This hit could have turned out differently, however. The pass from Michael Vick was high. Maclin had to leap for it. Legal hits can turn into personal fouls when receivers duck into contact. These are tough plays for defenders.

  • Cardinals put the hurt on Eagles in general. The San Francisco 49ers have attracted attention this season for injuring opposing running backs. The Cardinals inflicted considerable damage to key Eagles players. In addition to knocking out Maclin, they also left Vick with injured ribs. Vick finished the game against Arizona, but he was about as bad as I can recall seeing him. The injury presumably had something to do with that. Vick will not play this week.

  • This should have been a 10-point victory. Winning tends to obscure blemishes, but Jay Feely's missed field-goal tries from 35 and 43 yards easily could have been the difference in the game. Feely now has five misses this season, four of them from closer than 50 yards. His 61.5 percent success rate would be a career worst over the course of a full season.

  • All-around great play in the clutch. John Skelton's fourth-and-2 lob to running back LaRod Stephens-Howling with 3:50 left and Arizona down by a field goal was an across-the-board success for the Cardinals. Left tackle Levi Brown handled Eagles defensive end Trent Cole without help. Every member of the Cardinals' offensive line held up beautifully in one-on-one protection situations, giving Skelton a perfect pocket. Stephens-Howling outran middle linebacker Jamar Chaney and made an over-the-shoulder grab 15 yards downfield. Not many running backs can make that catch.

  • Blatant holding allowed late in game. Wilson, the Cardinals' veteran safety, should have had a sack or at least a huge quarterback hit on the Eagles' final drive, but running back LeSean McCoy got away with a blatant hold on him. McCoy attempted another blatant hold against cornerback Michael Adams later in the drive, but officials called this one. These weren't subtle holds, either. These were around-the-neck holds.

Wilson showed up positively for the Cardinals several times in this game against the Eagles, including on an interception nullified by penalty. He's had some memorable matchups with the 49ers' Vernon Davis over the years. Here's hoping we see another one Sunday at Candlestick Park.