You hear a lot of debate about what wins NFL Championships - is it offense, defense, the running game, the quarterback?
Well, if we look beyond what is probably the most important determination of success -- don't have any injuries -- I think the last few games have really proven the importance of having a great offensive and defensive line. The Indianapolis Colts, the team that supposedly had everything, lost because the Steelers penetrated their O-line at will. Both the winning teams yesterday won in large part because their lines pushed the other team's around the field.
Good teams know this. Bad teams, like our Arizona Cardinals, don't. At the beginning of the year, the Cardinals were getting a lot of publicity because they had exciting new players at many of their skill positions. I went to see their 3rd preseason game, and I knew then that they would suck this year, yet again, because their lines got pushed around by Denver's second team. Denver, by the way, is a great case for building from the lines - for years they have turned no-name guys into thousand yard rushers because of their O-line. Same this year in Pittsburgh. The great Cowboys teams of the 90's had Aikman and E. Smith and M. Irvin, but it also had what may have been one of the great offensive lines the league has seen.
Unfortunately, the Cardinals, like many bad teams, feel the need to draft big-name position players that temporarily excite a lethargic fan base rather than really building unsexy offensive and defensive lines. I mean, for god's sakes, we have drafted like 3 or 5 wide recievers in the first round of the last few drafts. This team needs EVERYTHING and we are drafting recievers?