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Redskins Know These Cards Are Legitimate

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All of a sudden, the Redskins' Week 3 matchup versus Arizona is looking like a much greater challenge.

The Cardinals, who have opted for veteran Kurt Warner over Matt Leinart at quarterback, are 2-0 for the first time since 1991.

What's more, they're starting to believe in themselves.

The Redskins face three tough NFC East road games in their first five outings. Arizona, a former NFC East foe, has emerged as a legitimate threat, too.

"You see good players all over," admitted Redskins head coach Jim Zorn. "Their scheme is good, and they play hard."

Arizona finished at 8-8 a year ago but they lost at Baltimore by just 26-23 and at FedExField 21-19 in a game that was in the balance in the fourth quarter.

The Cardinals gave the Redskins all they could handle last year on Oct. 21. London Fletcher returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown in the first half and Washington rolled to a 21-6 lead before holding on for dear life.

Taunting and trash talking ruled the day.

In a questionable call, Fletcher was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after he made a key third-down tackle and then turned around to motion at the Cardinals sideline. Fletcher said he was acknowledging fans, but referees thought otherwise.

Carlos Rogers and Cardinals kicker Neil Rackers got into a scuffle after a field goal attempt. (In a 2005 Redskins-Cardinals game in Phoenix, Rackers also got into a scuffle with Khary Campbell.)

The game was in the balance in the fourth quarter.

Anquan Boldin hauled in a 10-yard TD pass from Warner as Arizona closed to within 21-13. Later, Leonard Pope's 1-yard TD catch from Tim Rattay made it 21-19 with :21 left.

On the two-point conversion attempt, Arizona pitched the ball to Boldin, who tried to hit Larry Fitzgerald in the end zone. LaRon Landry came up with an interception to keep the Redskins in front by two.

The Cardinals weren't done yet.

They recovered an onsides kick and quickly marched to the Washington 37-yard line.

Rackers' field goal try from 55 yards out just missed its mark, and the Redskins won.

Overall, it was a highly emotional game that saw Arizona draw nine penalties for 75 yards, the Redskins six penalties for 53.

The Cardinals outgained the Redskins by a large margin (364-160) and registered 19 first downs to just 10 for Washington.

Fred Smoot may have said it best after the game when he told reporters: "Any team can come back at the end of the game and beat you if you give them the amount of chances we gave those guys.

"Put it this way: 'We're lucky to get out of here with a victory.'"

This time around, Washington certainly can't afford to look past Arizona with Dallas looming on Week 4 and Philly in Week 5.

"Last year we started out 2-0, so we definitely know how the Cardinals feel right now," Jason Campbell said. "When you're 2-0 you can play with a lot of confidence. We know they're a tremendous team with a lot of weapons."

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