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Lots of defense during first half in the desert

Fred Jackson, Daryl Washington, Adrian Wilson AP

The Bills spent the last two weeks giving up 97 points to the Patriots and 49ers, so it was fair to wonder how they’d hold up against the Cardinals this Sunday.

Even without Beanie Wells, Ryan Williams or much of an offensive line, the Cardinals presented a challenge to the Bills defenders. It’s a challenge they met fairly well in the first half even though Buffalo trails 10-9.

A Fred Jackson fumble on the first play of the game set the Cardinals up with great field position right out of the gate, but the Bills held firm and forced a field goal. They then got the Bills on the board when Chris Kelsay sacked Kevin Kolb in the end zone for a safety and a big Leodis McKelvin kickoff return helped set up C.J. Spiller’s 10-yard touchdown run. That’s all the offense was able to muster against the Cardinals defense, however, as they managed just 101 yards on the half.

The Cardinals weren’t much better, picking up 127 yards (24 of which were on a fake punt run by Rashad Johnson), but they were able to put together one successful drive that resulted in a Kolb-to-Larry Fitzgerald touchdown. They’ve also done relatively well pass blocking with two sacks allowed in the first half. Compared to last week’s sackfest against the Cardinals, that qualifies as a pretty significant step forward.

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