Well, as someone once sang..."Two Out of Three Ain't Bad."

The Cardinals hold a 2 ½ game lead for the second wild card berth as the next to last Monday of the regular season arrives. That’s a good place to be in the grand scheme of things.   One last visit to Houston gives the Cardinals a chance to rack up a few more wins before finishing out against possible October opponents Cincinnati and Washington. By the way, it was a year ago today that Carlos Marmol uncorked that fateful wild pitch that kept the door to October open for the 2011 Cardinals.

Things I like to see-- Improvement.

Hannibal was very methodical in running down Kirksville. Week to week improvement is what you want to see and we got that again from the Pirates.  The  lopsided score meant a lot of snaps for those not in the first 22 starting slots. It looked to me like the second and third unit guys stepped up from the week before at Mexico. That’s what you want to see in high school football-- improvement from week to week. Doesn’t matter whether you’re  a Show Me Bowl favorite in the large classes or a Class 1 team struggling to string together first downs.  It’s to Fulton next Friday for a matchup with the winless Hornets. We’ll have the game on khmoradio.com beginning at 6:45 Friday night.

Culver Stockton showed some improvement from the home opener to last Saturday’s game with Central Methodist.  CSC trailed 10-7 at the half before getting into trouble in the 3rd quarter. Culver also stepped it up in the late going as the Eagles tried unsuccessfully to punch in one last score in the last few seconds. They held the Eagles out of the end zone as time expired in a 32-7 Central Methodist win.

Chris Graythen
Getty Images Sport

More Improvement.
Great to see Kansas City get off the mat and get into the win column. Yes, that was against New Orleans, yes the Saints more than their share of problems because of Bountygate and the resulting upheaval in their coaching staff.  However, getting out of a 24-6 hole isn’t easy against any NFL team. Evidently, Jamaal Charles is back. 288 yards and a 91 yard TD run where he was not touched by any defenders.  Nice job by the Chiefs defense down the stretch. That looked like what we saw late last year when the Chiefs came one missed block short of an AFC West title despite all the offensive problems in November and December.  The Chargers are next. Noon Sunday at Arrowhead.  No good reason in my book for KC not to be 2-2 at the end of September.

I do not see improvement right now for Mizzou. The Georgia loss came down to a careless pass and careless ballhandling by quarterback James Franklin. On Saturday, inadequate punt coverage gave the ball to a very good South Carolina team at the four. A turnover gave the Gamecocks the ball at the MU 37. That’s a great recipe for a loss against a team which qualifies as a dark-horse national title contender.  This is the SEC. There is no margin for error, even for the likes of Alabama and LSU and especially for everyone else.

However, the things that are killing Missouri are things they can eliminate.  And, Gary Pinkel and his staff have a good track record on tamping down this sort of stuff. I expect to see improvement at Central Florida next week and on the evening of October 6th when Vanderbilt comes to Columbia.