The Cardinals certainly have originally accepted the philosophies of Ken Whisenhunt at the beginning of the season, but one in particular seems to have escaped them: discipline. While the ex-Steelers coach preaches it on a consistent basis, the players have apparently not bitten into the idea enough to keep from committing costly penalties and mental errors which have ultimately cost them a shot at the postseason.
The 6-8 record was no accident. Take a look at the number of penalties and turnovers that happened in Arizona's 8 losses this season:
at San Francisco: 10 penalties for 71 yards. 2 turnovers.
at Baltimore: 6 penalties for 65 yards. 1 turnover.
vs. Carolina: 11 penalties for 101 yards. 5 turnovers.
at Washington: 9 penalties for 75 yards. 3 turnovers.
at Tampa Bay: 8 penalties for 64 yards. 2 turnovers.
San Francisco: 10 penalties for 70 yards. 4 turnovers.
at Seattle: 7 penalties for 55 yards. 5 turnovers.
at New Orleans: 10 penalties for 78 yards. 2 turnovers.
I think it's obvious the team has had problems with penalties and turnovers and it's ultimately cost us wins. Look at the Carolina game. How can a team win if it turns the ball over five times and loses (or gives the opponent) 101 yards on penalties?
Clearly, Whisenhunt will need to coach the Cardinals on the fundamentals before next season. Averaging 9 penalties and 3 turnovers a game will result in a losing season. It's a shame that the team, despite playing hard football, isn't playing smart football and the resulting goal is the hope to finish .500.