Last week the Arizona Cardinals came out and played a great game against the New York Giants and they didn't get any national recognition. They came out complaining over the fact that they made the Giants look like they lost the game rather than the Cardinals won it. If they wanted that national recognition, this was the week to start getting some. They were playing a team in the Carolina Panthers that has struggled all season on offense not getting anything done, yet the Cardinals could not put down the Panthers team. They came out and did what they always do when everyone has their hopes up on this team - lose ugly. They will never get the national recognition they want if they keep playing like this.
The Running Game was one of the few bright spots of this game despite only getting 16 rushing attempts, Warner's rush not included. Those 16 attempts though went for 86 yards (5.4 yards per carry) and 1 touchdown. Both Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells received eight carries and had similar yardage 39 and 47 respectively, and Timmy had one touchdown. There is no doubt in my mind that if the Cardinals had been much closer or even winning, these two backs could have put up some monster numbers today with the way they were running.
The Defense as a whole today played terrible. They allowed 270 total rushing yards despite being the number one rush defense. That would be more than half of what we had allowed all season with 405 yards in the other 6 games and the Cardinals dropped to ninth in rush defense after this performance. They also allowed two rushing touchdowns after having allowed just three touchdowns in the previous six games. The passing defense was not bad despite the Panthers only throwing 15 times. Jake Delhomme completed 7 of his 15 attempts for only 90 yards and that low yardage total allowed the passing defense to move to 20th overall. Even though our passing defense played somewhat better than normal, when given the chances to defend the pass, this team has one of the better rushing defenses in the league and they must play like they have played in the past 12 games in which they did not allow a 100 yard rushing in a game if they want to win.
Sloppiness played a huge roll in this game. If it was not players dropping passes, not to mention any names (Jerheme Urban), it was missed tackles on defense, and if it was not those two things than it was a penalty. The penalties were not as bad as usual but some of them were penalties that should not happen, like defensive offsides. Adrian Wilson added to his collection of offsides penalties this season with one more and Calais Campbell also had one. They also has one of those penalties that should never happen at home, that would be a false start. That false start came from Levi Brown, who I am now convinced is related to Leonard Davis in some way, shape or form. The Cardinals defense had tackled pretty decent this season but not on Sunday. Despite stacking the box with eight guys the Panthers running backs were able to run wild and missed tackles were a big reason why. This was something we had problems with last season and was supposed to be fixed by bringing in a more conservative defensive coordinator in Bill Davis. The drops were also bad. From what I saw Fitz dropped a couple that could have gone for first downs and then Urban dropped a major passed that turned into an interception. There has been a lot of drops by this teams receivers this year, something that did not happen often last season. All these things need to be cleaned up in time for the Chicago Bears next weekend.
Kurt Warner might have actually been worse than ugly on Sunday as he threw five interceptions and had one fumble lost. We all know Warner has games like these every year. Last year against the Jets he had six total turnovers, three fumbles lost and three interceptions. In 2007 Warner had five interceptions against the Seattle Seahawks. As you can see, this is nothing new for Warner but still comes at somewhat of a surprise because of how accurate he has been in the past. Warner has got to stop turning the ball over and make better decisions if he wants us to get the national recognition he so passionately asked for last week when they beat the Giants.
As you can see there was not much good that came out of this game. We did learn a lot from this game however, as a lot of us thought they had turned the corner with how they played in the last three games but apparently not. This team still can not win when they are the favorites. This team seems to only thrive when they are dissed or feel like they are not getting credit they deserve. Frankly, yesterday showed exactly how much recognitions and credit they deserve. Until they start beating teams they are favored to win and stop getting blown out this team Will never get what they are asking for. Thoughts?