Cardinals Good Defensive Effort Can't Compensate For Sputtering Offense and Turnovers In 22-10 Loss

Sorry that we are late with this, but I told you I would get it up. I'll also try to get the gamethread highlights post up on Tuesday or Wednesday since I have the day off.

Now, its time to take a look at the good and the bad from the Arizona Cardinals 22-10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in a very sloppy game filled with offenses that could get nothing going.

First and foremost, this game was lost because both Quarterbacks struggled, and the Cardinals kept turning the ball over. Before leaving the game with a concussion early in the 3rd Quarter, Undrafted Rookie Max Hall was 4 of 16 for 36 yards, and he also threw a horrible Interception where he overthrew his receiver by 10 or 15 yards. It also looked like he was struggling with the rain, and bad weather is tough on any Quarterback. Following Hall's concussion, Derek Anderson went in and he provided a spark going 4 for 4 with 67 yards once he went in, but shortly after that he reminded us why he was benched for Hall finishing the game 8 of 17 for 96 yards, and he missed several targets showing why some of us called him "Errant Anderson".

You cannot win a game if your Quarterbacks combine for 12 of 33 for 114 yards and a pick in a game. Those are horrible numbers, and the lack of a passing game is what killed this team. The Defense played well enough to keep the Cardinals in the game until the 4th Quarter when it looked like they were too worn out to keep up with the Seahawks while they were going on long clock chewing drives and scoring points. Even mediocre play by Hall or Anderson could have been enough to win this game, but they both just seemed off target for the entire game.

And for some reason, even with the inept passing game, the Cardinals could still run the ball. Tim Hightower had 6 carries for 59 yards, and he was busting off runs for good chunks of yardage until a fumble in Seattle territory that just killed what was a good drive where the Cardinals probably would have scored some points. Following the fumble, Beanie Wells got every carry and he had 14 carries for 54 yards and a Touchdown (his first of the year) and it looks like he could climb to the top of the depth chart given Hightower's tendency for fumbling at the worst possible time. LaRod Stephens-Howling didn't get any carries, but he did break off a 71 yard kick return during the second half that lead to points, and he is proving himself to be a very explosive player who can consistently give the Cardinals good field position on Kick Returns.

And as I mentioned earlier, the defense did everything it could do to keep the Cardinals in the game. Seattle was given short fields several times, and on 3 turnovers inside of Cardinals territory they could only score a Touchdown on one of them, and that is because the Seahawks got the ball inside the 10 yard line. The other times, all they could get was two Field Goals. Inside the Red Zone, Seattle was only 1 of 7 as well, Olindo Mare was forced to kick 5 field goals because of it (he actually kicked 8, one was taken away by an offsides penalty by Dominique-Rodgers Cromartie on a play where he actually blocked the kick, and two were taken away by holding calls or false start calls before the kick). Matt Hasselbeck was held to 192 passing yards on 38 attempts, and his only Touchdown was after a muffed Punt by Andre Roberts where the Seahawks had the ball inside the Cardinals 10 yard line. They did gain 144 yards on the ground though, but most of those were late in the game once the Defense seemed to tire out. Before the end of the 3rd Quarter, the only good drive Seattle had was on their opening possession where they were held to a field goal, after that they went 3 and out on almost every possession they had. The Pass Rush was also improved, Hasselbeck was sacked 5 times (2 by Alan Branch, 1 by Calais Campbell, 1 by Joey Porter, and 1 by Daryl Washington). Alan Branch had the best game of his career, and it seemed like he was constantly in Hasselbeck's face. It seemed like he has finally started to get it after looking like a Bust for most of his career. Greg Toler also had another good game where he looked solid in coverage for most of the game, and he is a very consistent tackler, but DRC was burned a few times, mainly late in the game by Mike Williams when the Cardinals had to get a stop to get the ball back to their offense. So far this year, Toler has played better than DRC.

Turnovers were the story of the game. Max Hall fumbled after a sack, Hightower lost a fumble, Jason Wright kicked a ball to a Seahawk during a kickoff return, and Andre Roberts muffed a Punt deep in Cardinals territory while it was still a 3-0 game during the second Quarter, and a lot of us feel like that was the play where all of the momentum was lost and Seattle took control. And before that play, Roberts was playing well too, he had a big punt return earlier in the game, and he also made two good catches (he led the team in receiving with 2 catches for 40 yards) during the game.

Luckily, the 49ers lost their game against the Panthers, and the Rams lost to the Buccaneers so it is just Seattle ahead of us in the NFC West right now, and the entire NFC is wide open this year with no real dominant team so there is still a chance that the Cardinals can win the Division or at least get a Wild Card spot in the Playoffs. At 3-3, the Cardinals are still in it, and they will be at home next Sunday against Tampa Bay where they should have the crowd behind them. The Defense has stepped up after two horrible games early in the year, now the Offense just needs to find a way to get something going. Lets hope they can get it going next week.

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