How much can you say about a game in which the Cardinals lost by 31 points? Not a lot. The game began with a great drive by the Cardinals offense that eventually led to a Tim Hightower 22-yard touchdown. Unfortunately, the run was called back because of a mysterious holding call against the Cardinals. The very next play Derek Anderson threw into coverage -- suffering his fourth interception of the season.
I won't bring anymore pain to those of you who actually watched the entire game. I think I can say confidently that I didn't sign up for this. None of us did. Ken Whisenhunt's quarrel with Matt Lienart before the season began was immature and hindered the chances at success for this team. Derek Anderson -- quite possibly could have been the worst quarterback in the league the last two seasons -- was supposed to lead the Cardinals to the playoffs this year? Really? Forgive me for ranting a bit, and I'm in no way saying Leinart would've had anymore success, but at least we could have found out. Now we're left with an empty feeling inside wondering what could have been.
Anderson was inevitably benched today for his abysmal performance. His 23.2 quarterback rating for the day may be our last memory of Anderson. Yet somehow, I feel like Whisenhunt will continue to stick to his guns and let his quarterback return to action next week. Anderson is clearly not a good quarterback. For those of you that support him, please elaborate on why you do. Not because I want to argue, but because I can't see it for myself. Can we let the Anderson-era die already?
The next target on my list is Bill Davis. While I search for a word to describe how horrible his coverage schemes were today, let me say that his defense allowed over 400 yards of total offense and allowed Mike Tolbert to run wild -- reaching 100 rushing yards. At one point I think Davis decided to bury his head in the sand and cower until the game was over -- hence the picture above. His predictable ways continued today, often blitzing on third downs instead of double covering Antonio Gates like he should have been. He continued to let Chargers' running backs blow through holes instead of stacking the box. The defense couldn't get a stop until late in the fourth quarter when the Chargers punted for the first time in the game. I've reached my limit with Davis and am counting down the days till he's no longer part of the team.
The offensive line gets no pass today. Allowing nine sacks is inexcusable. Too often, Brandon Keith failed to even look for the blitz. Levi Brown and Alan Faneca couldn't contain their assignments. It was an all around horrible game for the offensive line. I'm ready to see Jeremy Bridges get some action if the others can't handle their duties.
There weren't many positives to the game. Max Hall played much better then Anderson -- even if that's not saying much. He didn't put the ball in the other team's hands and threw with some confidence. Let's remember that he's still a rookie and likely faced some nerves. Whether or not they continue means little at this point. He should be the starter next week.
Greg Toler has to be the player of the game for the Cardinals. He recorded seven tackles, one sack, and forced the fumble that led to the Cardinals only touchdown of the game. I also don't recall him giving up any big plays either.
Where do the Cardinals go from here? As crazy as it sounds, they wound up in first place in the NFC West today and currently lead the Rams by half a game. They return home next week against a different New Orleans Saints team. Could we see a turnaround? If Max Hall starts and Bill Davis is collecting unemployment, the Cardinals could look like a different team. That could also just be wishful thinking . Either way, a change needs to be made.