Norm Hall - Getty Images
Too many missed plays, mistakes led to the Cards' first loss at home since they played the Steelers last season.
After the Arizona Cardinals lost 19-16 to the Buffalo Bills in overtime, head coach Ken Whisenhunt was very disappointed in his team. "(It's) just disappointing after going through everything we went through in that game -- so many missed plays, dropped balls, opportunities to make plays and didn't make them, and to not convert the field goal to win it right there at the end after everything we did was hard, obviously very hard," he said to the press after the game.
The issues started early in the game.
"I know we had a couple of runs that we didn't hit maybe the way we should have early in the game," he said about William Powell and the running game. "But we did a better job as the game progressed."
The offense could have gotten the game off to a better start. After the defense got a turnover on the first play from scrimmage, they could not move the ball and settled for a field goal. "I was disappointed with the way that we started the game, because our defense got the ball and we didn't get anything but a field goal out of it," said Whisenhunt.
Some of the other errors:
Late in the game, when Kevin Kolb was hit and got hurt, having to leave the game, that was on William Powell. "He had a mental error on the play," said Whisenhunt. "It was supposed to be a draw play."
Powell himself admitted the error, saying, "It's a number scheme and I was coming from the sideline. Things happen."
A key sequence came at the start of the fourth quarter. On first down, Kevin Kolb completes a pass to fullback Reagan Maui'a, who fought forward to gain seven yards, but after the play finished, he inexplicably spiked the ball, resulting in a five-yard delay of game penalty. Then there was a false start, as sack and an incompletion, and then Cardinals had to punt.
"Yeah, I mean you can't do that," Whisenhunt said about the penalty. "We got a first down play, we get seven yards on it and we spike the ball and now it's second and nine. It's just stupidity. You can't miss that."
He also cited a third down play in a different instance that Andre Roberts dropped. "We are just missing so many plays like that," said the head coach."The only thing I can say, and what we talk about with our guys is you'll push through it.
The last mistake was killer, as it led directly to the Bills' win. It was the interception in overtime that John Skelton threw. "It wasn't a wrong route, and I can't tell you what he was looking at," said Whisenhunt.
Skelton clarified. "We just basically have scissor routes outside and the backside safety, which you almost never take into account, came back across and picked it,' Skelton said. "It's the same play that Kevin (Kolb) threw the interception on. The guy made a good play."
In the end, the mistakes were too many to overcome. In other weeks at home, they were fortunate enough to make plays when they needed them. On Sunday, they didn't in every single instance. It came down to misplays earlier in the game.
"We have to make plays so we aren't living on the edge," said Whisenhunt. "It didn't go the way we wanted it to but we fought. we put it in position win it at the end; we just didn't execute it."
Can they recover from this game? The mental toughness they have shown over the past year makes us think so, but they have a tough four games coming up. If they don't, they could be looking at 4-6.
Linebacker Daryl Washington said what we all hope happens. "We will just get back to work," he said. "Don't put our heads down, we're 4-2, and it's still a long season. We'll get back to work on Monday, correct the mistakes and get ready for Minnesota."