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Roundtable: Week 13 Loss, Biggest Surprise/Disappointment, and Referees

Last Sunday's loss to the Eagles left many fans disappointed.

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

And just as losses arouse fan fury, they also arouse new questions to be answered. The ROTB Writing Staff took their shot at three of these in this week's Roundtable edition.

Don't forget to answer the questions yourself in the comments below!

1) What do you think was the biggest factor in the Cardinals' loss to the Eagles last week?

AndyStandsUp: Obviously the turnovers steered this to a loss. Don't know the exact percentages, but going -3 in giveaway/takeaways is not a great indicator for a win. The early start was probably also a factor since the club seems to have a hard time being prepared for Eastern time zone games.

Jesse Reynolds: That's easy, turnovers. I know fans and radio personalities talked a lot about the officiating but it was Palmer and the horrendous play of Sowell that lost us the game.

D.L. Parsons: The offensive lines' inability to keep Palmer upright, clean and given enough time to throw. If the Cards had been able to score early, the stinky officiating wouldn't have mattered as much.

Jess Root: What killed them were the turnovers and the lack of taking the ball away by the defense. Take one turnover away and you have a different ballgame, or add a turnover on Philly and Arizona could have a win.

Cdeveau: Captain Mustache reverted back to the nefarious El Turnover. Seriously, 1 strip sack and 2 INTs doomed this game. Sure, I could talk about the referees, but the very first day I ever stepped onto a field I was told to play well enough to beat the members of the other team, that included the refs.

2) With one quarter of the season left to go, who has been your biggest surprise this season? Biggest disappointment?

AndyStandsUp: Andre Ellington. Is there another candidate? I admit I didn't understand the decision of drafting another RB after Taylor and having (at the time) Stephens-Howling, Mendenhall, Williams, Smith and William Powell.

Jesse Reynolds: I'm joining the legion of Mathieu fans, I was not a fan of the pick and have enjoyed being so wrong about a player. He was guilty of a TD reception last week but overall he has been crazy consistent for an undersized, rookie.

Disappointment is the line in general, just as bad as they have been. Sowell is horrible, Winston is maybe average and the interior struggles with consistency. Will the cardinals ever have a good line?

D.L. Parsons: Surprise? Paul Fanaika. He came out of nowhere, earned a starting spot, has played solidly. Where was this guy LAST year when we needed him?!

Disappointment? Eric Winston. Has repeatedly proven why KC let him go. Bobby Massie should have beat him out. When Winston was acquired, I thought that all of the problems at that spot were solved....

Jess Root: My biggest surprise was how long it took for the offense to look right. All offseason, the buzz was how good the offense could be, and it has been better than last year, but it has been so inconsistent. Now things are better, but still there are inconsistencies. It is also the biggest disappointment of the season. Larry Fitzgerald hasn't looked like himself yet, Rob Housler was invisible for half the season. Carson Palmer matched his 2012 interceptions in half a season.

Cdeveau: Andre Ellington was a nice surprise for most of the Cardinals fan base, as well as the resurgence of Karlos Dansby. The biggest disappointment would have to be losing Cooper to injury and the lack of consistent play from Carson 'El Turnover' Palmer.

3) Many Cardinals fans were left questioning some of the calls by the referee's in the game against the Eagles. What are your thoughts on the official's calls, and do you have any ideas on how to reduce referee mistakes?

AndyStandsUp: The consensus among Cards fans is that the refs blew this one. Yes and no. I don't like the way the NFL is turning into the NBA with officiating being a major part of who wins and loses. I remember when the officials were like offensive lineman -- you hardly knew they were there unless they made a mistake but now they're commanding air time like a star QB. But no, as stated earlier, TOs was the main cause.

That being said, the only real remedy for refereeing mistakes is death by firing squad.

Jesse Reynolds: It's simple to me, play well enough that that referees can't lose you the game. We got some questionable calls, so did they, that's football for you. I'm not going to complain about bad calls when we lost because of turnovers.

D.L. Parsons: There are too many picayune rules to remember and enforce uniformly. Too many rules are subject to judgment, thus individual opinion holds sway. One only needs to look at the infamous Seattle/Green Bay game with the replacement refs. Two refs who witnessed the same play, two different interpretations. This will never change. It is just good fodder for the blogosphere.

Jess Root: It was bad. It was so inconsistent. They affected the outcome, or rather, they became part of the narrative. Officials should never be part of the narrative. That doesn't mean that they won't make mistakes, but when games are called inconsistently, it just drives people crazy. How do you improve it? The easiest way would be to add to the referee pool. Make it easier to get into the program to add competition. Make it so that it isn't easy to stick around if you aren't graded well.

Cdeveau: As I said above, I don't complain about refs due to the coaches that molded me when younger. They aren't there to help you win games, and if you have to rely on their judgment in the game then you've effectively lost. As for how to fix that, review every official call. That slows down the game though. So, best to suck it up and move forward knowing that you don't want the game in the hands of the refs.