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What we learned from the Arizona Cardinals loss to the Los Angeles Rams

There are more questions than answers after the Cardinals loss.

NFL: International Series-Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

The bye week---and a chance to come up with a new plan following the loss of QB Carson Palmer. BA has already declared Drew Stanton as the starter.

Hmmm. Last week we watched the Bucs' backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick pass for over 300 yards and 2 TDs and 27 2nd half offense points versus the Cardinals. With almost exactly the same time frame coming into the game for an injured QB in the 2nd quarter, Drew Stanton threw for 5/14/64 yards/0 TDs/1 INT. His interception was on 1st down with 33 seconds left in the first half---that's right 33 seconds-- following another Rams' scoring drive. It led to Zeurlein's 53 yard FG to end the half and a 23-0 first half deficit.

Blaine Gabbert is not being considered as a starting QB option, but he has a stronger, more accurate arm than Stanton's and far better escapability from the pocket, which in this offense has become a necessity and may actually be a blessing from time to time.

The coaches really have to take a strong look at the following, struggling, under-achieving players:

QB Drew Stanton
RG Earl Watford (all other OL not far behind following this embarrassment)
TE Jermaine Gresham
DT Josh Mauro
DE Kareem Martin
LB Karlos Dansby
CB Tramon Williams
CB Justin Bethel
S Tyrann Mathieu
LS Justin Drescher
K Phil Dawson

The Cardinals will lead the league in excuses once again---long travel, key injuries, early playing times---BUT---anyone who has watched the first 7 games knows that the coaching and the general effort from the players on this team has been unacceptable and just a continuation from last year's problems. The coaches and the players do not deserve a pass or a mulligan this year for what is going on between the lines. This team has given up 66 points in the last 6 quarters and 100 points in the last 3 games. They now have a negative 72-point differential on the season.

The talent on this roster is being wasted by self-destructive, lethargic play. It looks like the players are playing not to get hurt or totally out of focus. Go back and watch the lack of effort on the Cooper Kupp screen pass looks like the defenders are doing everything they can to avoid having to make the tackle. Go back and watch Jared Goff waltz easily into the end zone off a read option that he knew would be wide open because every time the Cardinals' edge player takes the bait and crashes inside. Go back and watch 5 off-sides penalties by the defense---because, unlike the Cardinals, the Rams' QB was giving hard counts to keep the defense off-balance.

Hopefully, Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim will hold every coach and player accountable, because the Cardinals' are quickly descending toward to bottom of the NFC (2-4 NFC record) and the NFC West. They are getting accustomed to losing---anyone can see it in their faces and in their demeanor. And now they just lost maybe their fiercest leader in Carson Palmer. Adrian Peterson wondered why the energy level was so low. Welcome to the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Cardinals, AP.

Maybe you can get in a few faces and stir this pot. This team needs leadership more than ever. What goes around, comes around. Since Arians blasted the Rams in 2015 on national TV for being at best an 8-8 team, the Rams have gone 3-2 versus Arians' Cardinals and have put a pounding on them in the process, knocking David Johnson out last year and now Carson Palmer this year. It just seems that very much like his reckless, no safety net offense, Arians has a penchant for putting his own players in harm's way.