Here I thought Halloween was yesterday. Nope. I was wrong. Today was the scariest day of the year and to dress like someone or something else. That’s exactly what the Arizona Cardinals did today. They dressed like someone else. It certainly couldn’t have been THE Arizona Cardinals out there today in their 34-21 loss to the Carolina Panthers, could it have been??
This was just about no contest from the get go. Arizona was exposed for the first time this season in rushing defense. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart both ran over the Cards defense like it didn’t even exist, for for the most part was true.
That, however, was just part of the story. The offense, for whatever reason, never got on track. That included everyone, quarterback Kurt Warner, receivers Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin (who left the game with an injured ankle), and running backs Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower. Wells and Hightower really never had the chance to shine because they were playing from behind all day.
Carolina intercepted Kurt Warner five times, FIVE! The play calling for the Cards offense was once again VERY suspect. Trailing 28-7 at halftime, the Cards knew they were going to get the ball to start the second half. You would have thought they would have come out with some fire and passion to get back into the game. Instead, the exact opposite happened. They came out listless and never truly focused on the task at hand. They came out like a team today that partied a little too much last night for Halloween. The tackling, the play calling, the effort, was all suspect today. No one was immune. This truly was a team effort in the loss. It’s hard to say at this point who is to blame, however the Cards are now 1-3 at home, which is rather disappointing to say the least.
Last week I said if the Cardinals didn’t go 5-0 in November, it would be a disappointment. Clearly, it looks like with the way they played today, even going 4-1 or 3-2 is going to be asking a lot. This team has not learned how to handle success, at least in the regular season. They need to learn there will be no 2009 postseason if they play this November and December like they did the last ones in 2008.
The Cards are going to need to re-focus to get ready for the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field next Sunday. I guarantee you the result will be worse if they play next Sunday the way they played today. Today’s result is unacceptable, period. The fans booed throughout the game and they had every right too. Something is certainly in disconnect with the coaching staff and players. No reason they should have come out and laid an egg today, especially given the way they played last week in New York. Here’s hoping this result will be a distant memory and fast.