Arizona Cardinals Prove Preseason Not a Fluke, Lose to Niners 20-16
By Scott Allen
NFL Kickoff Weekend. A glorious weekend, at least for 16 teams. Your Arizona Cardinals would not be one of those 16 teams. After struggling most of the first half, the Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers traded leads in the second half, however after the Niners took the lead after a 16 play drive, the Cardinals once again looked a mess on offense and couldn’t score again.
Neither team moved the ball well in the first half. However Arizona killed themselves with 12 penalties today and two crucial turnovers. Both factors really kept the Cardinals offense in check.
Arizona had a chance to win the game late in the fourth quarter, however, they looked rushed to get a play off before the two-minute. I really don’t understand why? They could have taken their time and not had Warner throw a rushed pass for an incompletion. Instead, they rushed it, had a terrible call on fourth down and turned it back over to the Niners for good.
The Cardinals have no one to blame for this loss except for themselves. Also not mentioned was the play of the wide receivers. Jerheme Urban dropped numerous passes. Lance Long looked lost. Fitzgerald looked ok, but he’s had much better days.
The defense, which looked good all day, has no excuse for allowing Niners quarterback Shaun Hill dismantle them on the long winning drive early in the fourth quarter.
Warner looked hurt, looked flustered, and nothing like his Super Bowl season from a year ago. I think it’s time to hand over the keys to Matt Leinart. I know this is one game and one loss. However the preseason really was a pre-cursor to the regular season and Warner’s best days I think a truly behind him. The magic of 2008 is gone and what follows will probably be something like a 3-13 season. If they can’t beat the Niners – at home, something if fundamentally wrong with this team. Plus, it doesn’t help that Todd Haley is no longer calling the shots.
For the Cardinals to win next week at the Jacksonville Jaguars, which is highly unlikely, the offensive line needs to protect better and the trio of Kurt Warner, Anquan Boldin, and Steve Breaston all need to be healthy. Points will once again be at a premium next week. The Jags only allowed 14 in Indianapolis today despite losing. Good luck Cards.