Snowball effect: Arizona Cardinals mistakes costly in 27-16 loss


When things started going bad it got worse and nothing could stop the Carolina Panthers from beating the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday afternoon

It started out looking like it would be a disaster, then it looked like we had ourselves a game by halftime.  In the second half, mistakes, poor officiating, and a dominant Carolina Panthers defense did the Arizona Cardinals in.  Panthers win 27-16. Season over.

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The Cardinals could not tackle in the first half.  Everytime they seemed to be on the brink of a stop, the Panthers seemingly were able to keep moving the ball.  After the first two Panthers possessions though, it appeared the tide could be turning a bit.

A muffed punt, an interception, a missed field goal by the Panthers and all of a sudden the Cardinals, after finding themselves down in a 10-0 hole, were up 14-10.  Maybe things, despite the little offense they had, would be alright and get the Cardinals through this one and on to next week.

Then, the second half started.  There wasn’t much good that happened for or to the Cardinals in the second half.  The Cardinals couldn’t stop Panthers quarterback Cam Newton on third downs.  He ran one third and 12 for a 13-yard gain.  You could see the tide turning.

After playing a game of field possession, the Panthers got the ball at the Cardinals 39-yard line and Newton found running back Fozzy Whittaker for a 39-yard screen pass touchdown.  It seemed close to over at this point but still was only a six-point Panthers lead.

Then Cardinals kick and punt returned Ted Ginn happened.  He was unable to hold onto the ball on the ensuing kickoff return and Carolina once again had the ball.  The Cards seemed to have the Panthers stopped and ready to try another Graham Gano field goal, except when things aren’t going your way, they really aren’t going your way.

Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson was called for a horrible pass interference call and it lead to an easy Panthers touchdown to put them out of reach 27-14 at the time.  By now it was near the end of the third quarter and time for the Cardinals to just play out a season full of promise and hope.  As recently as two weeks ago the Cardinals were still tied for the best record in the NFL.  Somehow next man up just didn’t win in the end though.

Not a great day for Lindley, not a great day for the Arizona Cardinals.  He finishes with one touchdown pass and two costly interceptions.  Time to re-boot.

Arizona goes home to nurse all their injuries back to health and hopefully make another great run in 2015.  That’s all you can do now.  The defense, which was so great for the first three months was a great big let down.  Maybe some changes will happen there?  The offense will get quarterback Carson Palmer back.  Where will receiver Larry Fitzgerald be?  A lot of questions to answer.  For now, congrats to the Carolina Panthers for winning.  They stepped it up in the second half.