Well, at least no one got hurt.
There are bumps and bruises, I am sure – Derek Anderson owns a handful, I’d guess – but the last thing the Cards wanted to come out Sunday’s loss was injury to go with their insult. This team avoided the road blowouts last year. Didn’t happen this year.
But that’s the thing today. Are the Cards going to make this a fluky weekend? Or is there a chance we are going to see this again? The Cards want to believe the former. They will get a chance to prove it.
– I’ll be honest – with the Cards’ defensive line, I didn’t think they could get torn up on the ground the way they did. What was more surprising is that once Michael Turner got hurt, Jason Snelling – essentially the Falcons’ third-string back – piled up the yards. Obviously, that can’t happen. Neither Calais Campbell or Darnell Dockett were their normal disruptive selves. The tackling by the defense wasn’t the best either.
– Of the eight third-down instances the Cards had Sunday – they didn’t convert any – three were needing double-digit yards: 14 (an 11-yard pass to tight end Ben Patrick), 11 (incomplete) and 16 (incomplete). The other five instances were shorter – two of six yards, four yards, three yards, and one yard (one interception and four incompletions).
”It was probably a bunch of everything,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “We had some mistakes on the routes, we didn’t protect as well as we needed to at times, and we didn’t make some throws. It’s an area we have been pretty good. We will continue to work at it.”
– Anderson took a few more hellacious hits. The Cards know that’s going to keep coming, but it’s hard to think he’s going to be able to last the season at this rate. He’s incredibly tough – he proven that already – but the human body is what it is. Opposing teams are going to blitz until they get burned through the air.
– The penalties were obviously a major story – some were poor decisions or errors by the Cards, some were just hard to understand on who or why they were called. No one Card may have been affected by the officials more than LaRod Stephens-Howling. The Hyphen not only lost out on his 98-yard touchdown (let me know when you find out who actually did the hold), but later in the game, LSH wasn’t totally sure he could come out of the end zone. He looked over to the official, who shook his head, and Stephens-Howling took that to mean he couldn’t stay in the end zone.
– The one bright spot was Tim Hightower. It’s funny; when Beanie Wells was drafted, there was a lot of talk about how Wells finally gave the Cards a back who could take it to the house. Well, in the Cards’ last three games Hightower has a 70-yard TD run and an 80-yard TD run.
– Anderson still completed only 55 percent of his passes, but at least he and Larry Fitzgerald had better cohesion – seven catches, many as Fitz got loose in the middle. Max Hall got his first chance and had a welcome-to-the-NFL moment with an interception on his second pass. The Cards have long felt Hall isn’t ready yet; he may turn into a solid NFL QB but he’s not a savior. Rookie quarterbacks never are.
Tags: Beanie Wells, Ben Patrick, Calais Campbell, Darnell Dockett, Derek Anderson, Falcons, Ken Whisenhunt, LaRod Stephens-Howling, Larry Fitzgerald, Max Hall, Tim Hightower
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