Like everyone else, I flinched when Derek Anderson threw his final interception Sunday. At that point, I had been convinced that, despite the up-and-down nature of the game and the disaster of the first 2-and-a-half quarters, that the Cards were going to find a way to pull it out of their a…. er, pull it out of the fire.
But they didn’t.
I know everyone wants to talk about the end of the game. First down, on the Tampa 20. Cards are without LaRod Stephens-Howling, whose ribs just took a shot. Beanie Wells wasn’t in the game after hurting his back, and besides, he doesn’t play in the two-minute package. So the Cards have Tim Hightower, who already lost his starting role after having fumbling issues. Did that affect the play call, why it wasn’t a run? Perhaps. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said the package had been moving the ball down the field through the air. You can’t argue that. And on the play in which Anderson threw the pick, the Cards ran double slants against the Bucs’ zone and Early Doucet was open on the play on the inner slant. The problem is Anderson decided to throw to Larry Fitzgerald. Interception. Game over.
Of course, if Max Hall doesn’t give up two TDs on picks, it would have been moot. Or if the defense had been able to hold after Anderson had led the Cards to the go-ahead touchdown instead of allowing the Bucs to go right back at re-take the lead.
The best thing the Cards can do to avoid such a problem? Don’t put yourself in that situation in the first place. Don’t turn the ball over so much, then everyone can have their beloved 28-carry Beanie game, etc., etc.
— More and more, you can see why the Cards loved Stephens-Howling. The Hyphen is a playmaker, whether it’s returning kicks, covering kicks (he grabbed that muffed punt today) or running the ball (his TD scamper was impressive).
— BTW, Larry Fitzgerald not only scored twice today, he was great blocking and finishing the block on the Hyphen’s TD run.
— Steve Breaston had three catches of at least 30 yards. The Cards had only one pass play of at least 30 yards in their first six games – which also went to Breaston, in the season opener.
— Adrian Wilson lost an interception today because he was called for pass interference. The lone replay Fox showed was terrible (high above the play) but it sure didn’t look like A-Dub did much of anything. That cost the Cards at least three points (and probably more, since the Cards would have been in scoring range before the half).
— Whisenhunt said Hightower’s playing time was affected by the flow of the game and nothing else. Yet it sure had a feel of a message being sent after the fumbles. That and a chance to showcase the Hyphen a little.
— Have I mentioned I am burned out on talking about the quarterback situation?
— Vikings QB Brett Favre left today’s game against the Patriots after a blow to the chest/head, but he said “I should be able to play next week.” That would mean the Cardinals.
— Hmm, I guess I could be in a spot to have to write about the Vikings’ quarterback every week.
— I’m spending way too much time tweeting. I should’ve finished this an hour ago. Goodnight.
Tags: Adrian Wilson, Beanie Wells, Brett Favre, Buccaneers, Derek Anderson, Early Doucet, Ken Whisenhunt, LaRod Stephens-Howling, Larry Fitzgerald, Max Hall, Steve Breaston, Tim Hightower, Twitter
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