Horrible Showing From Cardinals In 41-7 Loss To Falcons

Well, that was a heck of a ball game and by that we mean it was horrible. The Cards defense was non-existent and early penalties put the already questionable Anderson-led offense in a deep hole.

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Taking Laps: Reaction To Falcons Thumping Cardinals

What they are saying...

Andrew at Revenge of the Birds blog has a list of things that went wrong. Here's an abbreviated version.

Revenge Of The Birds - For Arizona Cardinals Fans
Derek Anderson's leash should be very short right now. He didn't play well last week against the Rams -- sqeeking out a win. This week he continued to struggle and couldn't lead the Cardinals offense into the red zone or get one third down -- none.

  • I won't start calling for his head just yet but I was ready to see Max Hall in the second half. 
  • The defense has the talent, just not he right coordinator. Bill Davis has disappointed me so far this year.
  • Ken Whisenhunt isn't taking chances. 
  • Penalties have murdered the Cardinals.

Understandably, the mood in Hotlanta is more upbeat...

Falcons Rise Up To .500 With 41-7 Blowout Of Cardinals - SB Nation Atlanta
Matt Ryan threw for 225 yards and tied a career-high with three touchdown passes. Jason Snelling added 186 total yards and three touchdowns as the Falcons get to 1-1.

The Falcoholic - For Atlanta Falcons Fans
It's hard not to revel when your Falcons  take what is, at least on paper, a quality team and utterly annihilates them. Matt Ryan was efficient and effective, Jason Snelling was awesome, Roddy White kept things going and the offensive line recovered. That's to say nothing of the defense, which collected picks and sacks against a hapless Derek Anderson.

And from the local media...

Arizona Cardinals dominated by Atlanta Falcons
The Cardinals responded by making nearly every mistake possible. They were penalized eight times in the first half, including a holding call that nullified a kick return for a touchdown by LaRod Stephens-Howling.

Lost Trip To Atlanta
“We won’t make excuses,” Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said, after his team was hammered, 41-7, by the Falcons Sunday at the Georgia Dome. “We got a butt whooping. And sometimes, it takes a butt whooping.”

 

Video Gallery
Cardinals Postgame Press Conference

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Pictures: Kerry Rhodes Ejected For Touching Touchy Official

If there's one thing we hear all the time it's that NFL football is a game of rules. People love to have some rules. Can't have chaos, so we got to have us some rules. 

And one rule says that you can't touch the official. Except players touch officials all the time when they are talking or want to, you know, get the officials attention. 

Of course, players should not be "laying hands" on the officials in any kind of aggressive manner, but what happened with about four minutes left in the Cardinals/Falcons game was a touchy official overreacting to Kerry Rhodes.

Rhodes gets up off the ground and approaches the official, who is walking near him but not looking in his direction. Rhodes puts his hand out to tap the official on the shoulder to say something (a gesture that is extremely common in all sports between players and officials) and the official freaks out.

You can see the official put up his arm, shove Rhodes in the chest and then throw his pretty yellow flag. After talking to his buddies, they decided that Rhodes "grabbed" the official and he was ejected. I am sure the rules-loving NFL will fine him as well.

Chill out, zebra. The big bad (Cardinal) man isn't trying to hurt you.

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Cardinals Dominated 41-7 By Fired-Up Falcons

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Matt Ryan threw for 225 yards and three touchdowns on 21-of-32 throws, guiding Atlanta to a thorough 41-7 pasting of Arizona in a lopsided Week 2 affair.

Jason Snelling saw plenty of action after Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood went down with injuries in the first half and amassed 186 total yards with three touchdowns for the Falcons (1-1), who failed to find the end zone in an overtime loss at Pittsburgh in Week 1.

Roddy White caught seven passes for 78 yards and a touchdown, as Atlanta outgained the opposition 444-267 and held the ball for nearly 40 minutes.

Derek Anderson was pressured throughout and completed 17-of-31 passes for just 161 yards with two interceptions for the Cardinals (1-1), who nipped the Rams in their season opener.

The only highlight for Arizona came on Tim Hightower's 80-yard TD run off the right side two minutes into the second quarter, which cut its deficit to 10-7.

It was all Falcons from there. A pass interference penalty on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie extended the ensuing drive, and on 3rd-and-3 from the Arizona 19-yard line, Ryan hit Snelling in the flat and the running back took it the rest of the way for a TD.

After a Cardinals three-and-out, Atlanta had a similar eight-play, 78-yard drive aided by a penalty, and Snelling ended the march with a one-yard plunge over the goal line for a 24-7 game heading to the break.

Anderson's first pass of the second half went through the hands of intended receiver Stephen Williams and into the waiting arms of William Moore, who returned the pick 31 yards to the Arizona 14.

After gaining two yards over two plays, Ryan threw a jump ball in the right corner of the end zone that Brian Finneran came down with for a 31-7 cushion.

Later in the frame, the Falcons held the ball for 6:37 and pushed the margin to 27 on Matt Bryant's 35-yard field goal with under four minutes remaining in the third.

The Cardinals gained two first downs the rest of the way, and Snelling finished his career day and another time-consuming 11-play, 80-yard drive with a seven-yard jaunt to the end zone with just over three minutes left in the game.

Atlanta drove right down the field its first time with the ball, and White hauled in a seven-yard pass over the middle for an early 7-0 lead 4:27 in.

LaRod Stephens-Howling took the kickoff back 98 yards for a touchdown, but a holding penalty nullified the return.

Bryant made it 10-0 on a 24-yarder less than two minutes into the second stanza.

Both teams were penalized heavily, with the Cardinals getting whistled for 10 infractions for 109 yards, while Atlanta had six for 75...Atlanta gained 33 first downs to Arizona's 11...Snelling had a career-high 129 yards on 24 carries and 57 yards on five receptions...Hightower ended with 115 yards on 11 carries...Arizona wideout Larry Fitzgerald caught seven balls for 83 yards, while teammate Steve Breaston caught three passes for 10 yards a week after grabbing seven for 132...The Cardinals are 0-5 in Atlanta since last winning there in the 1993 regular season finale...Ryan is 14-1 in his career as a starter at home...Turner left with a groin injury after gaining 75 yards on nine carries and Norwood exited with a knee injury suffered on the opening kickoff return.

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Cardinals Vs. Falcons: Falcons Score Again After Another Anderson Interception, 31-7

Yup, that just happened. Again. Derek Anderson throws another interception giving the Falcons great field position which their quickly and easily convert into seven points.

At some point the Cardinals have to think about running out Max Hall. Right? It's not like anything else has worked today. 

This one is over.

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Cardinals Vs. Falcons: First Half Of Horrors For Cardinals, Down 24-7

Could that have gone any worse for the Cardinals? Probably. They did "only" have one turnover and they did manage to bust off one good play for an 80-yard Tim Hightower touch down run. Not much else positive beyond that.

Derek Anderson has a very Anderson-like 50 percent completion rate (10-for-20) for 112 yards. He's been sacked twice and picked off once. Larry Fitzgerald has three receptions for 46 yards.

Outside of Hightower's big run, the Cardinals haven't done much on the ground either - 15 yards on 6 carries.

The Cardinals have 7 first downs and are 0-for-5 on third down conversions. 

The defense has allowed the Falcons to run all over the field for a total of 261 yards (136 rushing). Matt Ryan has a passer rating of 128.7 on the strength of 13-for-18 passing for 127 yards.

Outside the poor offense and horrible defense, the Cardinals have racked up 84 yards on 8 penalties. That's not going to get it down.

Let's see if some Coach Whiz head-busting will have any effect on the second half.

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Cardinals Vs. Falcons: Penalties Piling Up Faster Than Falcons Points, 24-7

This is just getting silly now. The Falcons drive once again for the touchdown, this time going 78 yards on eight plays with the aid of 17 yards in Arizona penalties.

You can blame the officials if you want, but the Cardinals are getting their butts kicks all over the field and the yellow flags are a symptom of their suck so far and not the cause.

257 total yards so far for Atlanta against a Cardinals defense that looks pathetic so far.

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Cardinals Vs. Falcons: Falcons Answer Back To Push Lead To 17-7

Boy, you would like to say that 37 points would make for an exciting game but the fact is that neither of these teams is playing all that well. The Falcons are just playing more less-well than the Cardinals and push their advantage to 17-7 after another successful drive. 

72 yards, nine plays totaling only 3:25 in clock time. The drive was helped by yet another Arizona penalty, a questionable 19 yard pass interference call on Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie.

97 total penalty yards in the game so far and counting. Go Zebras!

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Cardinals Vs. Falcons: Hightower Breaks 80 Yard TD Run, 10-7

Sometimes you don't need to be good at the game of football when you have luck and the Cardinals were lucky to get an 80 yard run on the first play from scrimmage by Tim Hightower.

The Falcons should be kicking themselves right in their Dirty Birds for letting the here-to-for hapless Cardinals up off the mat. 

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Cardinals Vs. Falcons: A Little Luck And A Little Defense Keeps Falcons Out Of End Zone, 10-0 Atlanta

See what happens when you turn the ball over? It's really not rocket science this game of football. It's not like baseball with its subtleties and nuances. It's football. The objective is to move the ball and score and to do that you need to not throw the ball to the other team.

The Falcons drive started on the Arizona 43 and got within the 10 yards line before a dumb penalty and a Cardinals sack "held" Atlanta to an easy field goal.

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Cardinals Vs. Falcons: Atlanta Overpowers Arizona On First Drive, 7-0

Not a good start at all for the revitalized, physical Arizona Cardinals defense, as the Falcons drove the ball 70 yards on nine plays for an opening drive touchdown. 

The Cardinals Kerry Rhodes started things off with an Unsportsmanlike Conduct foul that gave the Falcons an extra 15 yards to start things off with great field position.

Atlanta running back Michael Turner ran the ball four times for 26 yards and Matt Ryan went 2-for-3 for another 14 yards on the drive.

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Beanie Wells Questionable For Cardinals Due To Knee Injury

Yesterday, the plan was for Beanie Wells to get a full practice today in preparation for Sunday's Cardinals game against the Atlanta Falcons. Today, we learned that Wells was once again limited and his knee continues to swell after working out.

According to AZCardinals.com, he's a game-time decision, which doesn't bode well for the underdog Cardinals, who are also missing wide receiver Early Doucet (hernia) and have yet to see Larry Fitzgerald back to full strength. 

Playing with and through injuries is part of football and no team will go through the season unscathed. The Cardinals can only hope they are getting their injuries out of the way early in the season.

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