Cardinals Shellacked At Home On MNF, 27-6

The Cardinals are who we thought they were but hoped they weren't. Does this team have any pride left?

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NFL Week 12, Monday Night Football: The Aftermath Of Cardinals/49ers

On Monday Night Football, the San Francisco 49ers embarrassed the Arizona Cardinals 27-6. Derek Anderson embarrassed himself in his postgame comments. Beanie Wells is involved in another fumble. Brian Westbrook rushed for over 100 yards. Ken Whisenhunt is again "disappointed" and "frustrated." Frank Gore is injured. Mike Singletary wore sunglasses all game. All this happened in a game between NFC West pretenders.

People are making a big deal about how San Francisco is only a game out of first place in the division. Yes, the division is bad, so in theory even the Cardinals still have a shot. But the 49ers still must play in Green Bay, in San Diego and in St. Louis (the Rams have been great at home). Those will be losses, which brings San Francisco to ten losses. They are done. Add to the fact that starting running back Frank Gore fractured his hip and is out for the year, and you have a two-team race in the NFC West between the Seahawks and Rams.

It seems that the whole world has heard or seen what happened with Derek Anderson in the postgame press conference. If not, here it is to see. In fairness to Anderson, it was only three seconds on smiles, it really isn't our business what he and Deuce Lutui were saying and he was frustrated with the game, but because so many people saw it and wanted to know what it was (and whether we could be in on the joke or whatever), it was a fair series of questions from Kent Somers.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt had little answers to offer. He said that "it was a poor effort," but at the same time rejected the idea that players were quitting on him or on the game. He said that they "had a good week or practice" and that he thought they "had a good plan going in," but obviously things went wrong. Darnell Dockett echoed the coach's  sentiments about practice, but that it is about making that connection between practice and game day.

Steve Breaston was tired of hearing about what happened in practice. "I don’t know what’s going on…. ‘X’s’ and ‘O’s’ are cool, but sometimes, you gotta jump over somebody, you gotta run through somebody. That’s all about being a football player and playing beyond the expectations of that play." He was one of the only players that consistently shows the effort to make something happen on the field. His catch where he ripped the ball away from the defender's possession is exactly the type of thing he is talking about.

The one thing that I find troubling is what Whisenhunt said. He stated, "We know that if we do things the right way we will get it fixed and that's what we're going to continue doing. It's worked for us. We believe in what we're doing." He talked about how he knows that if they do it it will happen on Sunday. But the very next thing he said is that he'll "pray" that it will happen in the game.

It's always a bad thing when the head coach is relying on divine intervention for things to happen on the playing field. Additionally, it has been said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting the different results. Yes, what they (the coaches) are doing has worked, but it was with different personnel. It might be time for self reflection to determine whether what they are trying to do will ever work with the current group of players they have.

We have learned that there are no plans to start either Max Hall or John Skelton, Derek Anderson is going to be the guy. Fans, though, are at the point that they want to see the young guys because the season is lost. It is a bad football team this year. Mathematically they are still alive, but their playoff hopes were over when they lost to Seattle at home.

What can we expect in the next week? Fans are done hoping. Fans are done expecting, except for bad results. As long as those are the expectations, no one will be disappointed. As for hoping, many at this point are hoping to be bad enough to get Andrew Luck in the draft. But considering the Cardinals this year, they will likely do that poorly as well.


NFL Week 12, Monday Night Football: San Francisco 49ers Shellack Arizona Cardinals 27-6

The Arizona Cardinals could not do anything right against the San Francisco 49ers, as they lost on Monday Night Football 27-6, their sixth consecutive defeat. Brian Westbrook, filling in for Frank Gore, who left the game early with a hip injury, rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown. The San Francisco defense held Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower to only 13 yards on ten carries and Derek Anderson to 196 passing yards, allowing Arizona a total of only eight first downs the entire game.

The game was doomed for the Cardinals from the start. The first play from scrimmage was a 25-yard run by Gore. Upon taking over after Shane Andrus, the 49ers' replacement kicker for injured Joe Nedney, missed a 47-yard field goal attempt, the Cardinals' first offensive play resulted in a fumbled handoff to Beanie Wells. San Francisco scored on the very next play with a 38-yard touchdown strike from Troy Smith to Michael Crabtree, who beat Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie over the middle.

The Cardinals only managed to look decent on two drives, but once again stalled in the red zone and had to settle with field goals. The offense has now only scored 14 touchdowns in 11 games.

Unfortunately, the defensive side of the ball was no better. San Francisco gashed the Cardinal defense for 261 yards on the ground, and this was without Gore almost the entire game. Brian Westbrook, who had only five carries for the entire season coming into Monday night's game, looked like the 2005 Philadelphia Eagles version of Brian Westbrook, as he ran the ball 23 times.

Special teams had only a glimmer of goodness, but the bad plays pretty much erased it. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie blocked a Shane Andrus field goal attempt, but San Francisco got a hand on one of Ben Graham's punts. LaRod Stephens-Howling had a spectacular return in the second half, but that runback was nullified by a holding penalty that ended up costing Arizona 75 yards.

It was as ugly a game as could have been played. Steve Young said on the broadcast, "I've played some bad football. I've watched bad football. This was worse." After the game, things got worse. During the game, the camera caught Derek Anderson and Deuce Lutui having a moment of smiles. When asked about it in the press conference, Anderson went off Dennis Green style. Check out the clip here.

Ken Whisenhunt used the words "disappointing" and "frustrating" again in his postgame comments for what seems like the 400th week in a row.

The bad news for San Francisco is that early reports are saying that Frank Gore will be out for the season, which is a big blow to a team who has just gotten themselves back into the thick of things in a bad division.

While Arizona sits only two games back of the division-leading Rams and Seahawks, it seems difficult to fathom that anyone could believe that Arizona can turn this season around at this point, even with the seemingly easy schedule that remains.

The truth is that this team is not good. It is talented, but it is just not good. The season was essentially over after the loss at home to Seattle. The next debate for the week will be whether or not the team should start John Skelton or Max Hall to see if they could possibly be the answer. All that is left for the Cardinals to play for is their pride and their job for the 2011 season.


Cardinals Just As Bad On Monday Night Football As Any Other Football

You would hope that the Arizona Cardinals would show some pride, at home, on Monday Night Football and refuse to get their hats handed to them. That, evidentially, is too much to ask for as the San Francisco 49ers are beating the Cardinals to the punch on both sides of the line.

The Cardinals defensive line have given up 128 yards on the ground and the offensive line can't protect their horrible quarterback and can't open holes for their inadequate running backs. 

There are no other ways to describe how bad this team is.


NFL Week 12, Monday Night Football: Cardinals/49ers Inactives, Replacement Starters

The Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers both released their list of inactive players for tonight's Monday Night Football game. For the Cardinals, starters Greg Toler and Calais Campbell are out because of injury and head the inactive list. Alan Branch will replace Campbell and Michael Adams will replace Toler in the starting lineup. The other Cardinal inactives are receiver Max Komar, safety Hamza Abdullah, cornerback Marshay Green, linebacker Reggie Walker and center Ben Claxton.

LaRod Stephens-Howling and Jason Wright both return for active duty on special teams. The return of "Hyphen" will be a huge boost, as he has been the best scoring threat on the team returning kicks (yes, it is as bad as that sounds). The only surprise for me was that recently promoted Marhsay Green is inactive. I thought for sure that he would get playing time on special teams.

The Cardinals have a full, healthy offensive lineup. Defensively, Clark Haggans returns to the starting lineup after missing last week's game.

For San Francisco, the inactives kicker Joe Nedney, receiver Kyle Williams, cornerback Tramaine Brock, cornerback William James, linebacker Thaddeus Gibson, tackle Joe Staley and tackle Alex Boone. The main impact of this is that Nedney, who has had many clutch kicks in his career, will not be in a position to make a difference if the game is close at the end. First-year player Shane Andrus will replace Nedney lists


NFL Week 12, Monday Night Football: Roof Closed For Cardinals/49ers

The Arizona Cardinals announced in a press relase that tonight's Monday Night Football contest against the San Francisco 49ers will officially be indoors, as the roof of University of Phoenix Stadium will be closed. Fans coming to the game are urged to dress appropriately due to the colder weather recently.

Here is the full press release:

"Due to the cold front that has brought unseasonably low temperatures and freeze warnings to the Valley this evening, the roof at University of Phoenix Stadium will be closed for tonight’s game between the Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers.

"Even with the roof closed, temperatures inside the building are expected to be in the low 60s and fans should dress accordingly."

This should not come as a surprise to any of us, as the roof has not yet been open for any of this season's home games. The team is always concerned with the comfort of its fans, who are very spoiled with the weather conditions here. Any changes in heat, cold, or sun causes complaints, which is never teh case in other cities. More than anything, though, it is an excuse to increase the noise level to create an advantage for the players on the field.

With how the season has gone thus far, any little thing that may help is welcome. The team needs all the help it can get. So before you make the trek out to the West Valley, don't forget to bundle up for the "cold conditions" possibly in the 60s.

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