Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE
The Cards aren't as good as their 4-0 start and they aren't as bad as their Monday loss
Starting with the Arizona Cardinals 24-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football and going through the road games against the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers there is going to be a groundswell of panic surrounding the team.
Monday night wasn't pretty and November 4th and November 18th probably won't be much better.
This is what happens when you raise the expectations, which the Cards did with their 4-0 start.
San Francisco is one of the best teams in the NFL. Arizona is average. When the higher regarded team plays to its ceiling -- boom! You get the debacle that took place at University of Phoenix Stadium.
I thought this game would be closer. I believed the Cardinals defense would do enough to keep them in the game.
Alex Smith played his best game of the season completing 18/19 passes for 232 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Michael Crabtree looked like the wide receiver he was expected to be when the 49ers used a top 10 pick to draft him hauling in five receptions for 72 yards and two touchdowns. Randy Moss made a play like it was the year 2000.
With 10 days to prepare for this game and coming off two sub-par defensive performances, Jim Harbaugh had his team locked in.
When the 49ers play at the level they did, the Cardinals don't have a chance at this point in time. The limitations in the offensive line and quarterback don't bring enough to the table to compete at that high of level.
I know this is really hard to accept after taking that game in, but Arizona isn't as bad as they looked. Just like I said, they weren't as good as they looked during their four game winning streak.
The Cardinals will most likely be 4-6 following their next two games. After this stretch Arizona plays three winnable games hosting St. Louis then on the road against the Jets and Seattle.
This is where it will be decided if the Cards can make a run at one of the wild card spots in the NFC or if they're headed for a top 10 draft pick.