Things That Were Good
1. The running game was fairly effective. Sort of. I guess that's a good thing. The Cardinals gained 113 yards on 20 carries between Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower.
2. The team finally broke its 11-quarter streak without a passing or rushing touchdown on offense, thanks to a short touchdown run by Wells in the third quarter.
3. The defense did about all it could do, given the circumstances of overall ineptitude. The unit allowed only one touchdown from the Seahawks. At the end of the day, the ‘Hawks were miserable in the red zone, going 1 of 7.
4. After failing to get pressure on the quarterback for much of the season so far, Arizona tallied five sacks in this one, including two from Alan Branch alone. Matt Hasselbeck, overall, had a pretty blasé performance, going 20 of 37 for 192 yards and the one touchdown and a fumble.
5. The Rams and 49ers both lost close games on Sunday, so the Cards remain in second place in a very winnable (aka thoroughly mediocre and unpredictable) division.
Things That Were Bad
1. Max Hall. Sorry, brah. I'm a Max Hall apologist, but I can't apologize for that 4 of 16, 36-yard, one-fumble, one-interception debacle. Yes, it was rainy, yes, it was at noisy Qwest Field, but seriously ... that was nearly epic levels of bad. Thankfully, Derek Anderson came in, hit four straight completions, got the team a touchdown, then proceeded to quickly remind us why DA was pulled for Max Hall in the first place, with a slew of incompletions and ineffectual offense. At least there's no lingering QB controversy: both options are pretty gross. But I'll give Hall the benefit of the doubt and see how he bounces back against Tampa.
2. You may remember that before the season started, I wrote a column about four young Red Birds I thought would have a breakout season. Well, turns out I was wrong on ALL FOUR OF THEM. At least so far. There have been a lot of underwhelming performances this year, and not just from young players. Adrian Wilson has essentially disappeared from existence since his first stellar game against the Rams. Darnell Dockett has not gone very far towards outplaying his newest contract. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has been torched an awful lot for a Pro Bowl corner.
3. Muffed punts. Andre Roberts, if you still have a roster spot after Sunday's game, it's because coach Ken Whisenhunt has no other options. I'd be putting that resume up on Career Builder, Monster, and Jobing.com soon, because this whole football thing isn't working out for you. Jason Wright had an unusually stupid play, as well. But I'll forgive him, because he doesn't have a track record of this kind of victory-killing malarkey. Twice, special teams mistakes gave the Seahawks offense a very, very short field.
4. The Arizona Cardinals, under Whisenhunt, have an excellent record when they win the turnover battle. Unfortunately, they have not been winning the turnover battle much this season. The sloppy play continued on Sunday, with five total turnovers (an interception, two fumbles, and two muffed punts).
5. I'm afraid there will be no easy games this season. Every week, some new frustration will creep up, regardless of whether it's in a win or a loss. As soon as you begin to feel good about this team, they do something mindboggling dumb to crush those warm-fuzzies underfoot. Will the defense show up? Will the offense manage to score any points at all? Will the QB show some competence? Can they successfully field and return a punt?