Just when we thought the Arizona Diamondbacks and Jan Brewer were the most embarrassing things about living in Arizona, the Arizona Cardinals went ahead and played a game of football with the San Diego Chargers yesterday.
The Cards got crushed.
The 41-10 loss was testament to everything the Cards have been doing wrong all season.
Let's start with penalties (we'll get to Derek Anderson later).
To open the game, the Cards orchestrated a decent drive to get the team into scoring position.
Tim Hightower broke free at the Chargers 22-yard-line and was off to the races. Hightower scored easily but -- like in several other instances this season -- the touchdown was called back because of a holding penalty on full back Reagan Maui'a.
On the very next play, Anderson threw the ball into triple coverage while trying to hit Larry Fitzgerald on the 11-yard-line. It was intercepted and the high-powered Charger offense scored easily.
Penalties only cost the Cards 34 yards yesterday -- a vast improvement from previous weeks where that number was in the 70s and even broke 100 against the Atlanta Falcons.
As for defense: the Cardinals' probably could have been replaced with the team's cheerleaders and nobody would have known the difference. The defense was atrocious.
The Chargers have netted the most yards of any team so far this season and they didn't slow down against the Cards.
The Chargers moved the ball 239 yards in the air, which was only half the problem. They also moved the ball -- easily -- on the ground for 180 yards against a helpless Cardinals' defense.
The Chargers got 419 total yards in the game. The Cardinals didn't quite match up -- they got 124.
The Cardinals offense worthless once again, starting -- as usual -- with quarterback Derek Anderson.
Anderson could barely hit Larry Fitzgerald in the first three games of the season and nothing's changed.
Anderson and Fitzgerald hooked up a few times in the opening drive but in each instance the ball was under-thrown. Fitzgerald caught most of the balls but only because he's awesome, not because they were well thrown.
"I know we missed some opportunities in the first half," Coach Ken Whisenhunt
said after the game. "It's a tough environment. When they got the lead they were able
to pin their ears back and come after us."
After a few more awful drives -- complete with Anderson under-throwing, or flat out missing, his receivers, Whisenhunt replaced him with rookie Max Hall.
Hall wasn't much better -- thanks, in part, to a less-than-stellar offensive line.
Hall got sacked six times and lost a fumble.
When he wasn't finding himself on the turf within seconds of the snap, Hall led the offense to only 82 yards and no touchdowns.
Now, the Cardinals got themselves a good ol' fashion quarterback controversy.
With Whisenhunt's decision to kick Matt Leinart to the curb -- prior to the start of the season -- and go with Anderson, the team is invested in Anderson. Unfortunately, he sucks.
"I feel bad for DA, because unfortunately he has to take the fall for a lot of other things, other players, some guys not playing up to the standard that we have set around here," Fitzgerald said after the game.
Things get even worse for the Cards next week. On Sunday, the team will host the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. Who will be throwing the football for the Cardinals is yet to be decided.
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