For anyone who watched the Arizona Cardinals beat down Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings last week and then saw the Redbirds get crushed by the San Francisco 49ers last night, you may have the same reaction we did: What the fuck happened?
The Cardinals made history last night in the 24-9 loss, losing five fumbles to the Niners -- the most fumbles ever given up by a 49ers opponent.
Those were just the fumbles San Fran recovered.
In total, the Cardinals fumbled the ball seven times in the loss but were lucky enough to recover two of them, and nearly everyone seemed to drop a piece of the action.
Kurt "Father Time" Warner dropped the ball twice. And there were drops by Tim Hightower, Beanie Wells, Anquan Boldin, Darnell Dockett, and LaRod Stephens-Howling.
But the turnovers didn't end there -- Warner threw two interceptions, one of which was a bullet -- right into double coverage. Into the hands of San Fran safety Dashon Goldson.
The Cardinals passing game was not what it's been the last several weeks by a long shot. Warner only completed 16 of 29 passes for 160 yards, and no touchdowns.
The running game did a whole-lotta-nothing, too.
Beanie Wells ran for 79 yards and one touchdown, which was quickly followed by a failed point-after attempt. Tim Hightower got two carries for three of the Cards 85 total rushing yards.
Everything that could've gone wrong did.
The 49ers did a great job getting to Kurt Warner, sacking him four times, including three from linebacker Ahmad Brooks.
The pressure on Warner proved to be the difference in the game -- he was the source of three of the Cards' seven turnovers.
Warner, when pressured, panics and makes incredibly stupid passes. He wasn't finding his short outlet passes that are what has kept the offense out of trouble when Kurt gets hurried.
Most importantly, though, the Cardinals failed to clinch the division last night, which means that a victory next week won't necessarily send the team to the playoffs. Now, since the Niners swept the Cards this season, and are only two games back in the NFC West, Arizona needs San Francisco to lose to seal the deal.
The Cardinals head to Detroit to face the Lions Sunday. If Kurt and company can't manage a win against the 2-11 Lions, they have no business even going to the playoffs.
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