After they beat the Giants last week in New York, we told you the Cardinals seemed to be pulling it together and playing like a team that nearly won the Super Bowl last year. We also told you the birds had a fairly easy schedule for the remainder of the season, which would be the case if they could avoid turning the ball over six times in one game.
Kurt Warner threw five interceptions and fumbled once in Sunday's 34-21 loss and ended the day with a 47.8 passer rating. Warner's uncanny ability to get the ball in the hands of the Panthers defense, combined with the Cards own defense's inability to stop the Panthers running game, made a win simply impossible.
The Panthers ran for 270 yards and were the first to strike with a six-yard Jonathan Stewart touchdown run.
The Cards responded with a 14-yard touchdown pass to LaRod Stephens-Howling -- then the second quarter happened.
Carolina started the quarter with a 10-yard Jonathan Stewart rushing touchdown, and the defense forced the Cards to go three and out on the next two possessions.
When the Panthers got the ball back, a 50-yard Steve Smith touchdown pass put Carolina up 21-7.
Kurt and company got the ball back with about seven minutes left in the half, and that's when things got ugly.
Warner threw a perfect pass right into the hands of Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers, who brought the ball 13-yards into the end zone, putting Carolina up 28-7.
The Cards got the ball back, moved it about 50 yards down the field, and then Warner struck again throwing another interception, this time to Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
The Cardinals defense managed to stop the Panthers drive, and when Kurt and the offense got the ball back, it was like deja vu all over again -- Warner threw another interception.
Warner went on to throw two more interceptions and give up the ball on a Peppers-forced fumble about half way through the fourth quarter.
The Cards scored two more touchdowns but the damage had been done -- the game ended 34-21.
The Cards head to Chicago Sunday to take on the Bears, and let's hope Kurt can get it together or the Cards may have to consider the dreaded plan B -- Matt Leinart.