Cards Blown out, Anderson Benched

Derek Anderson (Getty)

The Cardinals suffered their second blowout loss of the year and are searching for a new starter under center.

Quarterback Derek Anderson continued a disturbing trend against the Chargers, failing to convert prime scoring opportunities.

Those failures, which occurred in every game this season, are expected to earn Anderson a place on the bench.

Rookie Max Hall replaced Anderson at halftime in Sunday's loss to San Diego, and it will be surprising if Hall doesn't keep the job for the Saints game this week.

It's an opportune time for a change. The Cardinals play the Saints at home, a friendly environment for Hall, then have a bye week before playing in Seattle.

It wouldn't make sense to give Hall his first start in Seattle, where noise makes it one of the more difficult places to play in the NFL.

Anderson's performance in a 41-10 loss to the Chargers was emblematic of his season. His first interception ended an impressive drive. His second was returned for a touchdown.

Between those two, he missed a wide-open Stephen Williams for a 40-yard touchdown. That's 21 points.

While all the Cardinals' offensive problems aren't because of Anderson, he is a large part of them. If coach Ken Whisenhunt is going to watch a quarterback make mistakes, it will be Hall, the undrafted rookie from BYU.

Hall didn't spark the offense last week in his first extended playing time. He was sacked six times and completed 8 of 14 passes for 82 yards.

The offense clearly needs a spark somewhere. It gained only 124 yards against the Chargers, including 23 in the second half. It accounted for minus 12 yards in the third quarter.

What's strange is the unit tends to play well on the opening possession. Against the Chargers, it moved crisply down to the 22, and Tim Hightower broke a run off right tackle for a touchdown.

But it was called back for holding. Anderson tossed his first interception on the next play.

"Where we go from here, we will look at the tape," Whisenhunt.

The defensive problems are as perplexing as those on the other side of the ball. In their two losses, the Cardinals have given up 82 points. They were hammered on the ground in both games.

"Yeah, I am surprised," Whisenhunt said. "I thought from what I saw in training camp we would be better than this. I am disappointed."

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