The Cardinals’ playoff hopes are dwindling, and the team’s current four-game losing streak is new territory for coach Ken Whisenhunt. Whisenhunt continues to describe the situation as “tough” but is still focused on getting things back on track.
Whisenhunt on current losing streak: “We know what we do works for us. We’ve been successful doing it, we’re going to continue to do that. There’s no questioning how we’re practicing, how we’re preparing. A lot of times if you go through a stretch like that, that’s what gets questioned but I haven’t seen that. The work ethic of our guys has been good. We haven’t been playing good on Sundays.”
Whisenhunt on snapping the recent skid: “It’s going to take some guys, a unit, a player making some plays for us and letting us gain some confidence. That’s why you keep working hard. Hopefully you’ll make a play, you’ll get some breaks. All we can do is keep plugging away and hopefully we’ll get one of these.”
Kansas City’s ground game features an unmatched combination of speed and power. Jamaal Charles leads the way averaging six yards per carry, while compiling five runs of 20-plus yards. Charles explosiveness is also utilized in the passing game where he’s racked up 225 yards after the catch.
Meanwhile, Thomas Jones’ physical running style is the perfect complement to Charles. Jones has rushed for 573 yards and leads the team with three rushing touchdowns.
The Cardinals’ offensive line has struggled against edge pass rushers and this week posses as another challenge with Kansas City LB Tamba Hali. Hali, who is expected to line up against LT Levi Brown whom he played with at Penn State, is currently tied for third in the league with eight sacks. Brown was ineffective last week against the Seahawks and could be in for another long afternoon on Sunday.
ARROWHEAD A CHALLENGE
With the Chiefs coming off a 4-12 record in 2009, Sunday appeared to be a winnable game prior to the season. However, despite a two-game losing streak, Kansas City is on top of the AFC West standings with a record of 5-4. Furthermore, the Chiefs are 4-0 at home this year and Arrowhead Stadium is notoriously tough venue.
Larry Fitzgerald on playing at Arrowhead: “I don’t care what team you are, it’s tough to go on the road and win. We’re playing in a hostile environment, especially this week. Arrowhead is one of the most difficult, loud places you can play.”
FITZ PUSHES FORWARD
The Cardinals’ questionable quarterback play has been rough on Fitzgerald but the Pro Bowl wideout remains upbeat about the remainder of the season. Fitzgerald also talked about coping with losses this year, compared to losing earlier in his career given Arizona’s recent success.
Fitzgerald on losing this season: “Yeah, this is way worse than it was before. I’ve never won on this level before. I’ve tasted the caviar now and eating out of the garbage is not where I want to be. We got to get it going in the right direction and we got the men in this locker room to get it done.”
Fitzgerald continued: “When you start losing, you start looking at what shoes am I wearing to practice. You start looking for things that are pointless to see maybe if I change this … No, this is what we’ve done since (coach Whisenhunt’s) been here. We’ve had success. These are the same plays, a lot of the same guys. Nothing’s wrong with the way we’re preparing. We’re just not executing our assignments when it counts. We’re watching the same amount of tape. We’re lifting the same amount of weights. We’re conditioning after practice. Everything is the same. Guys need to just focus more on the process of going out on Sunday’s and playing and doing what we’re doing in practice.”