Cardinals Reverting Back to Old Ways

Ken Whisenhunt (Getty)

After three straight solid campaigns, the Cardinals have reverted to the teams of yesteryear.

The Cardinals have fans comparing them to teams of yesteryear, and when a club has the sordid history of the Cardinals, that's not a good thing.

The Cardinals have lost five consecutive games, the most since 2006, when they lost eight under Dennis Green.

This team has myriad problems. Quarterback Derek Anderson is not accurate enough to compensate when other parts of the offense underperform. And that's almost always the case.

In the 31-13 loss to the Chiefs Sunday, the Cardinals' offense committed seven penalties. The Cardinals didn't commit a turnover, but the penalties were enough to kill any hope they had of pulling off the upset.

The Cardinals remain in playoff contention only because they are in the NFC West. At 3-7, they are two games behind the Seahawks. Their next three games are at home, all against division foes. Every one of them is a vital game.

The loser of the game Monday night against the 49ers could find itself out of playoff contention.

The Cardinals have struggled on offense throughout the season, and they were counting on their defense to carry the club to at least a decent record.

Instead, that defense has faltered badly, partly because its star players have underperformed.

Strong safety Adrian Wilson has struggled in coverage. Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has not made many game-changing plays. Those two players were in the Pro Bowl last season.

Left end Darnell Dockett continues to play hard but his production has dropped off, too. The team was counting heavily upon right end Calais Campbell to improve after accumulating seven sacks in 2009. But Campbell has regressed and is now sharing time with Alan Branch.

Most of all, the club misses inside linebacker Karlos Dansby, a playmaker who never came off the field. Paris Lenon, a free-agent signee, has performed well, but Daryl Washington and Gerald Hayes, who have started at the other spot, have been inconsistent.

The Cardinals have difficulty rushing the passer. They did not sack Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel and hit him only once.

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