Despite the negatives surrounding the Arizona's 2010 campaign, one positive is that there's nowhere to go but up. The Cardinals' six-game losing streak leaves the team in last place in the NFC West with a record of just 3-8.
Although some would say he was egged on, QB Derek Anderson behavior during a post-game press conference was as poor as his performance on the field. Anderson was seen laughing on the sidelines with guard Deuce Lutui and wasn’t eager to divulge details of the conversation when confronted after the game.
Anderson on laughing on the sidelines: “What Deuce and I talk about is nobody else’s business.”
When the subject was brought up again, Anderson lost his temper and proceeded to end the interview.
“It wasn’t funny, I wasn’t laughing about anything. I’m not laughing about it. You think this is funny? I take this (expletive) serious. Real serious. I put my heart and soul into this (expletive) every single week. Every single week I put my freaking heart and soul into this. I study my ass off. I don’t go out there and laugh. It’s not funny. Nothing’s funny to me. I don’t want to go out there and get embarrassed on Monday Night Football in front of everybody. ”
Along with most of the Cardinals players, WR Larry Fitzgerald hasn’t been himself this season and understandably so given the team’s struggles. Fitzgerald dropped a touchdown pass against the 49ers that could have potentially changed the course of the game.
Due to a lack of other offensive weapons, it’s difficult to criticize Fitzgerald for his decrease in production. Opposing defenses key on stopping him and roll coverage to his side of the field, but Fitzgerald has dropped more passes than usual so far.
Fitzgerald on Monday night’s outcome and dropping the touchdown pass: “It just hurts to be in this position right now. I just hit the ground and I didn’t maintain possession of it – something that I can’t allow to happen. My teammates, they work so hard to put ourselves in position for those types of plays and I let our ballclub down.”
Fitzgerald continued on the team’s struggles this season and whether the team is still giving maximum effort.
“We can’t continue to play this kind of football. We have five games remaining on the schedule and we need to do everything in terms of preparation … to get some better results on Sunday. Guys are passionate about the game, passionate to play for coach Whisenhunt, passionate to play for our fans. We just didn’t perform.”
Arizona has underperformed in almost all aspects this season but its play in the trenches has arguably been the worst. Despite the fact that RB Frank Gore was lost for the season in the first quarter, the 49ers racked up 261 yards on the ground while averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Rejuvenated RB Brian Westbrook did most of the damage with 136 yard rushing, his first 100-yard game since 2008.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals managed only 13 yards rushing on 11 attempts. Arizona held the ball for less than 21 minutes of the game and accumulated only eight first downs compared to 26 by San Francisco.
Arizona’s drop in play this season has deteriorated at an alarming rate and it starts from the top down. Coach Ken Whisenhunt – who also doubles as the team's offensive coordinator – has been unable to prepare effective game plans. The Cardinals rank 31st in the NFL in rushing and 30th in passing. The defense, led by Bill Davis hasn’t been much better. Arizona’s defensive unit ranks 31st against the run and 25th in pass defense.
Whisenhunt on Monday night's debacle: “To say that I’m extremely disappointed would be an understatement. We got beat in all phases of the game. They controlled the line of scrimmage and that made it very difficult for us to really do anything. I didn’t sense that there was any quit in our team. I didn’t sense it on the sideline. I just don’t think that we played very well.”