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Cardinals spin their wheels in Atlanta

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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Posted Sept. 20, 2010 @ 7:11 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

As good as the Cardinals have been most of the time under Ken Whisenhunt, when they've been bad, they've been really bad. A case in point was their Week Two eyesore in Atlanta, a 41-7 thumping that was imperfect in every way. Nobody was making excuses after the Falcons totally dominated the Cardinals on both sides of the ball. "We got smashed," said Cardinals Pro Bowl DT Darnell Dockett, who probably thought long and hard about getting smashed after the whipping the Atlantans administered.

The PFW spin

In a game in which there were numerous shortcomings, the Cardinals' 10 penalties for the second straight week stood out as much as anything. QB Derek Anderson continued to struggle, converting  0-of-9 third and fourth downs, but backup undrafted rookie Max Hall was no better after being inserted in garbage time, underthrowing a late interception.

On the other side of the ball, defensive coordinator Billy Davis admitted his unit had a lot of work to do after allowing the Falcons to gain 221 yards on the ground, despite the fact Atlanta RBs Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood left the game with injuries.

While Whisenhunt was no doubt perturbed after his team's putrid effort, he was not panicking, acknowledging that it was only Week Two and that there was still plenty of time to correct any problems.

One interesting comment after the game came from newly acquired OLB Joey Porter, who apparently had a hard time putting up with the fact there were some players "laughing in the showers" after the game was over.

Are the Cardinals just too lackadaisical? It's worth noting that during the Whisenhunt regime, they have shown a knack for bouncing back from really awful outings, as was the case after their not-so-memorable 47-7 shellacking by the Patriots in Week 16 of their 2008 campaign, a game in which former QB Kurt Warner expressed himself in a manner similar to Porter on Sunday. A few weeks later, the team caught fire in the playoffs, and the rest is history.

The return of Chris "Beanie" Wells to the mix this Sunday certainly wouldn't hurt. The former first-round draft pick, who was expected to be a key factor in a more run-oriented offense, has been unable to play yet due to a bruised knee. A solid debut against the run-challenged Raiders at home could be just what this team needs to get back on track.

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