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Cardinals going straight downhill in a hurry

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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Posted Nov. 15, 2010 @ 5:49 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

After their fourth consecutive loss — a new phenomenon in the Ken Whisenhunt regime — the Cardinals officially now qualify as an equal-opportunity disappointment. While the team’s offensive shortcomings have consistently created short fuses in Cardinals Nation this season, with neither Derek Anderson nor Max Hall being able to light a fire in a unit that has declined dramatically with Kurt Warner no longer under center, the team’s defense had at least occasionally risen to the occasion.

But in the Cardinals’ 36-18 loss to the Seahawks — a defeat that puts Arizona three games behind Seattle in the NFC West now that the Hawks have earned the tiebreaker by virtue of their series sweep — the defense rested against a Seattle offense that had been nothing short of pathetic entering the game. Operating without DE Darnell Dockett (shoulder) for the first time in seven seasons, the Cardinals’ defense was picked apart by QB Matt Hasselbeck (333 yards passing) like a 52-ounce Porterhouse steak in a field full of vultures, in no small part due to the inability of OLB Joey Porter who, despite the team meeting he called at halftime that actually led to an improved overall effort in the second half, did not do squat on the stat sheet.

The PFW Spin

Porter was far from the only underachiever among the Cardinals' defenders in Week 10. SS Adrian Wilson, who has been ordinary at best since a strong Week One effort, was exploited more than a few times. So were CB Greg Toler, who made Seahawks WR Mike Williams (11 catches for 145 yards) look like the football equivalent of baseball Hall of Famer Ted Williams, and ILB Gerald Hayes, who had an awful game and looked more like Gabby Hayes.

While the defense did tighten up in the second half, the damage already had been done by the Seahawks, not that Arizona’s offense had the ability to trigger any semblance of a comeback.

Put simply, the Cardinals look like dead meat in the desert, becoming easy pickings for the vultures in the local media. It’s really hard to believe, considering how successful Whisenhunt has been overall in his time as the team's head coach. Clearly, his mettle is being tested to the max with his team in the midst of a massive free-fall with no end in sight.

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