Around the NFC West: Missing Leinart?

November, 1, 2010
11/01/10
10:00
AM ET
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says he "flinched" on Derek Anderson's final, game-turning interception Sunday. Urban: "I know everyone wants to talk about the end of the game. First down, on the Tampa 20. Cards are without LaRod Stephens-Howling, whose ribs just took a shot. Beanie Wells wasn’t in the game after hurting his back, and besides, he doesn’t play in the two-minute package. So the Cards have Tim Hightower, who already lost his starting role after having fumbling issues. Did that affect the play call, why it wasn’t a run? Perhaps. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said the package had been moving the ball down the field through the air. You can’t argue that. And on the play in which Anderson threw the pick, the Cards ran double slants against the Bucs’ zone and Early Doucet was open on the play on the inner slant. The problem is Anderson decided to throw to Larry Fitzgerald. Interception. Game over."

Also from Urban: Whisenhunt says the Cardinals plan to take a "hard look" at the quarterback position. Matt Leinart is looking better every week. I realize he wasn't the franchise quarterback Arizona wanted him to be, but the Cardinals would be in better position if he remained among their options at the position. The team has basically exhausted its options at quarterback with nine games remaining. Nine games is a long, long time when Anderson and Max Hall are throwing interceptions. Leinart continues to sit the bench for Houston. The Cardinals got nothing in return for him.

More from Urban: Gerald Hayes and Steve Breaston came up big for Arizona in their first game back from injuries.

More yet from Urban: The Cardinals suffered consecutive defeats for the first time this season. The team pretty much bounced back from its defeat against Seattle, but horrible quarterback play can nullify what a team is getting from every other position.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic sizes up the Cardinals' defeat and closes by saying the team could not improve its quarterback situation by signing a UFL player unfamiliar with the team's offense. On the other hand, what are the odds another quarterback would throw four interceptions, two returned for touchdowns, in a single home game?

Also from Somers: "Whisenhunt might have to take as much of the game out of the QB's hands as he can. That means kicking a field goal instead of going for it on fourth-and-2 from the 3. Or running the ball and settling for a field goal, instead of throwing it on first down at the opponent's 20. With Kurt Warner at QB, those risks were worth taking. With Anderson or Hall, not so much."

More from Somers: Wells gets the start and Hightower's role diminishes.

More yet from Somers, with Bob McManaman: O'Brien Schofield made his debut on special teams.

Also from McManaman: The Cardinals' defense took its share of the blame Sunday.

Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals will have a hard time convincing players they have a chance with Anderson or Hall under center. Boivin: "The Cardinals, if they can get their act together, still are in decent shape. Of their nine remaining games, seven are against opponents with losing records. The group left on the schedule is a combined 23-44. They must resolve this quarterback mess first. It has to be Anderson. Hall might have a nice career ahead of him, but it's not now. He threw two interceptions in the first half that were returned for touchdowns. It canceled out all the positives, which included a nice play fake in the first quarter that ended up in the hands of Larry Fitzgerald for a touchdown."

Also from Boivin: a look at the key play Sunday in a game filled with them.

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