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Monday, September 22, 2008
Around the NFC West: Cardinals fall short


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Scott Allen of Raising Zona thought Ken Whisenhunt relied too heavily on a tired defense when he decided to punt with 2:32 remaining. Allen also thinks the Cardinals continue to get no respect from the officials. I'll say this: The NFL has two first-year referees this season. Both have worked Arizona games in the first three weeks.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com writes the Cardinals' defensive problems stemmed from the Redskins' excellent execution, Whisenhunt said. Quarterback Kurt Warner thought the Cardinals should have gone for it instead of punting late in the game.

Also from Urban: The Cardinals' two-minute offense hasn't been as sharp this season. On defense, Bert Berry has three sacks in three games.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic said the Cardinals made just enough mistakes to lose to a good team on the road. But it's only one game.

Also from Somers: Three of the Cardinals' six penalties came on special teams. Also, the team could use a big play from a running back.

More from Somers: Thoughts on the game, including a potential bad officiating call and whether Elton Brown might get some work at right guard (he could).

And this: Arizona's defense didn't force a turnover or put enough pressure on Jason Campbell. Safety Antrel Rolle said Campbell was more comfortable in the offense than he had appeared.

Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic gives the Cardinals the benefit of the doubt. He's not reading too much into the team's first loss of the season. McManaman: "For the most part, they were saying it again after Sunday's loss -- that it's too early to overreact, be it positively or negatively. I know, it sounds completely un-Cardinals-like, doesn't it? But for some reason, you believe this team and these players more than you did most of the other blowhards who have breezed in and out of town since 1988."

Somers and McManaman take note as Rolle becomes the Cardinals' third defensive player to figure into the offense.

Also from McManaman: A look at the game's key play, Warner's first interception of the season. The ball was underthrown, but Steve Breaston didn't fight for it, either.

Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune says Campbell was far more poised than he was against the Cardinals last season, a big reason the Redskins won.

Also from Tulumello: A quick look at why the Cardinals are staying on the East Coast this week.

More from Tulumello: The Cardinals were expecting a more physical opponent than the one they encountered at Washington, Darnell Dockett said. Instead, the Redskins dinked and dunked on them.