When you make your living talking about sports, through the sheer nature of quantity, you’re going to ending up saying some things that you don’t really believe will come to fruition. You discuss hypotheticals. You play devil’s advocate. Suffice to say, most of these what-if scenarios you end up discussing never happen.
So last week when I said on the show something to the extent of “the Cardinals better not lose to the Rams…..if they do, it might get loud in here” I’ll be honest with you; it never occurred to me that it might actually happen.
It’s like one of those empty threat grenades I lob in the direction of my teenage children every now and then. Clean your room or I’ll…I’ll….take away your TV! Would I have actually done it? I don’t know because it never, ever comes to that.
The Cardinals better not lose to the Rams. If they do, it might get loud in here.
They did and it is. Very.
So loud that for the first time, to my knowledge anyhow, Ken Whisenhunt was asked about his job status (by none other than the esteemed Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic). Coach provided a professional response, noting that such talk was part of the business and that nobody feels worse about this then the coaching staff does. Whiz answered the question like he knew it was coming.
After a dreadful game like the one just witnessed how could it not be?
The offense, Whiz’s specialty, is in desperate need of a reboot akin to that of Bond or Batman. After a sensational start, Ryan Lindley threw four interceptions and two pick-sixes. After being overthrown and underthrown, definitely bet the over on whether or not Larry Fitzgerald is frustrated.
The once mighty advantage of University of Phoenix Stadium has been picked over like your Thanksgiving turkey after losses to the Bills and Rams. Combined, those two teams have three road wins this season, two of which were against the Cardinals (the Bills also beat the Browns on the road).
The defense gave up only 17 points that weren’t the result of Lindley’s inaccuracy and in the second half played like a unit that was worn out from having to carry the load.
Most damning of all, this was to be the game that ended the losing streak. If you can’t beat the Rams at home then where does it end? How does it end? Next week against the Jets? Yeah, they’re a joke, but you just got thumped at home by the Rams. On the joke depth chart that’s pretty hard to beat. At Seattle? San Francisco? Home to the Bears or Lions?
Odds say it will end and the Cardinals won’t end the season on a 12-game losing streak. But even when it does, the clean house crowd will have two strong pieces of evidence: the inability to find a post-Warner quarterback and losing streaks of seven, six and seven (and counting) over the last three years.
Certainly the noise, and the unease, is justified and it remains to be seen if this team and this coach can do anything to quiet it. Perhaps the return of Kevin Kolb will level off the descent. Though that return is hovering somewhere between a when and an if. No one is certain.
That uncertainty plagues the head coach as well whose future is, at best, muddled.