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Cardinals suffer familiar feeling of defeat in blowout loss to Falcons

Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman (26) leaps into the end zone as he scores on a pass from Matt Ryan during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

If the Arizona Cardinals’ game against the Atlanta Falcons felt like déjà vu, there’s good reason for it.

The Cardinals turned the ball over like they did against the Denver Broncos, looked hapless on offense like they did against the Detroit Lions and most significantly, wilted like they did against the Los Angeles Chargers.

It ended in a 40-14 loss for the Cardinals, their eighth double-digit loss of the season.

Arizona is now 3-11 on the season and with playoff teams Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks left on the schedule, the possibility of another win this season seems bleak.

“I take full responsibility for what I consider to be an embarrassing performance,” Cardinals coach Steve Wilks said. “It starts with me and we’re going to do everything we can to correct it moving forward.”

There was early hope following an opening drive in which the Cardinals drove 64 yards, finished off by a touchdown run from David Johnson.

Johnson had over 50 yards on the drive and the Cardinals had an early road lead like they did a few weeks earlier against the Chargers.

Then, the offense regressed into its typical form and the defense couldn’t carry it.

Quarterback Josh Rosen had a pass tipped, intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Deion Jones less than three minutes after Johnson’s touchdown.

It was a flashback to Week 7 against the Broncos, when Rosen threw pick-six in the first quarter against the Broncos that ultimately led to a rough rest of the game.

“We have to be strong mentally to find a way to overcome that,” Wilks said of the interception.

The inconsistent Falcons offense woke up in the second quarter.

A Rosen fumble led to a quick 34-yard touchdown drive ended on a 1-yard touchdown run from quarterback Matt Ryan.

The Falcons’ then added a field goal on a 65-yard drive.

It was Atlanta’s final drive of the half that buried the Cardinals before the second half even started.

Rosen threw an ill-advised pass that was intercepted with less than two minutes to go in the half.

Ryan then fed Julio Jones, who caught a 21-yard touchdown pass with 13 seconds left.

All of a sudden, the Cardinals had 26 straight points scored on them and trailed by 19 points at halftime.

Against the Chargers a month ago, the Cardinals turned a 10-0 first quarter lead into a 28-10 halftime deficit.

The second half, predictably, wasn’t any better.

Tevin Coleman went untouched on a 43-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to push the lead to 33-7.

Rosen continued his struggles and wasn’t helped by his porous offense line.

He was pulled early in the fourth quarter after getting sacked seven times.

The final few minutes were academic.

Backup quarterback Mike Glennon threw a late touchdown pass to Trent Sherfield, his first as a pro, but all it meant was the Cardinals didn’t suffer their fourth 30th-point loss of the season.

The Cardinals finished with 253 total yards, 200 less than the Falcons.

The reality was the game ended in another blowout loss for the Cardinals, who remained in prime position to land the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft.

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