Cardinals: Postgame Notes

The Cardinals biggest playmakers showed up in the team's upset win over the Saints and DT Alan Branch is finally living up to expectations.

--QB Max Hall took two hard hits when he scrambled, fumbling on both occasions. Hall needs to show better judgment when running or he won't last long as the starting quarterback.

--S Kerry Rhodes returned a fumble for a touchdown for the second consecutive week. If anything, he has been an upgrade over Antrel Rolle, now with the Giants.

--CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown against the Saints. He should have kneeled down but Rodgers-Cromartie said he wanted to run up the score because the Saints beat the Cardinals so badly in the playoffs last season.

--WR Stephen Williams suffered bruised ribs and a back injury when he was upended making a 6-yard catch. His prognosis is unknown but he will be helped by the off week.

--RB Beanie Wells gained 35 yards on 20 carries, a 1.8-yard average. The Saints loaded up to stop the run, and Wells had difficulty making tacklers miss. Tim Hightower carried just four times.


No surprise, the Cardinals go as their stars go. Coach Ken Whisenhunt challenged his team's better players last week, telling them they needed to start playing up to a higher standard. Whisenhunt didn't name names, but safety Adrian Wilson, defensive end Darnell Dockett, outside linebacker Joey Porter and receiver Larry Fitzgerald were coming off a game in which they didn't produce at the expected standard. It's more of a problem on defense, where intensity and attention to detail has tended to come and go through four games.


Alan Branch didn't start but he split time with right defensive end Calais Campbell. In his fourth year, Branch finally appears to be developing into a solid player. At 335 pounds, he's powerful and has the quickness to play end. He constantly has to watch his weight. Campbell, on the other hand, has been a bit of a disappointment early. He played well in the preseason but has not made much of an impact yet in games that count.

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