Cardinals Notebook

Coach Ken Whisenhunt isn't giving up on rookie QB Max Hall and some positives from Sunday's loss in Seattle.

Max Hall played the part of a rookie quarterback against the Seahawks, having difficulty reading coverage while throwing several errant passes. Despite the struggles, Hall will remain the team's starting quarterback, providing his health checks out after leaving Sunday's game with a head injury.

Once again, Hall was dealing with a short-handed wide receiving corps as Steve Breaston was inactive. Breaston was expected to start but the wet conditions were too risky coming off a knee injury. Early Doucet was back in action and Breaston should return this week against Tampa Bay.

In total, Hall connected on 4 of 16 passes for 36 yards, compiling a dreadful QB rating of 13.5.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt on Hall: "He's a rookie quarterback. I think that you know that you're going have some things that you have to go through the first time. This is his first start on the road in a tough environment and it didn't go very well. From what I've seen of Max, he'll bounce back and he'll improve."

The wet weather appears to have played a factor in Hall's slow start. He completed just one of his first nine passes while tossing an interception.

Whisenhunt on the conditions: "It was tough conditions. I think that was part of the problem early in the game and I think that effected Max's confidence."

HIGHTOWER HALTED

Arizona's rushing game continues to be a positive, racking up 113 yards on the ground while averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Beanie Wells was the team's primary rusher, carrying 14 times for 54 yards and a touchdown.

Tim Hightower got off to a great start, accumulating nearly 10 yards per rush before a fumble halted his momentum. Hightower's ball security has been an ongoing issue as the third-year back coughed it up for the third time in seven games.

Despite totaling 59 yards on six carries, Hightower didn't rush the ball again following the fumble.

BRANCH BREAKS OUT

The emergence of DT Alan Branch continues following a monster game against the Seahawks. Branch was disruptive throughout the afternoon, notching two sacks and four hits on the quarterback. Branch also added five tackles and forced a Matt Hasselbeck fumble.

Whisenhunt on Branch: "With young guys in this league, you never know when that lights going to come on. He's playing at a very high level for us. He's definitely had an impact on our defensive football team."

ROOKIE MISTAKES

In addition to Hall, several other rookies have been pressed into action this year and have been prone to mistakes of first-year players. After returning a punt for a season-best 22 yards, Andre Roberts muffed an attempt, setting up the Seahawks' offense at the 2-yard line for an eventual score. Roberts came back to make two big catches and led the team with 40 yards receiving.

LB Daryl Washington was one rookie who outplayed his first-year status, demonstrating the same explosiveness as he did during the preseason. Washington finished second on the team with 11 stops along with a sack and tackle for a loss.

FITZ SHOWS FRUSTRATION

Pro Bowl wideout Larry Fitzgerald has been quiet for most of the season and was visibly frustrated against a porous Seahawks pass defense. Seattle came into Sunday's contest allowing over 290 yards per game through the air but Fitzgerald couldn't take advantage. Although he was targeted 10 times, Fitzgerald managed only three grabs for 30 yards.


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