A week after committing five turnovers in Seattle, Arizona turned the ball over four times (all interceptions) against an opportunistic Tampa Bay defense. The Cardinals have turned it over an NFL-worst 23 times on the year and aren't good enough to overcome the ongoing mistakes.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt on turnovers: "The bottom line is we can't turn the ball over. If you take away all of our turnovers from games this year, we're a different ball club. What we have to do is figure out how to eliminate those."
Concerns about Max Hall's velocity and accuracy are being confirmed on a weekly basis. The undrafted rookie's two interceptions returned for touchdowns proved too much for Arizona to overcome against the Bucs.
Whisenhunt won't name a starting quarterback until later this week and discussed the difficulties Hall has experienced over the past three games.
Whisenhunt on the tough conditions in Minnesota if Hall is the starter this week: "It's tough on a rookie no matter what. You understand that when you have a rookie quarterback. But expectations were if Max is the guy that he'll play well. Every time he gets another rep – even though it may not always work out right – he's getting more experience and that's what's so difficult at that position."
Whisenhunt on if Hall's confidence has taken a hit: "It doesn't seem that way. Not from talking with him on the sideline and after the game yesterday. We knew going into this that there was going to be times where he made mistakes. That's not something that you don't expect. You have to learn from it and continue to try to improve."
"He's trying to be perfect and trying not to make a mistake. When Max has played his best is when he just kind of turned it lose. He wasn't afraid in the preseason or earlier this year about making mistakes. Now, that pressure with that position to try to be perfect or not make a mistake can hamper you. Let's be honest here, that's part of the maturation process with young quarterbacks."
Derek Anderson came off the bench for the second straight week and moved the offense effectively. However, Anderson's questionable decision making continues to overshadow his big-play ability. Anderson connected on four passes of 25 yards or more but tossed a crucial interception deep in Tampa Bay territory with just over two minutes remaining.
Anderson on the final interception: "I think the ball went to the right spot. The guy made a good play. Obviously very frustrating, first down to have it on the twenty and throw a pick and not even give us a chance to kick a field goal and at least tie the game."
BEANIE NOT PRODUCING
The Cardinals' running game was expected to breakout against the Bucs' 31st-ranked run defense but that wasn't the case on Sunday. Beanie Wells carried a team-high 16 times but managed only 50 yards before leaving the game with a back injury in the fourth quarter. Wells' workload has been increasing of late but the results have yet to follow suit.
Whisenhunt on Wells' lack of production: "Over the last three games, we've played a young quarterback and I think that teams have tried to take away the run. Some of the chances where we had to go for a bigger run we've had mistakes – whether it was a secondary block, whether it was an inline block."
BACK IN ACTION
Gerald Hayes and Steve Breaston both returned to action after missing extended time and each made a significant impact. Breaston was the favorite target of both Hall and Anderson, reeling in eight passes for a career-high 147 yards. Hayes made five tackles, a tackle for a loss and returned a Blount fumble 21 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter.
Sunday's injuries are still being evaluated but nothing is considered serious at this point. Wells left the game with a back injury after being upended in the fourth quarter, but isn't expected to miss any time. LaRod Stephens-Howling took a shot to the ribs and also should be available for this week's game in Minnesota.
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