One Last Look Back at Week Eight vs. Carolina

Ken Whisenhunt was aware that the fake punt was a bad call, although if it had worked, he would be singing a different tune. A song that must be sung is Arizona's failure to balance the pass-rush ratio. It has a capable back who's on his way to break a franchise record, 15 years in the making. But Arizona threw the ball almost four times as much. Whisenhunt addresses all of this and more.

Beating themselves was the name of the game for the Arizona Cardinals in Sunday's 27-23 to the Carolina Panthers. No doubt a tough loss to swallow, Head coach Ken Whisenhunt tried justifying his fake field goal call at Monday's press conference.

"When they work they're good calls and when they don't work they're bad calls," Whisenhunt said. "So it was a bad call because it didn't work. I don't think it changes my perspective on weather we should run it or not. The only thing I'll say is that fourth and 15 is probably a little long to run that fake. I have to do a better job understanding how far the fake can go for. I should be criticized."

"I felt in that situation, with us having a lead, with us getting the ball to start the second half, being down in that territory, yes there's a good chance of giving up three points if we didn't make it but we had a chance to potentially score a touchdown, go in with a lead of 14 and come out with the ball. Our history when we do that, we've had a very good chance to win games."


WR Anquan Boldin
(Getty)

It was a tale of two halves for the Cardinals again as the traveled from West to East, a task that has been daunting for all west coast teams this season.

"I thought we did a good job overall in the first half, both offensively and defensively," Whisenhunt said. "The reason we lost the game was that turned the ball over in the second half and didn't tackle. That's something we have to work on. Some of it is just the breaks but we do have to do a better job of pursuing and tackling, especially beyond the line of scrimmage. When ever you give up a 65 yard play, it gives them confidence and got them back in the game."

Hauling in nine catches for 63 yards and two touchdowns, it appears wide receiver Anquan Boldin is close to 100 percent after missing the last two games.

"He's obviously fearless when he steps on the football field, even after taken a hit like he did in the Jet game," Whisenhunt said. "When he gets in there he's focused on one thing and that's playing at the level he's used to playing."

Fearless play landed Boldin on the Panthers' bad side. Boldin's two touchdown receptions tied the number of passing TD's allowed by Carolina in its previous six games combined.

Boldin's seven touchdowns on the season lead all league receivers. He is tied for fourth in the NFL in scoring among non-kickers. Even with missing two games due to a head injury.

"I think it's a credit to Anquan that he played as well as he did," Whisenhunt said. "He was sore and dealing with the issues after surgery but he was still out here working and running. He's excited because he sees us playing good football. He wants to win and he thinks we have a chance to do that."


RB Tim Hightower
(Getty)

The Cardinals threw the ball 51 times, compared to 14 rushes. With the Panthers stacking eight in the box, many of the run plays called had to be audible to passes. Whisenhunt assured Cardinal's nation that the Cardinals can and will run the ball more effectively in the weeks to come.

"You have to see how the flow of the games going," Whisenhunt said. "Tim Hightower might get the hot hand in the second half when were running it a number of times and we don't want to switch it. Based on what we've seen so far, you have to consider Tim. He's shown the ability to make some plays. There were a couple of runs which he essentially did on his own, especially one down there by the goal line."

Whisenhunt made it clear on Monday that the Cardinals will play with the players that give them the best chance to win. Not ready to make any drastic changes, carries at running back could soon be shifting.

"Tim is still a rookie. There is going to be a period where you don't want to give him too much, but he is certainly handling everything we've given him very well."

Hightower's numbers don't lie. He scored his sixth rushing touchdown in his seventh NFL Game. He is now just three touchdowns short of tying Ronald Moore's franchise rookie record of nine; the record was set in 1993.


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