It’s been more than a month since the Arizona Cardinals won a football game, which can feel like an eternity in the NFL.
So even though the Cardinals are just two games out of first place in the NFC West, a division title is the last thing on their minds. Adrian Wilson said he and his teammates need to worry about getting back in the win column before they can start thinking about the playoffs.
“We’re on a five-game losing streak, so that’s probably more talked about in this locker room than anything,” the Pro Bowl strong safety said during his Wednesday conference call with the Bay Area media. “We want to snap this losing streak and get out of this funk that we are in. We’re not really worried about how many games back we are in the division or any of that. We’re more concerned with improving and getting ourselves better because right now we’re not a very good football team.”
But the Cardinals know getting their first win since Week 5 will be difficult against a 49ers team that has had their number as of late. The 49ers have won four of the last six matchups, and both teams have much of the same personnel.
However, there have been changes for both sides at the most important position on the field, quarterback, and that could change a lot of things come Monday night.
“(Troy Smith) is a guy who is very athletic,” Wilson said. “When his first and second reads break down, he is able to go to the playground style and create plays down the field.
“It’s just a little bit different flavor because he brings a lot of different stuff from what we’re used to in the past from those guys.”
Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt echoed Wilson’s feelings on Smith. He said Smith’s mobility and playmaking ability has transformed the 49ers offense for the better.
Meanwhile, the quarterback situation in Arizona has been a little more tenuous. Veteran Derek Anderson has spent most of the season at the helm of the Cardinals’ offense following Kurt Warner’s retirement, and the drop-off has been significant.
Warner finished the 2009 season with the NFL’s 10th-best passer rating. This year, the Cardinals rank 28th in the league in passing offense and Anderson’s quarterback rating is a lowly 70.3.
Still though, Whisenhunt said his team’s 3-7 record can’t simply be attributed to the loss of Warner.
“We lost a number of guys,” Whisenhunt said, “and it’s a combination of not having those guys, having new faces, having young guys. At times we haven’t made the type of plays in the past that have allowed us to win games.”
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