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Cardinals Feeling Down and Out

I'm sure things will change later in the week, but at least for today, Arizona Cardinals fans are so distraught after all of the chances they had to put away the San Francisco 49ers Sunday at home that they are putting their homerism aside and succumbing to the Browns. Here are a few quotes from their message board:

"Im sorry, but the Browns are going to kill us, just like Oakland did after the bears game."

"And what makes you think we can compete with Cleveland? We lucked out by getting outplayed by a bad Cincinnati team, and get beat at home by the hapless Niners."

"Browns are a rising team and I don't know what we are. Browns should beat us next week. Chalk up another loss."

"If the Cardinals don't pressure Derek Anderson like they didn't pressure Dilfer yesterday, DA will tear the Cardinals apart."

Indeed, receiving positive views from the opposing teams fans is quite the surprise considering what we've been through. I mean, we were all crushed by our loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers a few weeks ago, but no one conceded to the Baltimore Ravens the day after the fact. Different circumstances overall if you sit down and analyze it, but still, you should understand my point. In case you missed the games, here are several embarrassing facts in the Cardinals' loss:
  1. Points Allowed: The 49ers were the worst offense and scoring team in the league, even below the Ravens. The season high for San Francisco prior to the game was actually in Week 1, when they scored 20 points against the Cardinals in victory. For most of the season, they couldn't even manage a touchdown per game. Before the game, they had gone 11 consecutive quarters without scoring a touchdown. The Cardinals allowed them to hit big play after big play, giving up a total of 37 points in Week 12.
  2. Former QB: The Cardinals made Trent Dilfer look like an NFL quarterback. Sin committed. Dilfer's QB rating for the game was 99.9, as he threw for two touchdowns and no interceptions without having a quality NFL receiver on his team to speak of.
  3. Controversial Timeout: After the 49ers scored with a little over a minute to play in regulation, having a three point lead, Kurt Warner drove his team down the field quickly. While in the hurry-up formation, Warner fired a 30-yard strike down the sideline to Bryant Johnson who was knocked out of bounds at the one yard line with six seconds on the clock. The Cardinals had one timeout left, and they lined up to go for it on fourth down. With the play clock running down and perhaps some indecisiveness, they blew their final timeout. If they would've kept it, they could've tried a quick handoff to a running back and taken a timeout if they failed to get in. Instead, they were forced to try a quick fade, which their receiver failed to hang onto. A 19-yard field goal later, there was overtime.
  4. Rack It: Warner, continuing his brilliant game, drove his team down the field in overtime and set up kicker Neil Rackers for a chipshot 27-yard field goal. He drilled it, but guess what? The ball was snapped just after the play clock hit zeros, and they had to re-kick it after the ball was moved back five yards to the 32-yard line. Rackers then missed the kick barely wide left, as you could see the football hit the flag as it went by.
  5. Foolish: I like the Cardinals' quick kick/punt returner Steve Breaston, but he made a dumb move in overtime after the 49ers punter after Rackers' missed field goal. The punt by the 49ers was a line drive to the one yard line, and defenders were quickly coming towards him. Instead of letting it be a touchback, he tried to be a hero and only got it down to near the 11-yard line. Holding penalty on the return, and taken half the distance to the goal. One play later, Warner was stripped of the football in the end zone and recovered for a touchdown. Ballgame.
What type of emotion will the Cardinals have as they face the Browns? Redemption? Tomorrow, I'll explain why despite this appearing to be a very high-scoring affair that the Browns have an opportunity to look more impressive than they did against the Houston Texans...