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Chargers aftermath, and a season to finish

Corey Peters said before the season that his being named captain was one of the most important things that had ever happened to him in football. The defensive tackle takes the job seriously. Part of the job is making sure he’s available to the media, especially after the Cardinals play poorly – which has happened far too often this season and happened again Sunday against the Chargers.

There isn’t much big picture to say these days after a loss, especially one that was 45-10 after the Cardinals had a 10-0 lead after 15 minutes. But Peters dutifully had his say, was blunt again without naming names – if guys don’t want to do what they are coached, the Cards need to find ones that will, he said – and quickly dismissed the idea players would – or should – see this as a lost season.

“Guys have been working their entire lives to get here,” Peters said. “For us to look at the last five or six games and look at it as not an opportunity would be wasteful and really a shame.”

Steve Wilks talked about the embarrassment of Sunday, that the Cardinals has a whole have to do better, which is pretty apparent after a second 45-10 loss this season to the AFC West. He insisted his team has not quit, and backs them publicly. How that translates – both Peters and Chandler Jones noted guys doing things that are not being coached, which isn’t helping things – remains to be seen, but a cold road trip to Green Bay is up this coming week. Not an ideal place to get things fixed, and after 11 games, it’s fair to wonder if that’s possible. Peters needs to be right, that these games are seen as opportunity. Otherwise, it’s going to be difficult to be mentally engaged.

“We’ve got to -- this is the NFL,” linebacker Haason Reddick said. “We’ve got a season to finish. We’ve got five more games.”

-- That was what the Cardinals want to see from Josh Rosen, on that opening drive. He moved in the pocket perfectly. He put passes on the money. He engineered the perfect TD drive. That was what the Cardinals do not want to see from Josh Rosen. He threw an interception into traffic. He was unable to generate much when the team needed it most.

-- The secondary has become an issue. Jamar Taylor was cut. Now Bené Benwikere was benched in favor of David Amerson as Wilks seeks a Patrick Peterson pairing that has reached DEFCON 1 – if it wasn’t already there before the season. No Budda Baker doesn’t help – and neither does Philip Rivers shredding the entire defense.

-- Rivers did dink and dunk, but some of those passes were awesome. And his receivers helped with toe-taps quite a bit.

-- Phil Dawson came into the game with only six field goal attempts. It was an incredibly small number. He had two tries in the first half, and that helped – but the last one, a 46-yard miss, was a killer. In a season in which Dawson has had few tries, a miss in that situation felt like the backbreaker it turned out to be. The Cards have scored 20 points just twice in 11 games this season – to think they had 10 after a quarter and still couldn’t get there was painful.

-- That early showing by the offense, though, was the first time this season the Cardinals scored on back-to-back possessions.

-- Robert Nkemdiche had his best game as a Cardinal, and it was already his best game barely into the second quarter. The Cardinals would -- love to believe he turned a corner. I think even Nkemdiche would admit you can’t guarantee that.

-- The tackling was ... bad. That's the kind of thing you see and wonder about, and the players know that. Wilks talks about consistency, but there were basic fundamentals getting way too loose too often.

-- Josh Rosen thought a Chargers' defender was swiping at the ball. It turned out it was a penalty flag hitting him.

-- I know there were not a ton of offensive snaps for the Cards, but for Fitz to have just two targets was surprising to me. And the second came on the final offensive play. He's still four catches shy on that record for most catches for one franchise.

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) makes a touchdown catch over Arizona Cardinals cornerback Bene Benwikere (23) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

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