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Remembering What Was

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Edgerrin James looks for running room against the Patriots Sunday.

Standing in the visitors' locker room Sunday at Gillette Stadium, Darnell Dockett said he and his defensive linemates would be going back to watch video of their performances earlier in the season -- when the Cardinals were playing well.

That could be contrasted to the past few games, in which the Cards were almost certainly not playing well.

"At a point like this, you do whatever you can do to get off this losing streak," guard Reggie Wells said about Dockett's plan, a day after the Cards were smacked by the Patriots, 47-7. "I don't know if that is the answer, but anything at this time can help."

The day after the loss to the Patriots was a lot like the day after the previous week's loss to the Vikings. A hope of a wake-up call, and a thought the Cardinals can still salvage some postseason momentum by winning the regular-season finale against Seattle.

"Yesterday," coach Ken Whisenhunt said plainly, "we stunk."

The Cards have been able to narrow their potential playoff opponents – the most likely visitor is Atlanta, with Dallas and Carolina still in the mix depending on the results of various Week 17 games. Whisenhunt said the Cardinals first must treat the Seattle game as if it was a playoff game, "within reason."

"We have worked hard to create something here to gain the trust of a lot of our fans and we feel like we have let them down the past two weeks," Whisenhunt said. "That said, I still think we have a good football team."

Whisenhunt also emphasized that despite the ragged scores, he still felt there were a number of players who were playing well. Those who weren't – Whisenhunt wasn't naming names – were in danger of losing playing time to backups. Already, Whisenhunt said, he had talked to some of the offenders while others would soon have a similar conversation with the head coach.

Recapturing some of their early-season successes would be embraced by the Cardinals, who continued to believe after the Patriots' loss their playoff future had not already been determined as impossible.

"You can't let these last two weeks define the season," said wide receiver Anquan Boldin, after sitting out the Patriots game with a shoulder injury. "I feel if we have to win we can."

But Whisenhunt cautioned that his team needed to show improvement on the field.

"I think we have some players who think they can turn it on for the playoff game," Whisenhunt said. "That is something we have talked about. It's not something you can do."

Wells, still sounding tired Monday from the team's lengthy return trip home Sunday night, paused when asked if the players were concerned with their situation with one regular-season game left.

"I don't know if concern is the word we want to use, but there is definitely a sense of wanting to right this thing before we get to the playoffs," Wells said. "There's no time to feel sorry for yourself."

EXTRA POINTS

Whisenhunt had no new updates from the five on Sunday's injury list: TE Stephen Spach (ankle), DL Kenny Iwebema (concussion), CB Rod Hood (knee), S Aaron Francisco (ribs) and S Matt Ware (calf). …

The coach said he hoped Boldin and RB J.J. Arrington (knee) would return to play in the season finale against Seattle. He said both probably could have played Sunday had it been a postseason game or a game needed to make the playoffs. …

Whisenhunt mentioned both linebacker Karlos Dansby and safety Adrian Wilson for their play Sunday, saying they "played like warriors."


Contact Darren Urban at askdarren@cardinals.nfl.net. Posted 12/22/08.

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