Quarterback Derek Anderson (right) and the rest of the Cardinals hope to break a losing streak in Kansas City Sunday when they play the Chiefs.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The locker won't hold the answer.
But when a team starts losing, Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald said, that doesn't mean a player won't look in his stall.
"You look at, 'Damn, what shoes am I wearing to practice?' You start looking at things that are pointless, thinking if I just change this … no," Fitzgerald said. "This is what we've done since he's been here, it's the same plays, a lot of the same guys. Nothing is wrong with the way we are preparing. We are just not executing the plays when it counts. That's what it boils down to.
"We're watching the same amount of tape, we are lifting the same amount of weights, we are conditioning after practice. Everything is the same. Guys have to focus on the process of playing on Sundays."
The Cardinals play the Chiefs on the road Sunday searching for that process. This is the third week in a row the Cards (3-6) have met up with a team that seems to be equally floundering. Two weeks ago, a trip to Minnesota – where the Vikings were in the middle of a drama-filled freefall – ended with a heartbreaking overtime loss.
Last week, the Seahawks visited University of Phoenix Stadium on the heels of two very ugly blowout losses. They proceeded to blow out the Cardinals.
Now up are the Chiefs (5-4), who have lost two straight and were run over in Denver last weekend in a 49-29 loss that wasn't even that close.
"We're trying to get this ship turned around in the right direction and get it moving," said Chiefs coach and former Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley. "It's not a little sailboat. It's a big Queen Mary."
Haley had a part in turning around a similar ship in Arizona. But the Cards are in the middle of their first four-game losing streak since coach Ken Whisenhunt arrived, and the Cardinals would prefer not to be a panacea for a third straight opponent.
"Losing is contagious," running back Tim Hightower said. "Winning is contagious too. We just need a win. That's all I can think about right now."
That would cure a lot of ills, as winning tends to do. Quarterback Derek Anderson said he was worried about negative attention hurting the team – "(I've seen) a good team get destroyed by having a bad stretch," he said – but Whisenhunt continued to stay even-keeled with both his message and his emotions.
Consistency in running the team on the field is the only way to deal with the situation, Whisenhunt said.
"We know what we do works for us," Whisenhunt said. "We've had success with it. The work ethic is good, we just haven't played well on Sundays."
The Cardinals can only hope that changes this Sunday.
"We've got to get this win," Fitzgerald said, "and we need it a heck of a lot more than they do."
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