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Tough One to Swallow: Cards Fall to Panthers 25-10

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Jerheme Urban, left, can't hold on to a pass as Carolina Panthers' Richard Marshall (31) looks on 

At one point in the week, 43-year-old Vinny Testaverde considered joining the Cardinals. After seeing what he could still do Sunday, the Cards wish he probably would have. Instead, Testaverde joined the Carolina Panthers, and it turned out he started against Arizona on Sunday, and turned in a good enough outing to beat the Cards 25-10 in Arizona. The loss drops the Cards to 3-3, tied with the Seattle Seahawks for the top spot in the NFC West.

The Cardinals latest loss was probably their strangest. Playing against a QB that Carolina just signed on Wednesday, the Panthers would have seemed at a decided disadvantage. While Vinny didn’t play great, he made a few big throws, none bigger than a scoring pass that covered 65 yards in the 4th quarter to Steve Smith that put the Panthers ahead for good 15-10. They gutted it out from there, with the defense getting a big interception, and then DeAngelo Williams raced off a 75-yard run and scored from 13 out to put the game away.

The deciding blow for Arizona was the fact they did get the benefit of having starting QB Kurt Warner, as the Cards QB had to leave the game with an elbow injury in the first quarter. Instead it became an unlikely battle between Panthers starter Testaverde and Cards backup Tim Rattay, who was signed Tuesday when the team placed Matt Leinart on IR with a collarbone injury. Rattay was just 12-for-24 for 159 yards, and unlike Vinny, threw three interceptions and no touchdowns. The Cards had to scale down their playbook with Rattay in there, and it showed. “Obviously, Tim wasn’t comfortable with things, so we had to change our plans,” Whisenhunt said. “That’s what happens in this league.”

The Cardinals will try to wrap up their first half of the season on an up note Sunday, then they travel to our Nations capital to take on the Washington Redskins at 11am.

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