Around the NFC West: Cardinals searching

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals keep losing even though they're not playing elite teams. On a side note: "Receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Chiefs coach Todd Haley were engaged in intense conversation in the hallway outside the Cardinals locker room after the game. The two are good friends and Haley appeared to be going over some technical things with Fitz." Separately, Fitzgerald's long-term future with the team will increasingly become a storyline as he approaches the final year of a four-year contract. The deal prevents the Cardinals from trading him or naming him their franchise player. Arizona might have one season to fix its quarterback situation and get the team headed in the right direction again. Otherwise, why would Fitzgerald stay?

Also from Somers: making sense of Adrian Wilson's curious postgame comments. Wilson on what the Cardinals need to do: "I don't know, I'm not the coach. I can just worry about myself and get myself ready to play. Everybody is going to be their own judge. Everybody is going to make their own decisions. Regardless of what people say, sooner or later, it falls on deaf ears. ... What's the point of doing that if they're not going to listen? It will just fall on deaf ears, and you'll be right back to square one. Guys have to be their own motivator. You can't motivate somebody else to play and to not make a mistake." The Cardinals have built their defense around Darnell Dockett and Wilson. Those are the players Arizona has paid on defense. Those are the players the team needs to be playing at a Pro Bowl level.

More from Somers: The Cardinals have hit a new low, Steve Breaston says.

Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic gives Haley the edge against Ken Whisenhunt in a coaching matchup between former co-workers. Bickley: "The Cardinals have lost five consecutive games and, for the first time since Whisenhunt arrived in Arizona, an emasculated team feels just like it did under Denny Green: impotent offense, a rash of stupid penalties and a sense of fatalism engulfing the room. ... Even worse, many fans believe Whisenhunt has been exposed without Haley and former quarterback Kurt Warner. It's a ridiculous notion, but the tide of perception is growing more powerful with each loss."

Also from Bickley: a look at the key play in Arizona's defeat Sunday.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Whisenhunt appeared "about as weary" as he had seen him following a defeat. Urban: "Whisenhunt said there wouldn’t be any personnel changes, but rookie tight end Jim Dray was in there extensively Sunday ahead of Ben Patrick. Dray struggled, but as we get deeper in the season, those are the kinds of developmental moves we may see going forward. (No, I don’t think John Skelton is playing next week)."

Also from Urban: Not much changed for Arizona after Week 11.

More from Urban: Arizona's running game did have some success Sunday. Tim Hightower carried 12 times for 62 yards. Beanie Wells carried eight times for 39 yards.

More yet from Urban: Avoiding turnovers isn't enough for the Cardinals to win games. Whisenhunt: "This was a very disappointing day."