Around the NFC West: Cards appear done

The Arizona Cardinals were 3-3 at this point last season despite having Derek Anderson and two rookies as their quarterbacks.

They are 1-5 this season after investing millions in quarterback Kevin Kolb and a list of free agents featuring Stewart Bradley, Daryn Colledge and others.

Something isn't adding up. It's possible the damage done by the Cardinals' slide from 3-3 to 5-11 last season created a mindset that has carried over. It's obvious some of the new players, notably Kolb and Bradley, haven't been ready to contribute at a high level consistently through the first seven weeks.

Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic says 2011 is looking like a lost season for the Cardinals, noting that Kolb realizes success might not be right around the corner. Bickley: "When rookies such as Cam Newton and Andy Dalton are experiencing success, when Christian Ponder makes his first start and almost rallies the Vikings past unbeaten Green Bay, you expect more from a guy such as Kolb. It has been nearly three months since he became a member of the Cardinals. He's a bright guy and should not be progressing this slowly. ... It seems as if Kolb and the coaching staff are viewing the 2011 season as a prolonged training camp, a timetable that doesn't jibe with fans who expected a return to the playoffs." Noted: I suspect Kolb anticipated making a playoff run this season as well. It's impossible to think along those lines when a team loses five in a row to reach 1-5.

Kent Somers and Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic say the Cardinals are not sure how much time Beanie Wells might miss after the running back suffered a sprained right knee during the second quarter of the team's loss to Pittsburgh. Somers and McManaman: "Wells was effective in the first half, gaining 42 yards on 12 attempts, including one 15-yard gain. His replacement, Alfonso Smith, carried just five times for 17 yards in the second half."

Also from Somers: He does not expect the Cardinals to make a quarterback change this season. Also: "I'm not sure how Pittsburgh linebacker LaMarr Woodley came free and 'forced' Kolb to intentionally ground the ball for a safety. It appeared that right tackle Brandon Keith blocked the right person. Running back LaRod Stephens-Howling went to the left at the snap. Woodley came untouched from the right side. On some occasions, that's the quarterback's responsibility. He has to identify when there aren't enough blockers and the numbers don't match. After the game, Kolb said he would have to watch video to know. One thing is for sure, a quarterback can't retreat into his end zone and then throw to an area where there is no receiver. Or maybe another play should have been called, as many of you pointed out." Noted: The Steelers rushed five. The Cardinals had five offensive linemen available to block them, with Stephens-Howling lined up on the left side and releasing in that direction. If the team were aligned properly, Kolb would seemingly be responsible for Woodley. But in watching the play, he appears to have his eyes downfield after taking the snap. He appeared surprised to have Woodley in his face so quickly. Strange play.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says there was plenty of frustration for Arizona in this one. Urban: "The missed plays remained painful. Quarterback Kevin Kolb was intercepted on the game’s first possession and what looked like a miscommunication in coverage allowed Pittsburgh’s first touchdown pass. Kolb missed wide-open tight end Rob Housler down the seam for what should have been a TD for a second straight game, and the Cards -- even though they knew the Steelers (5-2) would throw deep to wide receiver Mike Wallace -- still were beat on a 95-yard touchdown pass."