Around the NFC West: Cards flattened

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic says there's something not quite right about the Cardinals' offense. Boivin: "Let's not start addressing (Kurt) Warner's age against just yet. It was only six weeks ago that he completed 24 of 26 passes against Jacksonville. It was only three weeks ago when he put up his second of back-to-back 300-yard games. He still has it. But for his offense to regain its big-play threat, the deep passing game needs to return."

Also from Boivin: Julius Peppers' interception return for a touchdown was the key play Sunday.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals proved how quickly things can change in the NFL. Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett: "I don't think we got exposed. I think they just outplayed us, offense and defense. I'm just shocked that we lost, period. I don't care about no rushing yards. They could have had 1,000 rushing yards and we won. That would have been better for me." Carolina was much, much better than advertised.

Also from Somers: Anquan Boldin moved past Larry Centers for the Cardinals' all-time receptions lead. Also, rookie LaRod Stephens-Howling provided one of the few bright spots for Arizona.

More from Somers: The Cardinals' inability to strike downfield is forcing them to settle for longer drives, which are tougher to sustain.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Arizona allowed 270 yards rushing even though the Cardinals had to know what was coming.

Also from Urban: There seemed to be no panic in the Cardinals' locker room. Urban: "While it may be frustrating for (coach Ken) Whisenhunt and his players that they couldn’t avoid a stumble after the previous week, it’s also true this team has dealt with -- many times -- rebounding from a scenario just like this."

More from Urban: The Cardinals' previously tough third-down defense gave up five consecutive third-down conversions on the Panthers' opening drive.