The Arizona Cardinals have lost four games in a row after winning their first four games, and what looked like a promising season in the desert only a few weeks ago, now appears to be spiraling out of control.
The reasons for this tailspin are as obvious as they are glaring. The Cardinals managed only seven rushing yards in their 24-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers Monday night, and eight games into the season, the Redbirds have allowed an eye-popping 39 sacks.
In other words, the offensive line is, well, offensive.
That hasn't gone unnoticed in the Valley of the Sun, and as center Lyle Sendlein recently told the Associated Press via ESPN, the unit is aware that their level of play desperately needs to improve:
Times are bad right now. The only way to get out of that is to win games. You do that by going to work Monday through Saturday. ... Like coach told us after the game, we have to get tougher and more physical and get after them that way because at this point we aren't doing a whole bunch of things successfully. We just have to start punching people in the mouth.
However, the simple fact is that Arizona's offensive line woes are more about personnel issues than effort ones, and while acquiring offensive line help via a trade is usually next to impossible in the NFL, it appears that the Cardinals just might be in luck.
According to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, the Cardinals have expressed some interest in acquiring veteran offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie of the Baltimore Ravens. The 33-year-old, who started all 16 games for the Ravens a year ago, lost his starting job to rookie Kelechi Osemele, and while McKinnie isn't the Pro Bowl player he was several years ago, he's still a capable and durable player.
And oh my goodness could the Cardinals use one of those on the offensive front.
According to Pro Football Focus (via King), starting tackles Bobby Massie and D'Anthony Batiste have combined to allow 25 quarterback sacks and 74 hurries so far this season.
To say that that is terrible is an affront to terrible-ness.
King doesn't indicate whether the Ravens have expressed any interest in unloading McKinnie, and therein could lie the rub. As the Cardinals' offensive line problems have aptly demonstrated this year, depth up front on offense is worth its weight in gold, and Baltimore may be unwilling to sacrifice any of theirs.
With that said though, if there's any way that the Arizona Cardinals can swing a deal for McKinnie without giving up the farm, it's a deal they have to make.
It's either that or get Ryan Lindley ready to start at quarterback, because given the way that the Cardinals are pass-protecting (or not) John Skelton is going to end up in the same place as Kevin Kolb (on the injured list), and the Cardinals' season is going to keep circling the drain.
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