Arizona Cardinals vs. Atlanta Falcons: Live Score, Highlights and Analysis

Shaun Church@@NFLChurchContributor INovember 18, 2012

Falcons 23, Cardinals 19

Looking at the defensive statistics for the Arizona Cardinals—and at Matt Ryan's stat-line—you would think they pulled off a big upset.

But then you'd look at the offensive stats. In one of the worst performances this writer has ever seen, the Cardinals managed just seven first downs all game. Three of them came on the first drive of the second half—zero after that.

Cardinals quarterback John Skelton was benched in favor of rookie Ryan Lindley after the first quarter. Skelton completed 2-of-7 for six yards. Lindley completed 9-of-20 for 64 yards.

It is unknown why coach Ken Whisenhunt had a quick trigger with Skelton. After all, it is well known Skelton has a tendency to start slow and pick it up as the game goes on.

Ryan completed 28-of-46 for 301 yards, no touchdowns and a career-high five interceptions. That line will lose you a game every time out. Except, of course, when you're playing Arizona.

It looks like Arizona was credited with nine batted passes, leading to four of Ryan's interceptions. The run defense was good, holding Michael Turner and Jaquizz Rodgers to a combined 20 carries for 62 yards (3.1 yards per carry).

The Falcons are the first NFL team this season to nine wins as they improve to 9-1. The Cardinals drop a sixth straight game for a second consecutive year. They are now 4-6.