Cardinals vs. Jets: Arizona Manages to Find Some New All-Time Lows in Defeat
For all of you that missed the Cardinals vs. Jets matchup today at 1:00 P.M. ET, consider yourself lucky. I myself wasn't as fortunate; I saw all 60 minutes of the chaos. From Mark Sanchez's awful three-interception performance to Ryan Lindley's 10-of-31 day in his second-career start, it was a bad day to be a quarterback at MetLife Stadium.
Not only were there a total of five turnovers between both teams, but combined the Cardinals and Jets were 5-of-29 on third down. Arizona's offense alone was 0-15 on third-down conversions and had a total of five first downs by games end.
That's right, five first downs.
There's no question Ken Whisenhunt's offense has been struggling during the club's eight-game skid, but I think it's safe to say this team has hit an all new low. Since Ryan Lindley stepped in at quarterback during the second-quarter against Atlanta, the Cardinals offense hasn't been able to do much.
Arizona's Lindley lead offense is averaging 9.6 points per game, they are 6-of-40 on third-down attempts and have turned the ball over six times. All six turnovers can be credited to the rookie quarterback from San Diego State.
It's not fair to blame all of the Cardinals offensive problems on Lindley, but it is hard to come to any other conclusions other than he is the biggest culprit. The offensive line has gotten better in recent weeks and the defense is still doing the best job they can considering they receive almost no help from Mike Miller's offense.
However, the offensive line doesn't automatically get a free pass just because their pass protection has improved—they are still really bad in terms of run-blocking. As an offense, you know you have problems when you only outproduce safety Rashad Johnson by one-yard on the ground.
Johnson scampered for 40 yards rushing all by himself on the Cardinals fake punt attempt, yet Beanie Wells, William Powell and LaRod Stephens-Howling combined for 41 yards on 20 carries. Not to mention Arizona's backfield isn't helping their offensive line out either—they didn't force a single missed tackle today.
After eight straight losses, time is ticking on Coach Whisenhunt and his staff. This marks the second season in a row where Arizona has lost at least six games in a row at one point and 2012 will mark the fourth season in six years where the Cardinals will finish .500 or below.
According to Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com, the Cards have yet to make a decision on the team's quarterback situation heading into Week 14. Undoubtedly the offensive coaching staff wants to see what they have in Lindley, yet at the same time, the ultimate goal is to win football games, something they haven't been able to do since Week 4.
I never thought I would say this after some of his performances from last season, but Arizona needs Kevin Kolb to return in the worst way if they want to win a couple of games to close out the season.
Unfortunately, there's no telling if Kolb will return this week as the team heads to the Pacific Northwest.
The last time the Cardinals won at CenturyLink Field was 2009.
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