This week officially marks the midpoint of the NFL season.
Some teams have their destinies sealed already, both good and bad. It's now time in the season to look back at how each team has performed and predict how it will perform in the coming weeks.
In this installment, I'll take a look at the team whose homeland is the Grand Canyon State. Larry Fitzgerald and newcomer Kevin Kolb were expected to do big things offensively for the Arizona Cardinals, but have they lived up to said expectation?
Read on, and I'll inform you of everything Arizona Cardinals.
Yesterday's disappointing 30-27 loss to the Baltimore Ravens ultimately has continued the tune of the Arizona Cardinals' 2011 orchestra. The team is in the middle of the pack statistically, but it still has won just one contest.
I mean, the Cards are still averaging better than 20 points per game, but they can't close out a game to save their lives.
Taking a look at quarterback and headmaster Kevin Kolb's statistics, it's hard to really say anything other than "eh." Eight touchdowns and eight picks after seven games isn't exactly something to call home about. The Victoria, Texas native's 56 percent completion rate is dismal, and his quarterback rating hasn't topped 90 (which is considered slightly above average by today's lofty standards) in a game since Week 2.
It's hard to take a team too seriously when its biggest blowout loss is to the mediocre Minnesota Vikings. The division title is pretty much out the window, and it's safe to call this year two of the rebuilding experiment for Ken Whisenhunt's students, especially considering Kolb's turf toe injury (as of now, there is no word on whether he'll suit up next week against the 1-6 St. Louis Rams).
To say it in the nicest way possible, Charlie Sheen isn't all that impressed with the Arizona Cardinals.
Declaring someone other than Larry Fitzgerald as the Cardinals' most valuable player is practically sacrilege in Arizona (and actually for me too, since he hails from a nearby Minneapolis suburb).
Fitz has put the team on his back in Greg Jennings fashion thus far in the 2011 season. He already has caught 34 passes for a marvelous 603 yards. Although he has just a pair of scores to go along with it, Fitzgerald has caught at least three passes and had 60 receiving yards in each game this year.
There's little reason to doubt that Larry should add his sixth Pro Bowl and third All-Pro selections after this season. Simply put, he's the fire to the offense, even if Beanie Wells racks up the scores.
Wells is the runner-up here, if only for the fact that he scores in bunches and has already rushed for over 500 yards on the season.
Here's a stat that needs attention: Linebacker Paris Lenon, the Cardinals' leading tackler, has only 42 tackles and is 58th in the entire league. After Lenon in Arizona is A.J. Jefferson, who has 38 tackles and is tied for 74th in the category.
Defensive end Calais Campbell leads the crew with just three sacks, and Richard Marshall is the only Cardinal to pick off more than one pass this season.
To be frank, the defense needs work in just about every aspect. There are no outstanding starters (although the D-line has done all right against the run) and perhaps no Pro Bowlers. You know it's a bad sign when Cam Newton tosses for more than 400 yards against you in his first professional game. The team is 30th in pass defense.
When it comes to the other side of the ball, Kevin Kolb has been ridiculed by fantasy owners and sportswriters alike. The word that gets tossed around the most with the 27-year-old is "potential." Ever since he came out of Houston four years ago, he's never gotten a solid shot to perform prior to this season. This is his time, and this is his team. He better make the most out of it.
The last thing noteworthy enough to mention: The Cards simply need to finish ballgames. The team already has four-, three- (twice) and one-point losses this season. They led by a 24-6 margin at intermission in Baltimore yesterday and couldn't finish the job. They led by 10 with five minutes against the Giants and lost. They led the Seahawks at half before being shut out in the second half, a period where Kolb went a dismal 11-of-22 with 113 yards and two interceptions.
This team has a lot of work to do if it plans on winning in the near future.
Week 9 vs. St. Louis Rams: Win
Week 10 at Philadelphia Eagles: Loss
Week 11 at San Francisco 49ers: Loss
Week 12 at St. Louis Rams: Loss
Week 13 vs. Dallas Cowboys: Loss
Week 14 vs. San Francisco 49ers: Loss
Week 15 vs. Cleveland Browns: Loss
Week 16 at Cincinnati Bengals: Loss
Week 17 vs. Seattle Seahawks: Win
Final record: 3-13, fourth in NFC West
Up next in the series: Atlanta Falcons
Follow me on Twitter @JosephFafinski if you have any additional thoughts, suggestions or comments. My favorite thing in the world is discussing sports, after all.