The Arizona Cardinals topped themselves on Sunday. Not even I thought they could at this point. I was wrong. This was not a good thing either. After a couple of weeks of offensive futility, the Cards were even worse on Sunday in a offensive circus of a game for both teams in a 7-6 loss to the New York Jets.
I was half-way sarcastic when I predicted the Cards would lose 5-3. I didn’t realize how close to prophecy I would be on Sunday. Both teams were absolutely horrendous on offense. The difference on Sunday was that the Jets were able to run the ball at times and that gave them their one scoring drive of the day.
That Jets scoring drive was led by backup quarterback Greg McElroy. He was in because the Jets yanked starter Mark Sanchez after three interceptions and ineptitude. Tim Tebow was inactive with a rib injury.
The real ineptitude though was on the Cards offense. Rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley went 10-31 for 72 yards and an interception. The astounding stat of the day? They went 0-15 on third down. That’s not a misprint, 0-15. Pathetic.
Not only was Lindley inept, so was the running game. Running back Beanie Wells was awful. He rushed 15 times for 22 yards against a subpar rushing defense. The best run of the day was on a fake punt by Rashad Johnson. He ran 40 yards, which set up the Cards for their end of the first-half field goal. If you throw out the fake punt run by Johnson, the Cards had less than 100 yards of total offense on Sunday. That is just awful. Insert your own adjective. There was no sugar coating this one.
The question now is what now? Clearly the Cards are sticking with Lindley. Today proved the Cards no longer are interested in John Skelton. For as futile as the offense was today, you wouldn’t have thought Cards coach Ken Whisenhunt would have replaced Lindley with someone who could at least run a pro offense. Sure, Skelton is awful too, something he proved two weeks ago, however Lindley was out there trying to set futility records. He is the lesser of two evils. Unfortunately for quarterback Kevin Kolb too is that now that the Cards are pretty much finished, there is no reason to risk him to further injury by playing him. It’s Lindley the rest of the way unless he gets injured.
As for the Cardinals defense, it was another lights out performance. They got four Jets turnovers. Three points after turnovers today. This is after getting only 13 points off of six turnovers two weeks ago in Atlanta. Their great performance over most of this season will unfortunately count for nothing. Most days, you hold the Jets to seven points at home, you are a winner. However, today was not most days. It was an unusually bad day for a usually bad offense.