Glendale, Az- As another drought continues, people get demoted, and John Skelton and Adrian Wilson are starting to fell the brunt of it. Skelton, who was benched in favor of rookie Ryan Lindley early in the 2nd quarter of last Sunday’s loss in Atlanta, failed to lead the Cards to victory for six straight games as a starter. Wilson, a perennial Pro-Bowler at strong safety, played in only 47 of 71 defensive snaps on Sunday, and Ken Whisenhunt seems to be sticking with the same strategy going forward.
“I thought the defensive schemed worked well,” Whisenhunt said when asked about Wilson’s sudden decline in playing time. Wilson’s not happy about it, but he’s still handling it like a professional and according to defensive coordinator Ray Horton, “He is still one of our leaders”.
So what does all of this change mean? With lack of a better term: desperation. Whisenhunt knows he can’t just roll with the status quo as a six-game losing streak shatters hope for a winning season. Ryan Lindley probably isn’t the answer this year, but John Skelton showed that he definitely wasn’t so Whisenhunt felt he had no other choice. He could’ve stuck with Skelton hoping for a turnaround but at this point he’s thinking about job security. If a young quarterback can come in, play well and get fans excited then Whisenhunt might be able to keep his job. Its a long shot that happens, and there’s been no reports of Whienshunt’s job being in jeopardy yet, but it’s just too easy to speculate.
The St. Louis Rams aren’t the 49ers, but they’re not the Saints on defense either. Lindley will have a few opportunities to make plays if he can take advantage, but I still see a long day ahead of him. St. Louis has very aggressive cornerbacks and Rams defensive end Chris Long will probably have a great game, as most above-average pass rushers do against one of the worst offensive lines in recent memory.
Beanie Wells is expected to play for the first time since week 3 after recovering from a “severe turf-toe injury”, although the running game hasn’t been the offense’s biggest problem of late. That’s not to say Arizona can’t wait to have him back, the last time Wells faced St. Louis he broke out for a Cardinals-record 228 rushing yards. If he can do half of that the Cardinals win this game, but that’s a lot to ask of a player fresh off injured-reserve.
Sam Bradford’s played well this year, but not off the charts. He owns an 83 QB rating (I still don’t know what that means exactly but just roll with it), but he has only gone over the 300-yard mark twice this year. The Rams have a steady, but not explosive offense and if Arizona can limit the big plays and 3rd down conversions then Arizona may be able to win this game with 13 points in a defensive struggle.
St. Louis was the first team to start the Cardinal’s six-game losing streak, so hopefully revenge is on the mind of every player suiting up. Don’t expect another five interceptions, but the defense will make enough stops to end the skid to get Lindley his first win, 16-13.
About the Author
Written by Thomas Mitchell
Born & raised in Arizona, part of the MJ generation. Lifelong sports fanatic