East Rutherford, NJ- Sports can be a beautiful display of human skill and athleticism, but like any performance sports can be an eyesore if not executed right. There’s nothing fun about playing or watching such a fugly game such as the one played yesterday between Arizona and New York, but someone has to win a game even when both teams seem to be trying to lose. Unfortunately for Cardinals fans, the Jets played just a little less terrible and won, 7-6.
Any coach or player that is good enough to make it to the NFL can obviously perform at a high level, but yesterday’s game bombed worse than Brad Pitt’s newest movie. (Unlike the football game, most of us actually had expectations for “Killing Them Softly”.)
Before I lament this game any further I must be sure to give credit to the defenses on both teams. They both imposed their will on the opposing offense to turn the game into football’s version of a pitcher’s duel and nobody can fault them for that. Each defense also faced some of the worst performances by quarterbacks all season, it was a surprise only one was benched. The third stringer who came in for Mark Sanchez was Greg Mcelory, and he led the Jets on the only touchdown drive of the game at the end of the 3rd, with that touchdown being the go-ahead score.
Whether the ugliness of the game was due to defensive brilliance or each offense’s ineptitude isn’t much of a debate. Both teams are known to rely on their defense to keep them in games, but yesterday the Cardinals were 0-15 on 3rd downs, making their contributions virtually non-exsistent. Ryan Lindley went 10-31 for 72 yards and 1 interception and the offense rushed for 80 yards, with 40 of them coming off one run by Rashad Johnson. The Jets offense gave the ball to the Cardinals three times in the first half, yet zero touchdowns came of it.
The question is no longer if Ryan Lindley is ready or not, it’s why didn’t John Skelton play. I realize Skelton was benched for missing some easy, open throws, but Lindley’s throws yesterday made Skelton look like Aaron Rodgers. Lindley averaged 2.1 yards per passing attempt, a number no quarterback should put up. I don’t like disparaging professional athletes because they’re professionals and I couldn’t make it past high school, but that stat is pathetic by NFL standards. Larry Fitzgerald could act like Dwight Howard this offseason and no one would blame him.
If Whisenhunt doesn’t stop his experiment by next week the Cards may actually end the season with a 12-game losing streak. I don’t know if it’s something personal between him and Skelton, frankly I don’t care, but he should playing quarterback right now. That’s not even saying the offense would be decent if Whisenhunt returned to Skelton, but they probably would have won yesterday had he started. Every effort to salvage this corpse of an offense has proven to be futile and Arizona’s shot-callers, including Whisenhunt, can only blame themselves.
NBC Sports reported earlier today that Cardinals’ brass was discussing the future of defensive coordinator Ray Horton. Given Horton’s great job, one could easily speculate Arizona might be discussing the chance of Horton taking over for Whisenhunt at head coach. Most fans in the valley feel he deserves one more year, but losing streaks like this don’t happen without somebody getting fired and even taking a team like the Cardinals to the Super Bowl only holds so much clout. Arizona travels to Seattle to play a team that is undefeated at home, so expect to see loss number 9 next Sunday, nothing I have seen in the past three weeks should make me think otherwise.
About the Author
Written by Thomas Mitchell
Born & raised in Arizona, part of the MJ generation. Lifelong sports fanatic