Considering how unlikely it was for the Cards to slip into the playoffs, I guess it shouldn’t be too big of headline that the Bengals dashed those hopes on Sunday. Even if Arizona were to win, Detroit handled the Chargers and would have eliminated the Cardinals anyways. Still, the loss snapped a 4 game winning streak and they will play their final game on Sunday against the Seahawks. A large reason for their struggles this year has been their record on the road. With this loss, they finished with a 2-6 record on the road. That doesn’t give much room for error at the home front.
Arizona didn’t show up to play in the first 3 quarters which put them in a 23-0 hole before the 4th quarter started. The Cardinals offense came alive in the 4th but it was a little too late. Skelton connected with Fitzgerald and Jeff King for scores, and a Feeley FG with a little over 3 minutes left made it a one score game. They were able to get the ball back with just under a minute left, but couldn’t drive down quick enough to tie the game.
Kevin Kolb missed the game once again, and seems a bit unlikely to make the start next week unless he is perfectly healthy. John Skelton had a similar line to what we have become a custom to. He threw for nearly 300 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. The 3 interceptions in the first half, and even was almost benched for Bartel. His big second half though salvaged much of his performance, but as long as he continues to throw more interceptions than touchdowns he won’t be considered a long term solution. Of course, Kevin Kolb hasn’t done much to warrant the big money contract he received earlier this year, so Skelton may get a decent look next year. With their current record, they will likely be out for most of the top quarterbacks in next years draft class.
Beanie Wells didn’t have a great game, but with his 53 yards, he eclipsed 1000 yards for the first time this season with 10 touchdowns to go with it. If Beanie can stay healthy, he has a future as a lead back for the Cards. Fitzgerald had another 100 yard receiving game and caught his 8th touchdown pass of the season. He has had yet another 1000 yard season (actually nearly 1300 thus far) despite the quarterback struggles.
The Cardinals finish off the season next week at home against the Seahawks. Both teams are 7-8, so at least one will finish with a .500 record. Last year remember, no teams from the NFC West finished with a record of .500 or above. This year at least two will. Neither have much to play for, so it will be interesting to see how this one plays out.