Last week: 23 (-2)
I wish Dennis Green was still the Cardinals’ coach. Then he could shout “we are who they thought we were!” I never believed in them. They’ve never been ranked higher than 15th in these Power Rankings, even when they were 4-0. This is what I said about the Cardinals after their 3-0 start. “Almost every year, there’s a team that gets off to a good start and then fades away and misses the playoffs and makes their believers look dumb (“This Ryan Fitzpatrick is the real deal.” “Rex Grossman is a legitimate franchise quarterback.”).
Winning 3 in a row at any point in a season isn’t that impressive, but when teams do it to start the season, it’s much more noticeable and you get idiots like Michael Silver putting them first in his Power Rankings (Really? Kevin Kolb is going to win the Super Bowl?). This is essentially the same team that finished last year 8-8 and I expect them to finish somewhere around there this year. Bettors should ride the correction.” They haven’t covered since and have lost 4 straight.
Now with Kolb out, John Skelton is actually a downgrade, believe it or not, despite their records last season. Skelton was 6-2 in the 8 games he played the majority of the snaps, while Kolb was 2-6, but Skelton had the luxury of playing most of his games supported by better defensive play. In Skelton’s 8 games, the Cardinals allowed 19.0 points per game and in Kolb’s they allowed 24.5. Skelton was actually the inferior of the two quarterbacks last season. He led 100 drives last season and the Cardinals scored 16 touchdowns and 11 field goals (129 points, 1.29 points per drive) on those 100 drives. Kolb led 91 drives, leading to 20 touchdowns and 6 field goals (138 points, 1.52 points per drive).
Kolb also outplayed him statistically. He completed 146 of 253 (57.7%) for 1955 yards (7.7 YPA), 9 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. Skelton completed just 151 for 275 (54.9%) for 1913 yards (7.0 YPA), 11 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. This year, Skelton is completing 57.9% of his passes for 5.9 YPA, 1 touchdown, and 4 interceptions, while Kolb is completing 59.6% of his passes for an average of 6.4 YPA, 8 touchdowns, 3 interceptions. Until Kolb returns, this team is really going to struggle. Meanwhile, the offensive line is one of the worst I’ve ever seen and it might be the worst ever. They’re on pace to allow 89 sacks, which would shatter the NFL record of 76 set by the Texans in 2002.
C Lyle Sendlein: Did not allow a pressure on 60 pass block snaps, run blocked for 11 yards on 2 attempts
MLB Daryl Washington: 2 sacks on 7 blitzes, 4 solo tackles, 1 assist, 3 stops, was not thrown on
RE Calais Campbell: 1 sack and 1 quarterback hurry on 24 pass rush snaps, 5 solo tackles, 6 stops
RB LaRod Stephens-Howling: Rushed for 6 yards (9 after contact) on 8 carries, caught 3 passes for 32 yards on 4 attempts, allowed 1 sack and 1 quarterback hurry on 11 pass block snaps
LG Daryn Colledge: Allowed 1 quarterback hits and 3 quarterback hurries on 60 pass block snaps, 1 penalty
LT D’Anthony Baptiste: Allowed 2 sacks, 1 quarterback hit, and 2 quarterback hurries on 60 pass block snaps, 1 penalty, run blocked for 0 yards on 1 attempt
WR Larry Fitzgerald: Caught 5 passes for 52 yards on 11 attempts on 59 pass snaps, 4.6 YAC per catch, 1 drop, 1 interception when thrown to, 1 penalty
CB William Gay: Allowed 4 catches for 57 yards on 4 attempts, 4 solo tackles, 1 missed tackle, 1 penalty
CB Patrick Peterson: Allowed 5 catches for 54 yards and 2 touchdowns on 5 attempts, 3 solo tackles, 2 stops, 2 missed tackles