I’ve got to stop saying these Cards are going to get routed. I swear, it motivates them.
Well, maybe not the offense.
Skelton continued to make his case for the worse quarterback currently starting in the NFL, and Whisenhunt took notice and finally sat him in favor of Ryan Lindley. Unfortunately for the Cardinals he couldn’t get anything going either, and what was one of the best performances on defense that I’ve seen of late from any time was all for not.
In a game that had one quarterback posting five interceptions, oddly enough he was the best of three quarterbacks featured. That’s right folks. Matt Ryan threw five interceptions on the day, but still looked better than Lindley and Skelton. Skelton was pulled in the second quarter in favor of Lindley following a 2/7 run where he piled up a whopping six yards.
Ryan didn’t exactly get off to a good start either. He was picked off on his first pass attempt - it was a sign of things to come. By the end of the game he had racked up five interceptions, and put to rest, for at least a week, any talk of him being an elite quarterback.
Nevermind the quarterbacks though, this game was all about the defense. Arizona’s in particular. Dealing with poor field position, and missing two of their starters in pro-bowler Calais Campbell, and rising star O’Brien Schofield the Cardinals forced a total of six turnovers, and made the Falcons offense look awful. The Falcons defense was also solid. They scored on Lindley’s first possession as he coughed up a fumble on what looked like a pass at first; the Cardinals players all assumed the play was dead and Babineaux scooped the ball up for an easy touchdown. Hard to say the Falcons were much better on defense than solid though. Their competition wasn't exactly stiff and Stephens-Howlings ran all over them, racking up 127 yards on the day.
Just watch out if this Cardinals team ever gets a quarterback. This defense can play. If the offense could just play at half the level of the defense these Cardinals would be nearly unstoppable. But until then, this is what you’re stuck with. The Falcons tried their very best to lose this game, but the Cards seemed just as disinterested in winning, and lacked the offensive talent to keep pace. At least the Cardinals kept it close.