In case anyone had already tuned to the more relevant game, Matt Leinart got some extended playing time against the Patriots and he wasn't terrible. Granted, the Patriots probably had some second string guys in there and they weren't as aggressive as they had been when the outcome was still in the air, but for what it was, he looked decent.
He played four series that produced four first downs and a long TD pass to Fitzgerald. He was also credited with two turnovers, and another fumble that was recovered by Hightower, but his intereception did bounce off the hands of Jerheme Urban.
Series #1 - Leinart had a really bad first series and it didn't help that the radio in his helmet was working. It looked like he was visually flustered by the issues with the radio, but he did scramble up the middle for eight yards to convert a 3rd-and-5 (just the second 3rd down conversion of the game). It was the Cardinals first, first down since early in the second quarter but he'd follow that up by fumbling the ball on the very next play resulting in a seven yard loss. The bad thing was that no one even touched him, he just lost his handle on the ball. An incomplete pass on second down would be followed by a rough sack on third down (by an untouched blitzer) that resulted in another fumble that was recovered by the Pats. Sure the blitzer got to Leinart in about half a second but he's still got to hold onto the ball. It was pretty obvious that his head was spinning like a top during this drive. Result of Drive: 1 first down, -6 yards, and a turnover.
Series #2 - Matty looks a little more comfortable and after two quick incompletions he hits Urban on a 28 yard completion to convert a 3rd-and-long. He'd add another incompletion before thowing to Urban again but the pass hit off of his hands and ended up being interecepted. It wasn't the greatest throw in the world but it did hit Urban squarely in the hands. Result of Drive:1 first drive, 28 yards and a turnover.
Series #3 - [Disclaimer - Fox had switched to another game by this point so I'm going strictly from play by play and what I've heard/read since, so if anyone saw the remaining series and had a different opinion of them please jump in and offer up some first hand accounts.] A Hightower run on first down nets three yards and the offense goes into no-huddle. Matt completes the next three passes that include a short pass the Hightower that he takes for 15 yards, a 13 yard completion to Fitzgerald and a short sideline route to Breaston that goes for six yards. His next two throws would go incomplete though and the Cardinals would punt. Result of Drive: 2 first downs, 37 yards and a punt.
Series #4 - On the first play of the drive Matt throws a short dump off to Tim Castille that loses two yards and he follows that up with a delay of game. Facing a 2nd-and-17 Leinart goes up top and hits Larry Fitzgerald in stride down the sideline for a 78 yard touchdown. Result of Drive: Touchdown, nuff said.
Tale of the tape: Leinart leads four series that result in two turnover, seven points and 130 yards. On any other day, that wouldn't be much to talk about but it ended up being the only points scored and 70% of the offense. So, did Leinart look decent or was any success that he had just a result of the Patriots already in the lockerroom trying to defrost? Did he help or hurt his case of being a NFL starter in the future with his performance?