12-6-10: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings

Another bad loss, another Quarterback Controversy, and 4th Place in the terrible NFC West. Not fun to wake up with that on your mind.

It was nice to see Anquan Boldin have a big game last night though.

St. Louis Rams halt eight-game skid vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals had won the past eight meetings against St. Louis, but that streak died on the field Sunday pretty much along with Arizona's season. Rams players, though, were far more excited about holding a share of first place in the NFC West with four games to play than snapping a skid to a division opponent.

Derek Anderson struggles again in loss to St. Louis Rams
There was no smiling on the sideline this time. There was no postgame rant at the podium, either.

Cardinals fall to 3-9 with loss to St. Louis Rams
The Cardinals lost their seventh consecutive game Sunday, but that doesn't mean there wasn't anything new to see at University of Phoenix Stadium. The retractable roof was open for the first time this season, and all three quarterbacks played in the 19-6 loss to the Rams. Other than that, it was a typical game day for the Cardinals: poor quarterback play, missed opportunities and devoid of touchdowns.

Loss Becomes QB Audition
The storyline was set as soon as John Skelton entered the game Sunday, because at that point, there was little else to discuss. The Cardinals lost to the St. Louis Rams, 19-6, at University of Phoenix Stadium as the Cards went through all three quarterbacks on the roster, including the first appearance from Skelton, the much-talked-about fifth-round pick from Fordham.

Dockett, Defense Rebounds
Darnell Dockett walked to the sideline right before the final two-minute warning Sunday, exhausted and gasping for breath. He took a swig of water from head athletic trainer Tom Reed’s bottle, and could have come out of the game. Time was ticking down, and the outcome – eventually a 19-6 Rams’ win – was decided. But Dockett, still battling a shoulder problem, went back in. Dockett still isn’t healthy. He shook his head at such a suggestion afterward, but he played perhaps his best game of the season Sunday. The Cards’ defense played better than it had in a month. Yet Dockett didn’t really care to revel in anything positive.

Rams vs. Cardinals - Recap - December 5, 2010 - NFL - Football - SI.com
A great performance wasn't needed for the St. Louis Rams to end their eight-game losing streak to Arizona. Whether that's a reflection of how much the Rams have grown or how low the Cardinals have sunk is an open question.

Rapid Reaction: Rams 19, Cardinals 6 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
What it means: The Rams held onto first place in the NFC West by improving to 6-6. The Cardinals ensured they will finish with a losing record for the first time since Ken Whisenhunt became coach. The Rams have now won two in a row on the road after failing to win away from the Edward Jones Dome all season previously. The Rams won a game on the road comfortably despite not playing their best game. That stands as progress even though the Cardinals aren't a good measuring stick.

After another lifeless loss, Arizona Cardinals must turn to the future
The Cardinals are becoming pointless. It shows on the scoreboard, where the team hasn't posted a meaningful touchdown since the middle of November. It shows in the stadium, where empty seats are beginning to multiply like weeds.

Grit, resolve and another Rams road victory - NFC West Blog - ESPN
What else did we learn Sunday? Let's run through the list:

Cardinals may have to start John Skelton next week | ProFootballTalk
Cardinals fans have wanted to see what rookie quarterback John Skelton (from Fordham) can do this season as a starter. They may get their wish after Derek Anderson and Max Hall left Sunday’s loss to the Rams. Hall suffered a dislocated non-throwing shoulder, which could knock him out for a few weeks, if not the season. Anderson may have suffered a concussion.

Silver linings: Cardinals vs. Rams - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The facts: The Cardinals fell to 3-9 with a 19-6 home defeat to the St. Louis Rams in Week 13.

Kurt Warner on the Cardinals and the Rams - Fox Sports AZ

In the Red Zone with Ken Whisenhunt - STL Review
Coach Whisenhunt reviews the Cardinals loss against the Rams with Doug and Wolf on Sports 620 KTAR

Video Gallery
All three QB's see action in loss to Rams

Video Gallery
Cardinals postgame press conference

Video Gallery
Cards fall to Rams 19-6

NFL Videos: GameDay: Rams vs. Cardinals highlights
Highlights of the Rams' 19-6 win vs. the Arizona Cardinals. Watch NFL GameDay Final Sundays at midnight ET on NFL Network.

NFL Videos: Milestone: Fitzgerald ties franchise record
Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald tied a franchise record (A. Boldin) in receptions with his 586th career grab Sunday against the Rams.

Hot shooting from Hakim Warrick, Steve Nash leads Phoenix Suns past Washington Wizards
A healthy Steve Nash makes for a healthy Phoenix Suns team. Since Nash returned from a groin strain, and the Suns are averaging 117.7 points over seven games after piling on a 125-108 victory Sunday at US Airways Center against a Washington Wizards team that is a jalopy on the road.

Phoenix Coyotes shut out Anaheim Ducks 3-0 on the road
Ilya Bryzgalov played a supporting role in Anaheim behind Jean-Sebastien Giguere for four full seasons, waiting for the chance to show he could be the main man -- for them or another club. Now he's filling that role for the Phoenix Coyotes. Bryzgalov shut out his former team for the third time, Taylor Pyatt scored on a deflection, and Shane Doan connected during a power play to lead the Coyotes to a 3-0 victory on Sunday night.

Cardinals have gone full circle
The Cardinals have been resourceful this season. Nearly each week, they’ve found news ways to implode, whether through inept quarterback play, the lack of a running game, turnovers, blown assignments, bad play calls, mental errors or a complete defensive meltdown. Sunday against the St. Louis Rams, Arizona ran out of storylines, so it decided to loop back to the beginning – the dark root of this pathetic 3-9 campaign.

KTAR.com - Burns: Consternation and confusion at quarterback
The Cardinals dropped their seventh game in a row, falling to the St. Louis Rams 19-6. The sequence that could be used as a season-in-review-video came in the third quarter. After a Kerry Rhodes interception, the offense went three and out, punted and the Rams promptly scored a touchdown after an 85 yard drive. That folks is everything you need to know about the 2010 Cardinals.

KTAR.com - A season of change may continue for Cardinals
Change is the reason why the Arizona Cardinals, the two-time NFC West champions, are 3-9 and struggling to stay relevant in a weak division. Change at quarterback, receiver, defensive back and linebacker has left the team as a shell of the squad that was competing for playoff spots and Super Bowls. But now, having lost their seventh-consecutive game, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt says more change is needed for the Cardinals to get out of their funk.

Rams and Seahawks start to separate in NFC West | ProFootballTalk
Well, at least we know there won’t be a 6-10 winner of the NFC West. The Rams and Seahawks both won on Sunday to move to 6-6, making it more likely one of them will get to eight wins by season’s end. It’s also looking increasingly likely that the Rams’ trip to Seattle in Week 17 will decide the division. (San Francisco is now 4-8 after losing in Green Bay.)

Rams aftermath
Less than a week ago coach Ken Whisenhunt was saying John Skelton probably wasn’t going to play this season barring an injury. Then Max Hall got hurt. And Skelton got to play Sunday. So now we see if Skelton gets to play. He looked good on those first couple of throws – darts to Steve Breaston and then Larry Fitzgerald – and that led the crowd to go crazy. You would have thought the Cards had traded for Tom Brady at that moment, but it showed how much the fans are starved for offensive success. Because Max Hall was sick Friday last week, Skelton actually got some first-team reps – eight in fact. That is the entirety of Skelton’s first-team reps this season. Then he had to go out and perform with them.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Post-game spread
On Friday, coach Ken Whisenhunt told reporters that his main goal in the last five games was to win, not evaluate young players. So what happens Sunday? His two rookie quarterbacks, Max Hall and John Skelton, saw significant time. Outside linebacker O' Brien Schofield, a fourth-round pick, rotated at Clark Haggans spot, and saw some duty in sub packages as a down rusher. Whisenhunt might not want to look at young players in the final five weeks, but he might have to.

Arizona Cardinals-St. Louis Rams play of the game
Arizona Cardinals-St. Louis Rams play of the game, The Cardinals trailed 9-6. They had the ball on the Rams' 46-yard line. It was 1st and 10 with 13:23 remaining in the third quarter.

MJD making MVP case, improving Cutler, more analysis - Andrew Perloff - SI.com
Quick-hitting insight from today's 1 p.m. games ...

Video: Could this be Brett Favre's final play in the NFL? - Shutdown Corner - NFL  - Yahoo! Sports
Already this season, Brett Favre's streak of 297 consecutive games started has survived a 3-7 start, his NFL-leading 18 interceptions and an embarrassing, mid-season coaching change. It may not survive this. The 41-year old quarterback suffered a vicious blindside hit on the Minnesota Vikings' first drive on Sunday which knocked him out of the game. Favre was replaced by Tarvaris Jackson, who went on to lead the team to a convincing 38-14 victory over the Buffalo Bills.

Surprising Jaguars, tumbling Titans, more Snaps - Don Banks - SI.com
Musings, observations and the occasional Week 13 insight as we await the Steelers-Ravens bi-annual bare-knuckle slugfest in the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium Sunday night....

2011 NFL Draft order: Where they stand - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The chart shows which NFL teams would hold the top 10 spots in the 2011 NFL draft if the season were over and we factored full-season strength of schedule into the equation. The Arizona Cardinals would hold the fifth pick. The San Francisco 49ers would hold the seventh pick.

Week 13's five most valuable players - Shutdown Corner - NFL  - Yahoo! Sports
Comprehensive National Football League news, scores, standings, fantasy games, rumors, and more

Week 13's five least valuable players - Shutdown Corner - NFL  - Yahoo! Sports
Comprehensive National Football League news, scores, standings, fantasy games, rumors, and more

NFL.com news: Once the solution, Manning now part of the Colts' problems
Dwight Freeney said all the right things in front of the cameras and tape recorders following Sunday's 38-35 overtime loss to Dallas. When the media gathering had walked away, the Colts defensive end looked at me and said, "The breaks used to go our way. That's not happening this year." When is the last time we've heard anyone associated with the Colts -- or anyone speaking about Indianapolis -- mention "breaks" or good fortune (with the exception of when the Patriots went for it on the infamous fourth-down play last season)?

Week 13 early game quick slants | ProFootballTalk
While we marvel how the Bengals can create newly painful ways to torture their fans, here are your early game quick slants:

Week 13 Monday 10-pack | ProFootballTalk
As the 2010 NFL season moves toward its conclusion, there’s no talk of teams taking it easy down the stretch. And for good reason. The NFL’s top teams are bunched up so tightly that nearly every game has playoff implications. For more, we give you our weekly look at the week that was, in 10 takes.

Don Meredith, former Cowboy, MNF broadcaster, dead at 72 - NFL - SI.com
Don Meredith, one of the most recognizable figures of the early Dallas Cowboys and an original member of ABC's "Monday Night Football" broadcast team, died Sunday. He was 72.

NFL.com news: Cowboys WR Bryant done for season with fractured ankle
The oft-electrifying rookie season for Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant has come to an abrupt end. That according to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who said Bryant is out for the rest of the season with a fractured right ankle.

NFL.com news: Frazier: Favre sprained shoulder, will start next game if OK
Brett Favre has become something of a medical expert through the years, a quarterback who has minored in pain management as he has put together a streak of consecutive starts that stands among the most impressive records in all of sports. Yet even a 41-year-old who has played 20 seasons in the league still can learn something new, and Favre is now faced with a pain and an injury that he's never felt before.

Ravens-Steelers lives up to hype; Maurice Jones-Drew MVP talk - Peter King - SI.com
Four weeks to go in the regular season ... 29 days left, 37 division games to play (including tonight's Armageddon Bowl in Foxboro) ... three divisions tied at the top ... four divisions with a one-game lead at the top ... and, as we all predicted, the Kansas City Chiefs are the lone division leader with breathing room. Headlines from Week 13 in the league where they play for pay:

49ers vs. Packers - Recap - December 5, 2010 - NFL - Football - SI.com
Donald Driver woke up with a case of food poisoning on Sunday morning, blaming it on a bad batch of spicy chicken wings. Then he gave the San Francisco 49ers' defense a play that was difficult to digest.

Panthers vs. Seahawks - Recap - December 5, 2010 - NFL - Football - SI.com
Trying to describe this comeback befuddled even Pete Carroll. Football coaches don't use "mystical" to explain success very often. "We haven't been feeling right about what we're capable of doing," Carroll said. "All week, last night, pregame and then halftime it finally just jumped. I don't know. It's a little bit mystical there. I don't know what it was. It just happened." And it happened just in time for Seattle to avoid an embarrassing and costly loss to the worst team in the NFL.

Browns vs. Dolphins - Recap - December 5, 2010 - NFL - Football - SI.com
As the Cleveland Browns ran down the clock to set up their winning field goal, Dolphins fans streamed for the exits, pausing only long enough to join one last chorus of boos. The jeers came often Sunday for the Dolphins. They managed to look even more inept than the hapless Browns, who stumbled to a 13-10 win. As Miami and Cleveland traded punts and mistakes, the question was which team would find a way to lose, and a last-minute Dolphins turnover gave the Browns the win.

Broncos vs. Chiefs - Recap - December 5, 2010 - NFL - Football - SI.com
Make no mistake about it: the Kansas City Chiefs were out to avenge a 20-point loss to the Denver Broncos three weeks ago. None of the Chiefs said so during the week leading up to Sunday's rematch, but after their ragged 10-6 win over the Broncos, there was no denying the game was extra special.

Bills vs. Vikings - Recap - December 5, 2010 - NFL - Football - SI.com
Brett Favre 's consecutive games played streak could be in trouble again, with his unparalleled 20-year career probably down to the final four weeks. The NFL's all-time iron man sprained his throwing shoulder severely enough Sunday that he didn't even try to talk his way back into the game. Still, at age 41 with Minnesota essentially out of playoff contention, Favre wasn't ready to declare himself done for good. The Vikings, with new life under interim coach Leslie Frazier, haven't conceded yet either.

Bears vs. Lions - Recap - December 5, 2010 - NFL - Football - SI.com
The Chicago Bears made some breaks and might've gotten one in a win over the Detroit Lions . Again. Jay Cutler threw a go-ahead touchdown pass to Brandon Manumaleuna one play after a questionable call midway through the fourth quarter, lifting the Bears to a 24-20 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Jaguars vs. Titans - Recap - December 5, 2010 - NFL - Football - SI.com
Maurice Jones-Drew and the Jacksonville Jaguars are having fun trying to run their way to an AFC South title. Jones-Drew turned in the NFL's second-best rushing effort of the season with 186 yards on 31 carries, and Rashad Jennings and quarterback David Garrard each ran for a touchdown in the Jaguars' 17-6 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

Redskins vs. Giants - Recap - December 5, 2010 - NFL - Football - SI.com
The cold, the wind, a divisional opponent in December. It all added up to one thing for the New York Giants : run, run and run some more. With the wind whipping around the New Meadowlands Stadium, the Giants turned to their backfield tandem of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw . They turned Sunday's meeting with the Washington Redskins into a rout, rushing for all four touchdowns and 200 yards in a 31-7 victory.

Saints vs. Bengals - Recap - December 5, 2010 - NFL - Football - SI.com
Drew Brees isn't just a Super Bowl MVP. He's also a convincing actor with the game on the line. Brees passed Archie Manning as the Saints' all-time leading passer Sunday, then rallied New Orleans to its fifth straight win, 34-30 over the Cincinnati Bengals , with a little impromptu at the line of scrimmage in the final minute. Sold it pretty well, too.

Falcons vs. Buccaneers - Recap - December 5, 2010 - NFL - Football - SI.com
Matt Ryan played fairly ordinary before Matty Ice came through again for the Atlanta Falcons .

Raiders vs. Chargers - Recap - December 5, 2010 - NFL - Football - SI.com
Not even Norvstradamus could have seen this coming. With four straight wins, the San Diego Chargers seemed poised for another strong dash to the finish line under Norv Turner. Their offense had been churning and their defense was swarming. With two straight losses, the Oakland Raiders appeared headed back toward oblivion, where they've been since getting humiliated by Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl here in January 2003.

Cowboys vs. Colts - Recap - December 5, 2010 - NFL - Football - SI.com
Suddenly, Peyton Manning is getting it all wrong. Miscommunications. Errant throws. Poor decisions.

Steelers vs. Ravens - Recap - December 5, 2010 - NFL - Football - SI.com
The Baltimore Ravens have been beaten so many times by Troy Polamalu and Ben Roethlisberger , they should have seen it coming. And yet, it happened again.

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