Bad quarterback play and a couple of execution breakdowns by Larry Fitzgerald doom the Cardinals in their bid for a huge upset and a 5-5 record.
The Arizona Cardinals came into Atlanta as 10-point underdog and on a five-game losing streak. The defense did all it could to give the Atlanta Falcons their second straight loss, forcing six turnovers, including five interceptions from Matt Ryan, but the offense was unable to do anything with the opportunities and a late rushing touchdown by Michael Turner gave the Falcons a 23-19 win over the Cardinals, their sixth straight loss on the season.
Arizona jumped out to a 13-0 first quarter lead, but it wasn't because of the offense. Rashad Johnson, starting in place of Adrian Wilson at safety, picked off a pass from Ryan on the first play from scrimmage. Two plays later, LaRod Stephens-Howling scored to give Arizona 7-0 lead.
two more interceptions in the quarter led to two field goals to give them the 13-point advantage, but previous to the second field goal, John Skelton missed a wide open Larry Fitzgerald for a touchdown. That ended Skelton's day, who was yanked in favor of the rookie Ryan Lindley.
Lindley would fumble on a sack that Atlanta returned for a touchdown and Atlanta would tie the score at 13 during the second quarter.
Arizona got a field goal in the final minute of the half, but then allowed Atlanta to do the same before time expired.
The second half was more bad offensive play for Arizona. They would only score three more points, but that was not enough as the Falcons drove 70 yards for a Michael Turner touchdown to make it 23-19 with three minutes left.
Arizona had a chance to take the lead and Ryan Lindley threw a fourth down pass to Larry Fitzgerald that he caught but did not control as he fell down and rolled over out of bounds.
Atlanta then ran out the clock.
Arizona was 2/16 on third down. Skelton was 2/7 for six yards before being benched, while Lindley finished 9-20 for 64 yards. LaRod Stephens-Howling ran for 127 yards on 22 carries and a score, but 113 of those were in the first half.
Atlanta's Ryan was 28/46 for 301 yards, but did not throw for a touchdown and was picked off five times. Michael turner was limited to 46 yards on the ground.
Arizona falls to 4-6 and Atlanta improves to 9-1.
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