By the end of Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks, the Arizona Cardinals were losers of nine straight. After starting 4-0, this team has been on a slippery downhill slope ever since. Last Sunday against the New York Jets, they managed to go 0-15 on third down and garner a measly five first downs.
I know it sounds impossible, but Week 14 was worse for Ken Whisenhunt's Cardinals. They turned the ball over eight times (six times on offense, twice on special teams) and turned in their worst offensive showing of the season.
It's irrelevant to me that the Cards had 17 fewer yards of total offense last week—at least they scored six points. Averaging 2.7 yards per play and getting blown out 58-0 constitutes a whole team having its worst game of the season. As noted by ESPN Stats & Info:
The Cardinals' 58-0 loss to Seattle on Sunday was the largest margin of defeat in franchise history. Cardinals have been playing since 1920.
—ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 10, 2012
It has to be depressing to be a part of a club that suffered the largest defeat in franchise history. In a loss this big it's hard to pinpoint one specific culprit, yet there were two players who hurt the Cardinals more than anyone else, quarterback John Skelton and cornerback Patrick Peterson.
Skelton was back under center after the rookie Ryan Lindley failed to impress in three games of action. Lindley was only generating 9.6 points per game and was 6-of-40 on third-down conversions. So, it was easy to believe Skelton would be an instant upgrade both statistically and in experience.
Yet, I was totally blown away by how wrong I was. As poor as the quarterback situation is right now, it's not far fetched to believe Arizona will lose out the rest of the way. A 58-0 loss is bad enough in a divisional game, but there is no saving face when a team is staring down 12 consecutive losses.
For the people out there who say Bill Bidwill is too cheap, you may have a valid point. But I don't care how cheap someone is—there's no way Mr. Bidwill can keep head coach Ken Whisenhunt. Even if he wants to, there's no way he can possibly justify retaining him.
We've all heard of fans already choosing to not renew their season tickets next year because of the poor product on the field. If the owner believes in winning, he needs to explore every avenue and find someone who can work wonders with the league's worst offense.
Not to mention he needs to hire a coach who can actually evaluate talent at the quarterback position. Keep Ray Horton and the defense intact, but blow up this team offensively. Oh, on Whisenhunt's way out he should be sure to take general manager Rod Graves with him as well; he's just as much at fault.
Even after today's shellacking the Cards have the sixth-best defense in the NFL, so it wouldn't be fair to say they don't have some pieces in place. But when your offense is the lowest-scoring offense and they have the fewest yards in the NFL, wins will be hard to come by.
Heading into Week 15, Arizona returns home to take on the 4-9 Detroit Lions. Even though the Lions have the same record, we all know who is going to win this game come Dec. 16.
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