The Arizona Cardinals are in a free fall now, having lost five straight games. Their report card is in for Week Nine of the NFL campaign, a 31-17 setback to the Green Bay Packers. Let's take a look:
Some good, some bad. John Skelton threw for 306 yards and was sacked just twice, a low total considering how bad Arizona's offensive line has been this season. He made a fine pass to Larry Fitzgerald for a 31-yard touchdown which drew the Cardinals within 24-14 in the third quarter. LaRod Stephens-Howling showed nice quickness getting to the edge to score on his one-yard gallop and finished with 51 yards. That's not great and the Red Birds still have one of the worst rushing attacks in the NFL.
Rookie Michael Floyd enjoyed his best day as a pro with five catches for 80 yards, including a 37-yard reception. Andre Roberts had another fine game with four receptions for 86 yards. He's a very underrated receiver and is having a terrific season.
The Cardinals D has played pretty well all season but it looks like they're wearing down. They need a break and the bye week is coming at the right time. The Packers have a high-powered offense but Arizona still allowed 31 points and sacked Aaron Rodgers just once. William Gay made a nice diving interception. The Packers rolled up 176 yards on the ground, a season high.
On a positive note, Rodgers completed just 14 of 30 passes. However, four of them went for touchdowns, including a 72-yard scoring strike to tight end Tom Crabtree. The Cardinals blew the coverage on that catch, Crabtree's only grab of the day.
Special Teams: C-
Patrick Peterson had a rough day returning punts. He fumbled in the second half and the Pack recovered the miscue. He has yet to return a punt for a TD this season after taking four to the house in 2011. It looks like he is pressing.
William Powell had a 31-yard kickoff return and Jay Feely made his only field goal attempt, a 20-yard chip shot. Punter Dave Zastudil had another solid effort with a 43.0 average, although he did shank one. He deserves a Pro Bowl berth at this point in the season.
Randall Cobb hurt the Cardinals returning kickoffs (a 30.0 average) and punts (a 15.3 average). He's turning into a special player.
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