Thursday, January 05, 2012

Week 17 Ends On A High Note

Arizona finished the season at .500, beating the Seahawks 23-20. In overtime, naturally. That makes 4 OT victories in the last 9 games of the season. The Cardinals got 93 yards rushing from LaRod Stephens-Howling, in place of Beanie Wells, who didn't play for some reason. Which means Wells joins the ranks of Cards' running backs since '93 who topped 1,000 yards, but couldn't reach 1,100 (Ron Moore in '93, Garrison Hearst in '95, Adrian Murrell in '98).

The Seahawks had a better day rushing, getting a combined 154 yards on 26 carries from Marshawn Lynch and Leon Washington, with Washington having a 48 yard rushing TD. But the Cards sacked Tavaris Jackson 4 times, and picked him off once, and Skelton only threw one INT. And for once, the Cardinals didn't make a 4th quarter comeback, as they actually had a 10 point lead, and still had to win in OT.

I suppose losing would have helped the Cards' draft position, but I've seen them whiff on so many Top 10 picks that it doesn't bother me any. I'd rather have the win. For next year, offensive line would seem to be a major area of concern, and linebacker could probably use some more beefing up. They're starting to get some good players there, but they need more.

They'll have to figure out the QB thing as well. Skelton did improve on his completion percentage from last year, but only from 47 to 55 percent. He also was intercepted on over 5% of his pass attempts. On the other hand, Kolb gets sacked on over 10% of his dropbacks, and hasn't demonstrated he can stay upright for an entire season. It isn't as though his 9 TD - 8 INT, with a 58% completion percentage is the stuff legends are made of. At the end of the day though, he has the big contract, and the team can argue he didn't have much time to learn the offense last year, so I imagine the job is his to lose.

The person who really impresses me is Larry Fitzgerald. With the mediocre QBs he had to work with, he still had over 1,400 yards receiving. That's almost a third of the team's total passing yards. And only one drop in 150 targets, too. I bet one of the reasons for the few drops is that many of the ones that failed to be caught were too badly overthrown for even Fitzgerald to try and get a hand on them. Skelton does have a tendency to overthrow badly.