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The Arizona Cardinals did not produce much on offense this week. They managed only 229 yards of offense and about half of them came with the 49ers already up 23-0 and having the game well in hand. John Skelton struggled mightily and completed only one of every three passes he attempted.
Thus, you'd expect that Larry Fitzgerald wouldn't have a great afternoon. Indeed, Skelton only found Fitzgerald twice on the day, and one of those catches were for zero yards. Still, it managed to be serviceable when Fitzgerald logged the only touchdown in garbage time as Richard Bartel took over at quarterback, and he managed to slip between two Niners defenders into the Cardinals WR's hands. So if you had the Cardinals WR, it turned out to be an okay day, with three receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown.
Fitzgerald is still a must start regardless for the Cardinals because the QBs do continue to target him often.
For more on Fitzgerald and the Cardinals, check out Revenge of the Birds.
The Arizona Cardinals fell to 1-5 on the road on Sunday, dropping a decisive loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers dominated the first three quarters of play and the end result was a game that was not as close as the final 23-7 score would indicate.
Two general stats that tell much of the story are time of possession and turnovers. The Niners had control of the football for a staggering 44:16, whereas the Cardinals only held the ball for 15:44. Arizona also had five turnovers compared to San Francisco's one. The Cardinals were 1-for-9 on third downs, 0-for-2 on fourth down conversion attempts and only had 11 total first downs (three of which were first downs awarded on penalties).
Arizona defense wasn't able to get to quarterback Alex Smith very often, only registering one quarterback hit and no sacks.
On offense, it was a shaky day at best for Cardinals quarterback John Skelton. He was hit five times and sacked twice en route to compiling a line of 6-for-19 on passing attempts with a total of 99 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions. He ended up sporting an NFL rating of 10.5. Backup QB Richard Bartel fared much better, going 8-for-16 with 64 yards and a touchdown.
Running back Beanie Wells had 33 yards on eight carries, although Chester Taylor's one carry for 34 yards put him in first place for Arizona rushing yards for the day. On the receiving side, Andre Roberts topped receivers with 51 yards on three catches, while Early Doucet had 50 yards on six catches. The only Cardinals touchdown came on a 23 yard pass from Bartel to Larry Fitzgerald.
To keep up-to-date with all things Cardinals, please visit Revenge of the Birds.
The Arizona Cardinals were feeling pretty good about themselves after needing a blocked field goal to beat the Rams at home and a late touchdown drive to beat Michael Vick's broken ribs. Then they went to San Francisco all fired up to face a division rival, but any thoughts of progress were quickly eliminated.
John Skelton, who at one point was the subject of a quarterback controversy thanks to two "wins" in two starts in place of the injured Kevin Kolb, threw half as many of his completed passes to the other team. He went 6-19 with three horrible interceptions on very poorly thrown balls.
There's very little about this game on the offensive side of the ball that can be considered a positive other then the end to any discussion of Kevin Kolb not getting his job back once he's healthy. We can safely put that discussion to bed.
Defensively, the Cardinals played as well as could be expected. They blocked two field goals, recorded a pick in the red zone and at least in the first half forced the 49ers into three points instead of allowing seven on multiple occasions. But no defense can hold up when the offense can't sustain drives and turns the ball over five times (three Skelton interceptions, Wells fumble, Peterson fumble).
The Cardinals did show some fight in the fourth quarter after Chester Taylor broke off a 34-yard run and Bartel found Larry Fitzgerald for a 23-yard touchdown pass. Or maybe it's more correct to say, Bartel through a ball through the defenders hands and Fitzgerald some how managed to make an incredible catch.
The 49ers finished the game with 432 yards of total offense compared to just 229 for the Cardinals with 154 of that coming on fourth quarter "garbage" time drives. The Cardinals will come home and regroup ahead of their third-straight road game, this time in St. Louis against the Rams.
Things to watch coming out of this game are the status of starting NT Dan Williams who appeared to suffer a significant injury to his arm or elbow and Early Doucet who could receive a suspension for a punch that the officials on the field didn't see but was caught on camera.
For more on this game, visit Revenge of the Birds blog.
Arizona Cardinals starting nose tackle Dan Williams was taken off the field in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers with an apparent elbow injury. On the replay it appeared that Williams may have hyper-extended his left arm while trying to make a tackle. Teammate Stewart Bradley hit Williams extended arm with his helmet.
Williams left the field on a cart with his arm in an air-cast after what appeared to be a significant injury.
Williams was a first-round draft pick (26th overall) for the Cardinals in 2010 and has been slowly showing improvement as a space-eating run defender. Williams, according to coach Ken Whisenhunt, came to training camp overweight and out of shape and it wasn't until the season was well underway that he got back to where he needed to be.
Williams played his college ball at the University of Tennessee.
If he misses any time, and it's too soon to say if that will be the case, look for David Carter to step up. Carter, a sixth-round 2011 pick out of UCLA, has played well off the bench and brings more mobility to the position while Williams size is useful in occupying blockers and taking up space in the middle.
According to Ken Whisenhunt in his postgame press conference, Williams suffered a broken arm.
The Arizona Cardinals miraculously still in this football game. They blocked two field goals and saw the San Francisco 49ers miss another which helped negate two turnovers and very little offensive production. The defense certainly has done their part and then some to keep it a 9-0 game in favor of the eight-win 49ers.
John Skelon is 4-13 with 36 yards, one sack and one interception against the stingy defense of the Niners. Beanie Wells broke off a few decent runs early but has just 20 yards on just six carries at the half. The offense has been on the field for just 8:25, compared to 21:35 for the 49ers.
San Francisco hasn't punted the ball once but they also haven't been able to convert red zone trips into touchdowns. That, combined with three missed FG chances are why the Cardinals are even in this game.
That will change quickly, however, if Skelton and the Cardinals offense can't put some drives together and keep their defense off their field.
Playing on a muddy field after many hours of rain, the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers got off to a crazy start to their NFC West Division rival game. Before half of the first quarter was over we saw John Skelton throw an interception and the the Calais Campbell block his third field goal (video here) of the season and fifth of his career. 49ers kicker David Akers then missed a 49-yard field goal after picking Skelton.
Skelton, getting his third start in place of the injured Kevin Kolb, looked shaky to say the least. He started the game 0-5 with one interception against the highly regarded Niner defense.
The Cardinals defense continues to show the improvement we've seen over the past few weeks but did allow 59-yard drive to within a few yards of the end zone.
Arizona was able to hold and force a field goal. That sequence repeated itself again after Beanie Wells fumbled the ball and gave the 49ers possession starting at the Arizona 26. The defense held again and forced a field goal to give the home team a 6-0 lead.
After one quarter of play, Skelton is 1-6 for zero yards with an interception. Beanie Wells has 19 yards on four carries with a fumble, his third on the season. The Cardinals have no first downs and only 15 yards offense. The Niners have 125 yards with 91 of that through the air.
The two turnovers and almost no offense, the Cardinals are lucky to only be down 6-0.
As the Arizona Cardinals get ready to take on the San Francisco 49ers at soggy Candlestick Park, they will be without their starting quarterback once again as Kevin Kolb will sit and John Skelton will get his third of the season start for Arizona, along with a few other key inactives as well.
Heap (hamstring) has played in just four games this season and was significantly limited in a fifth. He was said by coach Ken Whisenhunt to be "very close" to being active against the Baltimore Ravens three weeks ago and then hardly played at all the following week against the Rams. He missed the Eagles game and now won't be available again versus the 49ers.
Porter (knee) and Rhodes (foot) were both expected to miss this game although there was some hope that Housler (groin) would be ready. The Cardinals passing attack certainly is missing key weapons with Heap and Housler both sidelined.
As for the 49ers both Tarell Brown and Shawntae Spencer are active for San Francisco, though safety Madieu Williams and fullback Moran Norris will not be suiting up. Norris recently returned from a broken fibula, but was not healthy enough to play this week. Offensive lineman Daniel Kilgore and Mike Person are out as well.
For more on the Cardinals, head over to Revenge of the Birds.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had been waiting to have his breakout game all season until it finally arrived last Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, and will be looking to do the same this Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.
Fitz wound up with 7 catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns out in Philly last week, his best game thus far in 2011. Larry always seems to get up to play the 49ers, too hauling in 125 yards and a TD in their last meeting in January. But it's going to be a soggy one at Candlestick Park this afternoon, and the Niners defense really only has one devastating player to account for, and thats Fiz.
The Eagles secondary has been heralded as one of the better ones on paper, but in reality, the Niners secondary has been just as dominant. They currently are first in the league in pases defended, and Fitzgerald will definitely be seeing a few of those.
Our friends over at numberfire have Larry projected to earn 12.26 points with 5.32 receptions and 80.86 yards with 0.68 touchdowns meaning he could possibly score one but don't count on it. Hey, 12 poitns is 12 points, and I have a feeling he'll do better than that this afternoon, so make sure he's in your lineup if you got him.
The Arizona Cardinals are riding a two-game winning streak after victories against the St. Louis Rams and Philadelphia Eagles in consecutive weeks. The Cardinals face a tougher opponent this weekend- the 8-1 San Francisco 49ers- on the road in an NFC West match-up.
The game marks Arizona's third division game of the year and its first against the divison-leading 49ers. If the Cardinals want to have any chance of winning the division and preventing the 49ers from increasing their already-hefty lead, the Cardinals will need to pull of the upset on the road and record their first three-game winning streak of the season.
Following is information for Sunday's game against the 49ers:
Game Date/Time: Sunday, November 20; 2:05 p.m. MT
Location: Candlestick Park; San Francisco, California
Records: Cardinals (3-6); 49ers (8-1)
TV: FOX. Announcers: Thom Brennaman (play-by-play); Brian Billick (color analyst); Laura Okmin (sideline reporter)
Radio: Arizona Sports 620 AM. Announcers: Dave Pasch (play-by-play); Ron Wolfley (analyst); Paul Calvisi (sideline reporter)
Spanish Radio: KMIA 710 AM. Announcers: Gabriel Trujillo (play-by-play); Rolando Cantu (analyst)
Betting Line: According to OddsShark, the Cardinals are 10-point underdogs.
Arizona's injury report for Friday was unfortunately a long one, with nine players listed as questionable, two listed as probable, and two announced as out. The flock of questionable Cardinals includes starting quarterback Kevin Kolb, tight end Todd Heap, and running back Beanie Wells.
Linebacker Stewart Bradley and RB/KR LaRod Stephens-Howling both practiced fully on Friday and are expected to play. Below are the final injury reports for each team for this week's game. Give it a look.
OUT - LB Joey Porter (knee), S Kerry Rhodes (foot)
QUESTIONABLE - CB Michael Adams (hamstring), T Jeremy Bridges (back), TE Todd Heap (hamstring), TE Rob Housler (groin), T Brandon Keith (knee), QB Kevin Kolb (toe), LB Paris Lenon (groin), RB Anthony Sherman (ankle), RB Chris Wells (knee)
PROBABLE - LB Stewart Bradley (ribs), KR LaRod Stephens-Howling (shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE - CB Tarell Brown (knee), RB Frank Gore (knee), DT Ray McDonald (hamstring)
PROBABLE - LB Navorro Bowman (neck), WR Michael Crabtree (foot), CB Chris Culliver (shoulder), WR Braylon Edwards (knee), CB Shawntae Spencer (toe)
The Arizona Cardinals are coming off a big victory and know this weekend's matchup with the San Francisco 49ers is absolutely crucial if they want to make a push for the playoffs. This is a tall task for a banged up Cardinals team, seeing as the 49ers are one of the favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. If Arizona is able to rekindle some of their late-game magic from last week they'll have a chance, though the team cannot commit foolish penalties if they hope to win.
Here is Thursday's injury report from practice:
Limited participation in practice: CB Michael Adams (hamstring), LB Stewart Bradley (ribs), T Jeremy Bridges (back), TE Todd Heap (hamstring), TE Rob Housler (groin), T Brandon Keith (knee), QB Kevin Kolb (toe), LB Paris Lenon (groin), RB Anthony Sherman (ankle), KR LaRod Stephens-Howling (shoulder), RB Chris Wells (knee)
Full participation: CB Shawntae Spencer (toe)
The obvious concern for Arizona fans is the health of Chris 'Beanie' Wells. When healthy, he has been unstoppable in 2011 and would be a huge addition for Sunday's game. Check out SB Nation Arizona's update on Kevin Kolb here.
At this point Kevin Kolb is owned in 33 percent of the fantasy football team at Yahoo! and it's those folks who are probably most concerned about his status to start Sunday for the Arizona Cardinals. Locally, there's a lot of confidence in backup John Skelton even if he owned in just 6% of fantasy teams. Coach Ken Whisenhunt addressed both Thursday after practice.
"(Kolb's) making progress. He's still probably a little ways away from playing but he's going to keep pushing until he can get the range of motion and be able to plant and do the things he needs to do," Whisenhunt said.
That quote there combined with the fact that he's still not practicing with the team is enough to assume with a high degree of confidence that Kolb won't play against the 49ers. It's always possible they are sandbagging to throw off the opponent but that seems unlikely.
The injury is taking longer than Kolb expected to heal but according to Whisenhunt it's one of those things that you can't put a timetable on. The combination of the bone bruise and turf toe together has probably contributed to making it take longer.
As for John Skelton, Whisenhunt said he's still a young quarterback who makes frustrating mistakes but he's also shown something special, "What you like to see out of John is some of those plays in critical situations. He's been very good in the fourth quarter in the last two games when he needed to be. That's something that's a quality in quarterbacks that's special. You get excited about that."
Whisenhunt was asked if Skelton's fourth quarter success was a factor of him dealing well with pressure situations or was a matter of him improving as the game goes on and he gets more comfortable with the opposing defense.
"That's the 64 thousand dollar question," Whisenhunt answered. "You don't know what that quality is. He's obviously comfortable in those situations and he's made plays. Our job is to get him comfortable earlier in the game, not having to wait until the fourth quarter."
Todd Heap is reportedly frustrated as he fights his way back from the hamstring injury. His status for Sunday isn't known other than a "hope" that he gets better. Rookie TE Rob Housler (groin) did practice Thursday which is a positive sign.
Beanie Wells practiced on Thursday as well after sitting out Wednesday for "maintenance" on his knee. Whisenhunt said the knee experienced swelling after the long flights to and from Philadelphia. Sitting out Wednesday allowed the knee time to recover so he can be ready for Sunday.
"I respect Beanie, because this isn't easy and he's fighting through it. You know that we're going to have to manage it just he'll be able to go on Sunday but he's doing a good job of that," Whisenhunt said.
For more Cardinals talk, visit Revenge of the Birds.
The Arizona Cardinals still do not know who their starting quarterback will be on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. But John Skelton better be prepared to start this week when they get ready to take the field.
Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb continues to struggle to move on his foot, which means that he probably won't be ready to go this week. Kolb was listed as limited on Wednesday's injury report, indicating that he's definitely trying to practice and make his way back on the football field, but it doesn't look like he's totally all the way back. This will force Skelton back to action. Skelton has proven he can move the football down the field (even if the movement is inconsistent) and get the Cardinals into scoring position. Kolb might not provide a huge leap in talent regardless, so Skelton might be the best option this week until the starting Cardinals QB heals all the way back.
Here's a full list of Cardinals injuries.
DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE: TE Todd Heap (hamstring), TE Rob Housler (groin), LB Joey Porter (knee), S Kerry Rhodes (foot), RB Chris Wells (knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE: CB Michael Adams (hamstring), LB Stewart Bradley (ribs), T Brandon Keith (knee), QB Kevin Kolb (toe), LB Paris Lenon (groin), RB Anthony Sherman (ankle), KR LaRod Stephens-Howling (shoulder)
For more on the Cardinals, go to Revenge of the Birds.
Folks looking for some kind of big news on the Kevin Kolb injury front will have to keep on waiting. Kolb didn't fully practice on Wednesday although he did do some "football related activities" for the first time since injuring his right foot in Baltimore three weeks ago. Neither Kolb or his coach would say if he's going to be ready to play against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Kolb reported that his foot was getting better but is still sore. "It is frustrating, I didn't expect it to take this long," Kolb said. "I'm glad we are on a two-game winning streak during this time."
The Cardinals starting quarterback said he's moving gingerly and cautiously and is trying to get back into the flow of playing football.
"We have to make sure he can get through all the movements and be able to plant and throw as well as move out of the pocket if he needs to," coach Ken Whisenhunt said.
Kolb said that his backup, John Skelton, is playing great and doing a good job quickly bouncing back from mistakes. Skelton agreed when asked to grade his own performance.
Neither Kolb or Skelton had much time for any discussion about a possible controversy at the position. Kevin said the he always expects to compete for his job every week and Skelton said that all that matters is how the team does. Whisenhunt said that to the degree there is a problem, that it's a good problem to have and it's only a question because Skelton has done what's been expected of him.
If you are looking for a guess, I would say that Kolb will be held out of the game. Between Skelton playing well and the slow recovery Kolb seems to be having from a pretty tough injury, that seems to be the direction things are headed. Whisenhunt will almost certainly not make anything official until he absolutely has to on Sunday.
The Cardinals signed TE Steve Skelton to the practice squad so they would have another "big body" to simulate the 49ers two and three tight end formations. With Heap and Housler not able to practice, they wanted some help in the mean time and S. Skelton did well with the team during training camp.
For more on the Cardinals, visit Revenge of the Birds blog.
The team announced on Wednesday that they have signed tight end Steve Skelton to the practice squad, while releasing wide receiver Isaiah Williams in a corresponding roster move.
Skelton (6-5, 250) spent the preseason with the Cardinals after signing with the team as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Fordham this summer, though was released by the team back on September 2.
He started 11 games as a senior at Fordham last year, hauling in 42 receptions for 443 yards along with three touchdowns. Overall Skelton had 127 receptions for 1,313 yards (10.3 yard avg.) and 10 touchdowns in 40 games played in his collegiate career.
For more on the Cardinals, head over to Revenge of the Birds to get your fix.
The Arizona Cardinals will get a pretty plum announcing team this time around as the third highest Fox announcing team gets to call their game this week. Thom Brennaman and Brian Billick are showing up most likely to take a look at the San Francisco 49ers and their impressive 8-1 start.
The Cardinals are probably not expected to be much of a contest for the Niners, but divisional matchups can have surprising results. Teams are more familiar with each other, they know strengths and weaknesses of the teams they face better than others, and they can really provide their opponents with a real test. Arizona will need to do a lot to score the upset this weekend, but considering the Cardinals are coming off an impressive road victory, it isn't that far from impossible.
The Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzergerald wins the NFC Offensive Player of the Week Award. But what's odd about that?
According to reports, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb is doubtful to return this week against the San Francisco 49ers. He is dealing with ligament damage, a bone bruise and sprain in his foot, plus turf toe. In other words, he's injured.
On a postive note, another Arizona Cardinals quarterback, John Skelton, was nominated for the GMC "Never Say Never Moment Of The Week" for throwing the game-winning touchdown pass to wide receiver Early Doucet with under two minutes to play in the 21-17 comeback win over the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday.
The winner will be announed Friday during then NFL Network's Around The League Show and will remain on NFL.com.
Skelton completed 5 of 8 passes for 100 yards including a 37-yard completion to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to set up the play to Doucet.
The Arizona Cardinals have won two games in a row thanks in large part to the play of their defense. The defense has allowed one touchdown in two games and this past week shut down Philadelphia's offense. Next up for Arizona is a clash with division foe San Francisco
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