Arizona Cardinals Lit Up by St. Louis Rams; Ryan Lindley Does Not Perform Miracles
Rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley's clearly not the Arizona Cardinals' quarterback messiah, as evidenced by the 31-17 loss to the St. Louis Rams in Glendale yesterday, and Lindley's four interceptions along the way.
Lindley threw just two touchdown passes yesterday, and both of them were to Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who ran back a pair of interceptions for TDs.
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Lindley -- who got his first game action last week after John Skelton was pulled in the second quarter for his bad performance -- did complete almost 60 percent of his passes yesterday, but it didn't end up meaning much.
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The Cardinals did score on their first drive of the game, as Lindley completed seven of eight passes, and Beanie Wells ran in the touchdown from one yard out.
Lindley would help the Rams even the score on the next drive, as his first pass attempt went the other way for six.
Lindley did start another good drive in the second quarter, as he completed all three passes on a Cardinals scoring drive -- to tight end Jeff King for 9 yards, tight end Rob Housler for 28 yards, and receiver Andre Roberts for 13 yards. Wells ran in from 12 yards out to put the Cards up 14-7.
The Cardinals next possession lasted just three plays, plus the punt, and the Cardinals defense didn't exactly look energized their next time out. Sam Bradford threw an 18-yard completion on third down, which was followed by Stephen Jackson runs of 4 yards, 7 yards, and 4 yards again. That touchdown drive was capped off by a 37-yard pass to Lance Kendricks to tie the game.
Lindley and the Cardinals got the ball back with less than two minutes before halftime, and Lindley did almost exactly what he was supposed to do. Six completed passes took the Cardinals from their own 23 to the Rams' 14, and Jay Feely hit the field goal to put the Cardinals up 17-14 at halftime.
The second half was, uh, not good.
On the Rams' first drive, Bradford hit Chris Givens for a 37-yard touchdown.
The Cardinals responded with Lindley throwing a pick.
The Rams missed their field goal attempt on their next drive, but the Cardinals responded with a three-and-out.
The Cards' defense held the Rams on their side of the field on the next drive, forcing a punt, but on the first play of the Cardinals' ensuing drive, Lindley threw his other TD pass to the rams.
The Cardinals would follow up that play, perhaps of course, with a three-and-out.
The Rams next drive -- three-and-out. Cardinals? Three-and-out.
The Cardinals' defense became obviously tired at this point, as Jackson and his backup, Daryl Richardson, started picking up a few more yards per carry as the clock ticked away in the fourth quarter.
The Cardinals ended up getting a stop, finally, while they were backed up to their own endzone, and Rams rookie Greg Zuerlein kicked the short field goal.
With about five minutes left, it was all up to Lindley to do...something.
He threw true to Roberts for 5 yards. Good to Housler for 7. Lindley hit William Powell for 5 yards, then Roberts again for 20. Lindley hit Michael Floyd for 15 yards, but missed the next two, and a four-yard pass to Powell set up a fourth down. That fourth-down pass intended for Larry Fitzgerald was intercepted.
Lindley did get one more chance to lead a Cardinals TD drive, but an 8-yard pass to Housler on fourth down -- which got Housler to the Rams' 3-yard-line -- was several feet short of a first down. The Rams sat on the ball to call it a day.
To Lindley's credit, he did exactly what Cardinals fans have been shouting since Kurt Warner left us all depressed: "JUST THROW THE FRIGGIN' BALL SOMEWHERE NEAR LARRY FITZGERALD."
Lindley tried to hit Fitzgerald 12 times in yesterday's game. Fitzgerald had three receptions. Several of those targets for Fitzgerald ended up being interceptions, too.
What's the future of the quarterback position for the Cardinals? Who knows, it's hard to see inside this bag.
After winning their first four games, the Cardinals have now lost six straight. Get well soon, Kevin Kolb.
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