The Arizona Cardinals are so bad, it's almost unbelievable.
The Cardinals lost yesterday to the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium by a score of 7-6, but the Cardinals didn't end up losing to Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez. They didn't lose to God's favorite son, Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow. They gave up the game-winning touchdown -- the game's only touchdown -- to Greg friggin' McElroy.
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Yes, former Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Greg McElroy threw the first passes of his NFL career yesterday -- coming in to cheers as Jets fans finally got to see Sanchez pulled from the game -- and McElroy sure looked a whole lot better than another third-string quarterback.
McElroy game in the game in the third quarter after Sanchez was benched -- Sanchez completed just less than 50 percent of his passes, and threw three interceptions -- and McElroy ended up completing five of his seven pass attempts, with one of those completions being a touchdown.
On the other side, the Cardinals' attempt at throwing a third-stringer into the middle of an NFL season continued to go not-awesomely.
Rookie Ryan Lindley was totally worse yesterday than he was in his debut.
Lindley completed 10 of his 31 pass attempts.
Four of those completions were short passes (a long of 5 yards) to tight end Rob Housler.
Lindley's total quarterback rating (the ESPN version) was 3. Three-point-zero. Out of 100.
Many of those 21 incomplete passes weren't really close to anyone.
The Cardinals' defensive unit, to its credit, held its own. They did pick off Sanchez thrice, and linebacker Daryl Washington scooped up a fumble.
Safety Kerry Rhodes, playing against his old team, caught two of those three interceptions, and also forced that above-mentioned fumble.
But here's how the game went down -- it was one of the crappiest performances of paid football players in recent history.
For example, here's how the Cardinals' second drive of the game went, after punting on their first drive, and picking off Sanchez on the Jets' first offensive play: William Powell set up a second down-and-2 after an 8-yard run. Beanie Wells ran for one yard, setting up third-and-1. Wells ran for no gain, setting up a fourth-and-1. Wells ran for negative 1, giving the Jets the football. Wells racked up a grand total of 22 rushing yards in 15 attempts on the game.
The Jets somehow made it down the field far enough to attempt a field goal after this, but kicker Nick Folk biffed it.
The Cardinals responded to this missed field goal with a three-and-out, another three-and-out, one more three-and-out, and Lindley throwing an interception on third down, thus avoiding another three-and-out.
The Jets weren't able to move the ball following the interception, but they were within range for Folk to try again -- and he biffed it again, missing a 52-yarder.
The Cardinals responded, again, with a three-and-out, but got the ball back with one more shot in the half -- and a miracle happened.
Wells ran for a first down, but naturally, the Cardinals immediately ran into another fourth-down. This time, safety Rashad Johnson got the direct snap on the punt, and ran it for 40 yards. After two incomplete passes from Lindley, he completed one to Housler for pocket change, and kicker Jay Feely nailed a 48-yard field goal to give the Cardinals actual points.
The Cardinals took this awesome 3-0 lead into halftime.
The Cardinals also started off the second half with four consecutive three-and-outs on the offensive side of the ball, while the Jets' McElroy replaced Sanchez and threw his TD pass during this stretch.
After forcing a fumble, though, the Cards started out already in field-goal range, and Lindley somehow completed a 16-yard pass to Michael Floyd, sandwiched between two runs by Wells for approximately peanuts.
After Lindley threw two more incomplete passes, it was field goal time, and Feely nailed another one, giving the Cardinals six whole points.
The Cardinals naturally achieved a three-and-out on their next drive, mid-way through the fourth quarter, giving the Jets the ball with about eight minutes left.
The Cardinals defense, despite truly not sucking throughout the game, really sucked on this drive, which would end up being eight minutes long, and enough to run out the clock.
The Jets ran for a first down, then took a penalty for a first down. Then McElroy passed for a first down, and the Cardinals burned their last timeout as the Jets got into a third-and-4 with less than three minutes left in the game.
After this, Adrian Wilson jumped offside, giving the Jets another first down. With one more rushing first-down, the Jets were able to take knees and close out the game.
After winning their first four games, the Cardinals have now lost eight straight.
We are now 100 percent serious about our suggestion that the Cardinals should hold open tryouts in the Phoenix area for the quarterback position.
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