Mid-season Grades: Arizona Cardinals’ Offense
Mid-season Grades for the Arizona Cardinals' Offense
First off, the fan in the picture, with the sign, is lying to you. I am Randy Moss’s number 1 fan.
Getting back on track, the Arizona Cardinals have seen better days after losing the last four games. The Cardinals are halfway through the season and still hold a .500 record. This is amazing considering the injuries this team has suffered. Levi Brown, Beanie Wells, Ryan Williams, Kevin Kolb, Todd Heap, and those are just some.
I am not writing these mid-season grades to hate on players on this Arizona team. Yes, one, maybe two players will receive a failing grade, but considering the way this offensive line has played it’s hard to punish the rest of the team. The amount of sacks given up by the two tackles on this team is extraordinarily unacceptable. One of them may have an excuse, but the other is just plain bad.
The grades for the quarterbacks may surprise you, but then again, you might think exactly like I do. The Cardinals still have a chance to bounce back, but something has got to change. Maybe a no huddle offense, a trick play that isn’t an obvious screen to Patrick Peterson, fake field goal, or fake punt. Something needs to happen to get this team fired up.
At the end of week four the Cardinals were in the top 5 of most NFL Power Rankings. They have fallen 10 spots in 4 weeks and that is being generous. This is my 2012 mid-season grades for the Cardinals, enjoy
John Skelton: Skelton started the first game of the season and got injured. In my opinion, he lost his job and since he took over for the injured Kevin Kolb, he has not played back into the starting role. He has only posted a quarterback rating of over 70 once and that is not what you want to see from a guy who has played in 17 games in his career.
Kevin Kolb: If it isn’t obvious to you now that Kolb gives the Cardinals the best chance to win then it will never be. In Kolb’s wins this season he posted a rating of 97.2. That is excellent considering the big men that play in front of him. Kolb was sacked 17 times in two weeks and was still able to win one game and stay competitive in the other.
LaRod Stephens-Howling: Stephens-Howling is the only Cardinals' back to go over 100 yards this season and for that he deserves a lot of credit, but at the same time by no means is he the answer for the Cardinals. He struggles to get the tough yards and gets stuffed on a lot of plays for big losses or no gain. Some of this can be attributed to the offensive line, but his size is at least a little bit of a factor. Ryan Williams and Beanie Wells did not play enough this season to get grades.
Anthony Sherman: Sherman missed two games this season, but he still has enough games under his belt to be graded. Sherman is a tough fullback with too much on his plate. When you have to worry about more than one block the fullback position becomes difficult. When required he has done his job to the best of his ability and that deserves some respect.
Rob Housler and Jeff King: Housler seems to be the guy for the Cardinals at this point. He leads the Cardinals’ tight ends with 19 catches for over 200 yards. King has only been targeted 15 times for 11 catches this year. These tight ends should not be asked to do what they do because of this offensive line. Their lack of production on the receiving end is a direct correlation to a terrible offensive line.
Larry Fitzgerald: When Kolb was starting he was able to get in a rhythm. He has one 100 yard game and two games of 90+. He doesn’t need to have a steady quarterback to stay effective, but it sure helps. Hopefully, Fitzgerald is able to find a rhythm with Skelton because if he doesn’t he is going to struggle to hit 1,000 yards. This would be the first time since 2006 and just the third time in his career.
Andre Roberts: Roberts has emerged as one of the only bright spots on this Cardinals’ offense. He is less than 100 yards away from Fitzgerald and has 5 TDs. He has come up big for the Cardinals this year and probably the best 2nd option receiver the Cardinals have had since Anquan Boldin.
D’Anthony Batiste: Well, I am trying to be as nice as possible, but it’s hard to do. Batiste has not done his job this year. This makes fans realize what they had with Levi Brown.
Daryn Colledge: Quarterbacks need a pocket to step up into. Colledge has give his quarterbacks that breathing room at times, but he has also failed miserably at times. He needs to do a better job of working with the “fatties” to the left and right of him.
Lyle Sendlein: He has played as well as you can with no motivation. If the other guys can’t block then what is the point? On a good offensive line he would play his part. Don’t be so fast to judge all 5 of these linemen. They are a unit, but some are weaker than others.
Adam Snyder: Snyder missed the game versus the San Francisco 49ers. He has struggled this year like Sendlein. He needs a better motivation. He could be effective on most offensive lines.
Bobbie Massie: Massie was not supposed to be a starter this year. The Cardinals were going to develop him for the future. However, a season like this could shatter the young man’s confidence and ruin his career. I was nice to him because he is young.
Grade: F+ (Click), but seriously he needs to do better and will in a couple of years. Actual Grade: D