Third-down conversions affecting Cardinals
Ken Whisenhunt (Getty)
Ken Whisenhunt (Getty)

Posted Sep 27, 2011

Arizona has struggled on third down this season, converting just three of 14 times against the Seahawks last week.

The dissection of Sunday's 13-10 loss to the Seahawks will continue until the next game is played, but the main reason the Cardinals lost is obvious.

They converted just three of 14 third-down situations and only 1 of 9 in the second half. The Cardinals failed in just about every circumstance. Twice, they had third-and-1 and came up short. Some of their play calls on third and long were head scratchers, including a quick screen to receiver Andre Roberts.

Part of the problem in the second half is the Seahawks took receiver Larry Fitzgerald out of the game. Fitzgerald had five catches for 64 yards and a touchdown in the first half, so the Seahawks devoted resources to stopping him in the second.

And they did. Fitzgerald did not touch the ball in the second half, although he did draw a pass interference call.

The problem, said coach Ken Whisenhunt, is the Cardinals were not able to take advantage of open receivers elsewhere. Quarterback Kevin Kolb was not sharp, and there were mistakes in assignments, too.

The Cardinals never made the Seahawks pay for doubling Fitzgerald.

The absence of running back Beanie Wells hurt, too. Wells missed the game with a hamstring strain, and that probably was a factor in their failures on third down.

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WR Larry Fitzgerald (profile)
QB Kevin Kolb (profile)
RB Beanie Wells (profile)
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