Big Red Blog: Tough sledding ahead for Cards

The bounces that had been going Arizona's way have ceased and it's back to the drawing board as the 4-2 Cardinals will enter the toughest portion of their 2012 slate, starting this week in Minnesota.


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Tough sledding ahead

Posted by Brad Wilbricht
Monday, October 15 - 11:00 AM


The Cardinals had been scraping by throughout the early weeks of the season but following an overtime loss to Buffalo the team has now dropped two consecutive outings. The bounces that had been going Arizona's way have ceased and it's back to the drawing board as the 4-2 Cards will enter the toughest portion of their 2012 slate, starting this week in Minnesota.

Following a date against a surprisingly good Vikings team, Arizona will battle the 49ers at home before back-to-back road games against the Packers and Falcons (with a bye coming in between in Week 10). Realistically, a 1-3 record over that span wouldn't be horrible, leaving the Cardinals with a potential 5-5 record in what's shaping up to be an ultra competitive NFC West division.

Along with a more difficult schedule on the horizon, Arizona has been hit hard by the injury bug. Both Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams have gone down at running back and quarterback Kevin Kolb has joined them on the injury report. Kolb left Sunday's game against the Bills with a rib injury and more details will be found out on Monday.

Due to Kolb's injury, starter-turned-backup John Skelton was thrust back into action. Skelton showed his rust completing just 2-of-10 passes but did manage to put kicker Jay Feely in position for the game-winning field goal at the end of regulation. Feely's kick, however, was tipped and the 38-yard attempt sailed wide left.

While Skelton wasn't overly impressive, it was a tough spot for him to return after missing the previous four games. Skelton and Kolb were evenly matched throughout training camp and the preseason, so there shouldn't be much disparity in play between the two. That said, Kolb seemed to have the hot hand, so if Skelton continues to struggle it could negatively impact the Cardinals offense.

Back to the topic of injuries, where the mishaps along the offensive line continue. In addition to the losses mentioned above, the absences of tackles Levi Brown and Jeremy Bridges have proved to be more costly than expected thus far. The Cardinals o-line allowed five more sacks against Buffalo and the team may have trouble keeping whoever is under center healthy from now until the end of the year.


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Questions or comments? Contact Brad Wilbricht at brad.wilbricht@gmail.com



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Questions or comments? Contact Brad Wilbricht at brad.wilbricht@gmail.com



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