Big Red Blog: Back to reality for Cardinals

John Skelton (Getty)

Following a dominating loss against San Francisco on Monday Night Football, the 4-4 Cardinals are coming back to reality.

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Back to reality for Cardinals

Posted by Brad Wilbricht
Tuesday, October 30 - 9:30 AM

The Arizona Cardinals are coming back to reality. The joys of a 4-0 start have quickly evaporated following four straight losses. The latest setback was a 24-3 defeat at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football. The Cardinals were beaten in all facets of the game and the loss was eerily similar to recent matchups in which they were dominated by San Francisco.

The same problems that have plagued Arizona for the majority of the season held true against the 49ers. The Cardinals run game was nonexistent, accumulating only seven yards on nine attempts. Furthermore, the offensive line continued to struggle allowing four sacks on the evening. The unit has now given up a league-worst 39 sacks through the first eight games of the year.

Like he usually does, Skelton put forth a respectable effort but it's becoming clear that he's not a starting caliber quarterback in the NFL. Skelton completed 32-of-52 passes but only managed 290 yards and tossed an interception. While Skelton's stat line doesn't look horrible, most of his production came in the second half with the game well out of reach.

Arizona held its own on defense but only after San Francisco jumped out to a 17-0 lead early in the second half. The 49ers put it in cruise control from that point on and focused on running the clock. The Cardinals secondary continues to be a problem as Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss scored a combined three touchdowns. Patrick Peterson struggled against Crabtree and was the goat on both of his two scores.

During Arizona's 4-0 start, the defense and special teams were making big play after big play. Those big plays, however, have come to a halt. The Cardinals failed to force a turnover for the first time all season against San Francisco and Peterson has only managed 22 yards on eight punt returns during the last two outings.

Things won't get any easier for Arizona as road games against Green Bay and Atlanta are next up – with a bye week sandwiched in-between. The Cardinals will more than likely have a record of 4-6 after the next three weeks, a record that could virtually eliminate them from playoff contention.

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