2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Arizona switches QBs in 23-19 loss to Falcons

By CHARLES ODUM - AP Sports Writer
    2012-11-18 17:22

ATLANTA (AP) - As Arizona's losing streak grows, Ken Whisenhunt's edict is clear: No player is exempt from being benched.

Whisenhunt replaced quarterback John Skelton in the first half of Sunday's 23-19 loss to Atlanta, but rookie Ryan Lindley was not able to lift a listless offense in his NFL debut.

The Cardinals, who managed only 178 yards, could not capitalize on the Falcons' six turnovers, including Matt Ryan's five interceptions.

``If you're going to hold all the guys on the team accountable, you've got to include every position,'' Whisenhunt said after Arizona's sixth straight loss.

``Not just the quarterback,'' he added. ``We're in the business of winning games. That's what we have to do. We're going to make the changes that we feel we need to make going forward, and that's what we said we're going to do. We're sticking to that. Like I said, the quarterback is not exempt from that.''

Lindley completed 9 of 20 passes for 64 yards with no interceptions and no touchdowns. He said he was ``geeked up'' and rushed his decisions in the first half.

``I was too excited,'' said Lindley, a sixth-round draft pick from San Diego State. ``After that, I felt more calm. I think I made better decisions.

``It's not like it's something I can't fix. It's my decision-making and I can make better decisions next time out.''

Skelton completed only 2 of 7 passes for 6 yards.

``We missed some throws when we had opportunities early,'' Whisenhunt said. ``We're trying to win, so we gave Ryan a chance to make the throws.''

Skelton said all players are on notice.

``When Coach says something like that, I don't think anyone is exempt,'' Skelton said. ``Getting benched is part of the game. It's frustrating not being able to be out there for the rest of the game.''

Arizona's only touchdown was set up by Rashad Johnson's interception of Ryan's pass on the first play of the game, giving the Cardinals (4-6) the ball at Atlanta's 9-yard line.

LaRod Stephens-Howling, who had 127 yards rushing, scored from the 3. Jay Feely kicked the first two of his four field goals later in the opening quarter, giving Arizona a 13-0 lead.

Ryan kept giving the Cardinals chances with the interceptions. The Cardinals' offense kept stalling, even when given possession three more times in Atlanta territory.

``It's extremely frustrating,'' Cardinals center Lyle Sendlein said. ``If you would have told us yesterday we'd get the ball four or five times on their side of the 50, I'd have said, `Yeah, we're going to beat them, and beat them by a large margin.'''

Atlanta (9-1) bounced back from its first loss. Michael Turner scored the winning touchdown on a 1-yard run with 6:40 remaining, and Larry Fitzgerald couldn't hang on to a fourth-down pass that would've given the feeble Cardinals a chance to pull it out.

``You can't worry about it,'' said Ryan, who had never thrown more than three picks in a game. ``Part of playing this position is knowing there are going to be times when you make mistakes, when you fall flat on your face.''

Ryan became the first quarterback since Green Bay's Bart Starr in 1967 to win a game despite throwing five interceptions with no touchdowns, according to STATS LLC.

``That's good company to be in,'' Ryan said with a chuckle.

Ryan set up Turner's winning run with four completions for 64 yards, including a 9-yarder to Tony Gonzalez that was just short of the end zone. Turner scored on the next play.

Both teams struggled offensively in the second half. The Cardinals took a 19-16 lead on Feely's fourth field goal.

The Falcons finally came alive on a 70-yard drive.

With Julio Jones sidelined by an ankle injury, Ryan completed an 11-yard pass to third receiver Harry Douglas, then a 26-yarder to Douglas into Arizona territory. Roddy White hauled in an 18-yard pass before Ryan, on third-and-5 at the Arizona 10, went to ol' reliable. Gonzalez grabbed the pass and stretched for the goal line, getting his helmet knocked off in the process.

The officials ruled him down about a foot short. Turner carried it in from there, standing defiantly in the end zone in front of the cheering Atlanta fans who had booed him earlier for the Falcons' continuing problems running the ball.

Arizona had one more chance, after Ryan had a pass deflected at the line, the ball wobbling into the arms of Cardinals linebacker Sam Acho at the Falcons 32.

On fourth-and-2 with just over 3 minutes remaining, Lindley threw a pass that Fitzgerald appeared to haul in at the 5 before tumbling out of bounds. But as he took a hit from William Moore, Fitzgerald rolled over and the ball came loose. The Falcons took over and ran out the clock.

Ryan completed 28 of 48 for 301 yards.

After trailing 13-0, the Falcons rallied to tie it up by halftime, coming up with a huge defensive play after the Cardinals brought in Lindley.

As the rookie dropped back to pass on third down, John Abraham came in from the blind side and got his hand on the ball a split-second before Lindley's arm came forward. While both teams mostly stood around, thinking it was an incomplete pass, Abraham motioned for Jonathan Babineaux to pick up it up. The 300-pound tackle did just that, running 15 yards for a stunning touchdown.

``Multiple players told me they heard a whistle, and that's why they stopped,'' Whisenhunt insisted. ``It wasn't just one guy. It was a bunch of them.

``You always tell them to play through the play, but what do you say to your players when they say they thought they heard a whistle and thought the play was dead.''

With a nod to Gonzalez, Babineaux feigned like was going to dunk the ball over the crossbar, but just flipped it over instead.

Call it a celebratory layup.

``We're always taught to finish play,'' Babineaux said. ``I looked at the ref. I saw him running, so I figured the play was still going.''

Notes: Stephens-Howling had only 184 yards rushing coming into the game. ... The Falcons lost CB Asante Samuel (right shoulder) in the first half. Jones (right ankle) hobbled off in the fourth quarter. .... Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson was slowed by a hamstring injury.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

---

Follow Charles Odum on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CharlesOdum

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Brandon BrownerOct 30 04:32p

New England Patriots DT Alan Branch (non-injury related) and DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Nate Ebner (finger), DL Dominique Easley (knee), OL Cameron [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 30 04:22p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) and OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DT Domata Peko (toe) and OT Andre Smith [ More ]

Dwight FreeneyOct 30 04:22p

San Diego Chargers LB Manti Te'o (foot), CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) and S Jahleel Addae (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring) was limited. CB [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 30 04:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) practiced fully Thursday, Oct. 30.

Terrell SuggsOct 30 04:02p

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (foot) and LB Terrell Suggs (neck) all did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Marshal Yanda (knee) [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 30 03:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) and SS Ross Ventrone (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and FS [ More ]

Bruce CarterOct 30 03:22p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (finger) suffered a broken ring finger during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, but expects to play in Week 9. He will wear a splint on his finger for protection.

Cullen JenkinsOct 30 03:12p

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back, hamstring) and P Steve Weatherford (ankle) were both limited in practice.

Brandon BoykinOct 30 03:12p

Philadelphia Eagles FS Nate Allen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. TE Brent Celek (back) and WR Brad Smith (groin) were both limited in practice. CB [ More ]

D'Qwell JacksonOct 30 03:12p

Indianapolis Colts LB D'Qwell Jackson (toe), DT Arthur Jones (ankle), LB Erik Walden (quadriceps) and LB Josh McNary (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Vontae [ More ]

Rashad JenningsOct 30 02:42p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) said he is on track in terms of his rehab, but there is no timetable for his return. Jennings said he has [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 02:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Anthony CollinsOct 30 02:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Oniel Cousins is working at left tackle with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, because OT Anthony Collins (foot) is sitting out practice.

Doug MartinOct 30 02:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Jason VerrettOct 30 01:52p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) is expected to miss two to three weeks with a torn labrum, according to two sources.

DeAngelo WilliamsOct 30 01:52p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (ankle) will start the team's Week 9 game against the New Orleans Saints Thursday, Oct. 30, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 01:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) received most of the work with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, and will start in Week 9 if he [ More ]

Jaylen WatkinsOct 30 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles SS Earl Wolff, FS Chris Maragos and CB Jaylen Watkins could be options to start at safety if FS Nate Allen (hamstring) is not able to play in Week 9.

Giovani BernardOct 30 01:22p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 01:02p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) didn't take part in the walk-through Thursday, Oct. 30, and will not practice with the team. However, head coach Jason Garrett remains hopeful [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Reggie WayneOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 12:22p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's (back) status is making head coach Jason Garrett feel optimistic about his availability for Week 9.

Dallas ThomasOct 30 11:43a

Miami Dolphins OG Dallas Thomas would be the most likely candidate to start at left guard if OG Daryn Colledge (illness) is not able to play in Week 9.

Rashad JenningsOct 30 11:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) has been ruled out for Week 9.

Phil BatesOct 30 10:52a

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent WR Phil Bates (Seahawks) to the practice squad and released CB Marcus Cromartie Thursday, Oct. 30.

Charles SimsOct 30 10:13a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims could have 10 or more touches in Week 9, in the opinion of beat writer Greg Auman.

Ryan MathewsOct 30 09:52a

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) is likely to sit out of the Week 9 game and return after the Week 10 bye.

Dennis PittaOct 30 09:52a

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) may never be able to play football again after two surgeries on a fractured and dislocated hip in as many seasons.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group