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

Tom BradyJan 22 10:12a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is now scheduled to speak to the media Thursday, Jan. 22, and he could come under fire due to the report of deflated [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 21 09:03p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) has had knee surgery, head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed Wednesday, Jan. 21. While there has been concern Burfict might have to begin the [ More ]

Mike WallaceJan 21 09:03p

Miami Dolphins WR Mike Wallace's future with the team is unclear. General manager Dennis Hickey would not say Wednesday, Jan. 21, whether Wallace will be back or if his [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 21 04:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel could benefit from new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, according to Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr. Carr said DeFilippo will do great with Manziel, adding [ More ]

Richard ShermanJan 21 04:23p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (elbow) said he will practice in a brace, but should not have any limitations on gameday.

Marc TrestmanJan 21 03:53p

Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said he wants to learn the specificities of the team's offense instead of changing it. Head coach John Harbaugh said Trestman's familiarity and [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles should be able to develop under new offensive coordinator Greg Olson, according to general manager Dave Caldwell. Caldwell said Olson has the ability to [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles developed bad habits and may need to start over, in the opinion of NFL Films guru Greg Cosell.

Latavius MurrayJan 21 12:53p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray is likely to be the team's lead back in 2015, and new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave plans tailor his system to Murray's talents. Musgrave [ More ]

Peyton ManningJan 21 11:03a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning plans to return in 2015, pending the results of his annual physical, according to three sources The Denver Post's Woody Paige trusts. The test [ More ]

Rashad JenningsJan 21 10:23a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings could have a veteran running back to complement or compete with him next season. The team could possibly add a change-of-pace back and [ More ]

Trent RichardsonJan 21 09:13a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson was suspended and deactivated for the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 18.

Joique BellJan 20 11:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell had minor surgery last week to clean up his knee and Achilles' tendon. He is expected to return in time for organized offseason workouts.

Doug MarroneJan 20 05:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said the team is committed to remaining a zone-blocking team. However, new assistant coach and offensive line coach Doug Marrone didn't use a [ More ]

Peyton ManningJan 20 05:13p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning remains unsure of his future with the team, but head coach Gary Kubiak said he plans to sit down with Manning and talk about [ More ]

Tyler BrayJan 20 04:23p

Kansas City Chiefs QB Tyler Bray (knee) has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Marc TrestmanJan 20 03:43p

Free-agent head coach Marc Trestman (Bears) was hired by the Baltimore Ravens as the team's offensive coordinator Tuesday, Jan. 20. Trestman was previously the head coach of the Chicago Bears.

C.J. AndersonJan 20 01:33p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson, who finished the year with 849 rushing yards, 324 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, is looking forward to his role in new head coach [ More ]

Latavius MurrayJan 19 09:53p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray could benefit from offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, who has used a run-heavy style in the past.

Reggie WayneJan 19 07:03p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (triceps) is unsure if he will be returning for another season. Wayne was targeted just twice in the loss to the New England Patriots [ More ]

Richard ShermanJan 19 03:43p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (elbow) suffered a sprained elbow during the NFC Championship game, according to a source, but should be able to play in the Super Bowl.

Randall CobbJan 19 02:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Randall Cobb said his preference is to re-sign with the team this offseason. 'Of course (I want to be back). I think I've made that [ More ]

Marshawn LynchJan 19 02:13p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch may consider retirement if the Seahawks win the Super Bowl, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Lynch has reportedly told people in private that [ More ]

Earl ThomasJan 19 01:03p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder), who is dealing with a dislocated shoulder, said he will play in the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots.

LeGarrette BlountJan 19 12:43p

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount ran for 148 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries in the team's win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game [ More ]

Richard ShermanJan 18 11:13p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (elbow) suffered an elbow injury in the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Jan. 18, but he said after the win [ More ]

Gary KubiakJan 18 10:02p

Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak will take the Denver Broncos head coaching position, as expected, multiple outlets are reporting Sunday, Jan. 18.

Justin BrittJan 18 01:52p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared QB B.J. Daniels, TE Cooper Helfet, DL David King, SS Jeron Johnson, OT Justin Britt, OL Keavon Milton, CB Marcus Burley inactive for Week 20.

Jeff JanisJan 18 01:42p

The Green Bay Packers have declared DL Bruce Gaston, LB Carl Bradford, CB Demetri Goodson, RB DuJuan Harris, C Garth Gerhart, WR Jeff Janis, TE Justin Perillo inactive for Week 20.

Andrew LuckJan 18 01:02p

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck has been working with the team on a contract extension that could be the richest contract in the NFL, according to a source.

Carson PalmerJan 18 10:22a

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (knee) said he feels great and that he is ahead of schedule in his rehab from a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Palmer started jogging [ More ]

Trent RichardsonJan 17 03:12p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (personal) did not make the trip to New England for the AFC Championship game.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group